Pope Francis establishes ‘climate action’ week

In view of the 5th anniversary of the publication of the Encyclical Laudato si’, Pope Francis wanted to renew his “urgent call to respond to the ecological crisis.” Pope Francis asked Catholics around the globe to participate in the international observance of “Laudato Si’ Week” May 16-24.

Sponsored by the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and facilitated by the Global Catholic Climate Movement and Renova, the week is designed as an occasion for Catholics to look at steps they have taken to protect the environment and assist the world’s poor people and to come up with next steps.

The sponsoring groups launched a website — laudatosiweek.org — that contains information, resources and a “toolkit” that includes several ideas that include lobbying elected officials, conducting an “energy audit,” planting a “pollinator garden” and reviewing one’s investment portfolio in favour of companies that protect the environment.

In a video message released by the Vatican March 3 and posted on the website, Pope Francis said the week was meant to mark the fifth anniversary of his encyclical, “Laudato Si’, on Care for Our Common Home.”

“The cry of the earth and the cry of the poor” cannot continue to go unheeded, the Pope said. “Let’s take care of creation, a gift of God, our good creator.”

The fifth anniversary of Laudato si’ coincides with important events in the race to find solutions to the environmental crisis. This year is the deadline for countries to announce their plans to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement. The year 2020 will also see the UN’s conference on biodiversity, in which humanity will have the opportunity to set meaningful targets to protect the places and species that sustain all life.

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