We are called to a radical choice to live our Franciscan charism authentically

Marking the fifth anniversary of the publication of the encyclical Laudato Si’, on the care of the common home, and at a time when humanity is going through one of the greatest health crises, Pope Francis has declared a special Laudato Si’ anniversary year. The themes addressed in the encyclical take on greater importance in the current context where social and ecological crises have become evident and acute. One need only look at the shameful inequality in access to health care in many countries.

Integral ecological conversion is one of the proposals made by the Pope in his letter, since the problems are not presented in an isolated way, but are interconnected. An integral conversion should encompass, among other things, the political, social, environmental and economic aspects. In this way, it will be possible to face the tremendous socio-environmental crisis that we are experiencing.

The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development calls on all humanity “to celebrate a special anniversary year of Laudato Si between 21 May 2020 and 24 May 2021. “We hope that the anniversary year and the ensuing decade will indeed be a time of grace, a true Kairos experience and “Jubilee” time for the Earth, and for humanity, and for all God’s creatures”. For this purpose, the DPIHD offers a programme highlighting the Laudato Si’ platform of initiatives as a call to various institutions to get involved and commit themselves to a long-term plan – 7 years – as a path towards full sustainability in the spirit of Laudato Si’.

Also, in June, the Interdicasterial Desk of the Holy See on Integral Ecology presented the document On the way to the care of the common home – Five years after Laudato Si’”.  The text is a call to action, providing elements that will guide and contribute to bringing the plans and projects on the care of the common home to life.

These two initiatives of the Holy See encourage and challenge us as Franciscans to commit ourselves to our way of life and our mission of care and safeguarding. Furthermore, we see with joy that, with the Laudato Si’ Revolution campaign, promoted by the JPIC offices of the Order and of the Franciscan Family, we are in full communion and harmony with the whole Church. “As individuals, fraternities, entities and as an international order, we feel strongly challenged to make a clear and radical option in the direction of the ways of living indicated by Laudato Si’” (PCO/18 n. 154).