‘Laudato Si: a revolutionary Message’
What is the impact of the Encyclical « Laudato Si » on the European Union ? How do EU Politicians interpret the key messages conveyed by Pope Francis his encyclical letter ? To find out, COMECE organised a Luncheon Debate in Brussels on 25 June, confronting a theologian with a member of the European Parliament.
Father Sean McDonagh Irish Eco-theologian, missionary priest, best-selling author on Climate change issues, presented extensively the structure and scope of the Encyclical which was published last 18 June. ‘It’s not just about climate change. The Encyclical has a much broader scope, ultimately the Pope is shaping the concept of integral Ecology’. Pointing to the fact that humanity was on the threshold of a sixth mass extinction of plants and animals, the Irish theologian welcomed the fact that the Pope was recognising the scientific facts and the crucial human factor in the ecological crisis.
MEP Philippe Lamberts said he was enthusiastic about the Encyclical. ‘It’s a revolutionary message. The Pope is clearly hinting at a civilizational change and reading it was a refreshing to me, like a breath of fresh air. He’s really going to the heart of the matter’. The MEP who is Co-chair of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament said he found himself in the encyclical. ‘This is what my engagement in politics is about: in fact to link environment issues with social justice’.
Both agreed that the revolutionary aspect of the message was that technology alone will not solve the issue ‘We need a conversion. We need to move away from a consumerist culture. This will be much more difficult and challenging to our societies !’ acknowledged Philippe Lamberts who pointed to a culture of profit where every move or change is assessed according the cost it will imply.
COMECE set up an ad hoc a Working Group on Climate and Sustainability, which will present its conclusions on the occasion of the next COMECE Bishops Plenary Assembly in Paris on 28-30 October 2015. COMECE decided to dedicate its Plenary Assembly to the question of Climate Change, ahead of the COP21 Conference on Climate Change in Paris.
Contact: Johanna Touzel, COMECE Spokesperson and Press Officer
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