The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) warmly welcomes Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation “Laudate Deum”, published by the Holy See on Wednesday, 4 October, 2023. This Exhortation addresses the pressing issue of the climate crisis and extends a call to action to all people of goodwill. COMECE: “The clear and passionate words of the Holy Father will serve us as a good compass in the context of EU environmental policies”. Read Laudate Deum
Laudate Deum follows the 2015 Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’, On Care Of Our Common Home, and offers further reflection and clear action pointsto guide our response to the environmental challenges of our time.
In a world where the consequences of “climate change will increasingly prejudice the lives and families of many persons” (LD 2), the exhortation urges us to embrace the consensus of the vast majority of the scientific community regarding the human origin of climate change.
Pope Francis reminds us that our concern must extend “beyond a merely ecological approach” as the climate crisis is, fundamentally, a “global social issue” that disproportionately affects those who bear the least responsibility for its causes.
To restore our relationship with our common home, the Exhortation emphasises the need for “a broad change in the irresponsible lifestyle” (LD 72), as “supposing that all problems in the future will be able to be solved by new technical interventions is a form of homicidal pragmatism” (LD 57).
Within the European context, being responsible means actively shaping climate policies that are integral, directed toward the common good, and considerate of the social question, truly leaving no one behind.
Fr. Manuel Barrios Prieto, General Secretary of COMECE, echoes Pope Francis’s call to action to join in this pilgrimage of reconciliation with the world that is our home. “Our commitment has to do with our personal dignity and highest values. I believe the European Union can play a leading role in finding effective solutions at upcoming international conferences, such as COP28”, he states.
COMECE remains committed to working in harmony with Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation. “We see the ‘Laudate Deum’ as a guiding compass as we navigate the complex terrain of EU environmental policies, ensuring that our actions reflect our shared responsibility for our common home”, Fr. Barrios Prieto states.
The European Laudato Si’ Alliance (ELSiA), of which COMECE is a founding member, published a statement.