Press Release

REPORT & VIDEO | The Living Laudato Si’ European Survey, a first-of-its-kind initiative

The European Laudato Si’ Alliance (ELSiA) unveiled the results of the ‘Living Laudato Si’ in Europe’ survey on Monday, 20 May 2024. The results of this groundbreaking initiative assess the impact of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ on ecological efforts by Catholic groups across Europe. Full ReportWatch the video of the press conference

Led by St Mary’s University, a consortium of five universities analysed responses from more than 283 Catholic organisations (parishes, charities, etc.) in 20 European countries. The survey, available in nine languages, provides valuable data on how these organisations are addressing environmental challenges and is supported by the Laudato Si ‘Action Platform.

The survey produced several important findings:

  • Laudato Si’ had a real impact: Pope Francis’ encyclical sparked major changes (36%) across European Catholic organisations that responded (95% influenced).
  • Ecology is here to stay: Nearly half of these organisations plan to stay committed or increase their focus on “integral ecology.”
  • A community focus and a more synodal approach: Laudato Si’ initiatives are shifting towards community involvement (60% participatory).
  • Encouraging collaboration: A strong majority works with both faith-based (82%) and non-faith-based groups (81%) on ecological issues.
  • Laudato Si’ encourages grassroots involvement: Initiatives are very often driven by volunteers (93% rely on them, 37% entirely).
  • Funding challenges exist: Limited resources remain an obstacle (38% allocate less than 5% to environmental initiatives).

To address this, the report recommends increased support for Catholic organisations. This includes providing them with more time and resources, encouraging discussion on ecology and equipping them with practical tools for effective environmental action. The report also highlights successful ecological projects across Europe as models for replication.

Mgr. Mariano Crociata, President of COMECE, said : “In these days where floods hit our brothers in Kenya and Brazil, this first  study on Catholics and ecology shows that, in 20 European countries, the ecological message coming from Laudato Si is alive and flourishing.”

Dr. Roland Daw, Lead Investigator, said: “This exploratory work shows that there are many Catholic organisations across Europe that have made Laudato Si’ an important part of their work, and suggests that where this work is happening, it is distinctly collaborative. However, the findings leave us with some questions, particularly about whether Catholic environmental action is getting all the resources it needs”.

Laura Morosini, European Programme Director of the Laudato Si’ Movement, said: “This report confirms the intuition of the radical impact of the encyclical Laudato Si’ on Catholic initiatives. We found that the Season of Creation is a well-established initiative, already celebrated by of the respondents. Something new is happening in the Church”.

Findings from this survey were presented in a special online press conference held on 20th May in the context of the Laudato Si Week 2024. The video of the Press Conference is available on Youtube (at this link) and on the ELSiA website. Read the Full Report