VATICAN—Pope Francis said on Wednesday he will release a follow-up environmental document to the 2015 encyclical “Laudato Si’” (Praised Be) on October 4, the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi.
Speaking at the end of his general audience August 30, the pope said he plans “to publish an exhortation, a second Laudato Sì’,” at the end of a Vatican-supported ecumenical initiative that will run from September 1 to October 4.
The Season of Creation will begin, Pope Francis said, on September 1, which is the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. This year’s theme is “Let Justice and Peace Flow.”
“Let us join our Christian brothers and sisters in the commitment to care for creation as a sacred gift from the Creator,” Francis urged at his public audience.
“It is necessary to stand with the victims of environmental and climate injustice, striving to end the senseless war on our common home, which is a terrible world war,” he added. “I urge all of you to work and pray for it to abound with life once again.”
Pope Francis announced last week that he is writing a second part to his 2015 environmental encyclical Laudato Si’.
The pope said with this new writing he is updating Laudato Si’ to cover “current issues.”
The Holy See Press Office director, Matteo Bruni, confirmed to Catholic News Agency (CNA) on August 21 that “the pope is working on a letter updating Laudato Si’ with regard to the recent environmental crises.”
Laudato Si’ is the second of three encyclicals published in Pope Francis’s pontificate thus far. It was released in June 2015.
The theme of the encyclical, which means “Praise be to you,” is human ecology, a phrase first used by Pope Benedict XVI.
The document addresses issues such as climate change, care for the environment, and the defense of human life and dignity.
Pope Francis said on August 30 that the second part to Laudato Si’ would be the kind of papal document known as an “exhortation.”
Francis has so far published five apostolic exhortations during his pontificate, including Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel) and Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love).
The feast of St. Francis of Assisi was also the date in 2020 that Pope Francis chose to release his most recent encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, about fraternity and social friendship.
Catholic movement awaits 2nd papal document
A Catholic movement in the Philippines has welcomed Pope Francis’ upcoming document aimed at protecting the environment.
The Laudato Si’ Movement Pilipinas said what is needed are “concrete actions” to address most pressing environmental issues, which they hope will be tackled in the second part of the Laudato Sì’ encyclical.
“Laudato Si’ is very general in its orientation… so people are asking for concrete actions, and I presume that’s what will come out in the second part,” said Bro. John Din, Laudato Si Movement Pilipinas (LSMP) national coordinator.
In Manila, this year’s commemoration of the Season of Creation was launched on August 29 by three networks: the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines’ Episcopal Commission on Ecumenical Affairs (CBCP-ECEA), the Philippine Council for Evangelical Churches and the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP).
At a news briefing, activities for the month-long observance were announced, including the Weekly Walk for (and with) Creation.
Other initiatives, organizers said, aim to highlight environmental concerns, sites of struggle, and sites of care, such as oil spills, Manila Bay reclamation, seabed quarrying, and the proposed Kaliwa Dam.
“Today, all together, we are collaborating as one family as inhabitants of creation–of the whole world–to work together to save our planet,” said Robert Samson of CBCP-ECEA.
Image credits: CBCP News