International Conference on the 3rd Anniversary of “Laudato Si” Encyclical
Vatican City, July 5-6, 2018. “I thank you for coming and HEARTILY LISTEN to the increasingly much stronger desperate cry of the Earth and of the Poor… for coming to respond to the urgent call to ECOLOGICAL CONVERSION called for by the Encyclical, and take concrete steps inspired on the fact that ALL ARE INTERCONNECTED which is the heart of INTEGRAL ECOLOGY.” This was how Pope Francis addressed us, participants of this encounter. Nevertheless, this International Conference can’t be nor shouldn’t be another one of the many meetings and discourses but an instance of open heartedly listening together to the cry of God from the creation and respond with concrete actions towards ecological conversion, without undermining the intimate and reciprocal interconnection of man-nature-God, for it is only through this that one can obtain a truly integral ecology.
The more than 500 participants were representatives of alternative financial institutions, ecological organizations, of the United Nations, organizations of workers, of catholic lay movements for ecology, of different religions (Jews, Moslem, Hindus, Orthodox and Reformed Churches), of religious congregations, lay people, bishops and some cardinals, indigenous peoples (Amazonas, Andes, Oceania, India, Greenland), and of the youth. Together, we have all listened and reflected on the dreams of the youth and children, the clamorous cry of the poor and the indigenous peoples, the cry of the land and all that it makes up. We have listened and reflected on the knowledge of different experts: scientists, researchers, entrepreneurs, economists, religious leaders. And most importantly, we have listened to our own experiences and the beating of life in our hearts. All of these made us understand more and more clearly that the CAUSE OF THIS ECOLOGICAL CRISIS IS THE HUMAN CRISIS DUE TO THE MOST ABERRANT ANTHROPOCENTRISM that human carries as he considers himself as the center and master to dominate and exploit everything he finds on the way, that fills him with greed, arrogance, apathy and aggression that if not addressed, in few years, can make the life of all the biodiversity in our mother earth collapse.
Then the question arises: will we let this happen? Even if the reaction seems to be late, where do we put our hope and faith to achieve that “if another way of living (paradigm of life) is possible? THERE IS URGENCY!
From that heartfelt listening to each other, to mother earth from her sons and daughters, to God from his creation and his Word, we have proposed to carry out the following concrete actions:
- To change our lifestyles to live with simplicity, modesty, fraternally with others (humans and with nature), etc. Take a serious personal and communitarian transition from a consumerist to a modest life;
- To stop financing nor collaborate with economic investments that exploits fossil energy and destroys the environment, and instead, better invest and collaborate with initiatives that use alternative energies and are more ecological;
- To make sure that the economic transactions of our institutions, schools, universities, etc., are done in alternative forms;
- To regulate banking operations, lift banking secrecy so that the economic management in all countries are more transparent;
- To penalize those countries that does not comply with the Paris Agreement;
- For the Vatican (Pope Francis) to encourage a High-Level Agreement with other Christian Churches, other major Religions, with the governments of the world, with United Nations, that would implement global and common actions and with it advance in the fight against ecological crisis and on its causes.
- For our Churches and communities of faith, to implement ecological actions in prayers, in the liturgy, in religious formation; reread the Sacred Scriptures from the ecological perspective, etc.;
- For all the formation and educational institutions, to implement the ecological training as transversal;
- To make an authentic intercultural and interdisciplinary dialogue with the indigenous peoples;
- To closely and humbly listen and accompany the indigenous peoples and the youth and learn from their wisdom.
Our international meeting ended with the ecological Mass celebrated at 6:30pm of the 7th of July 2018 at the Botanical Garden of Rome.
Efrain Vasquez Mamani, CMF
JPIC Sri Lanka