Laudato Si’ Goals launched for “total sustainability”
By John Leo Algo
The Vatican officially launched the Laudato Si’ Goals as part of the week-long celebrations of the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’s landmark encyclical on 16 May.
The seven goals, grounded in the Laudato Si’s concept of integral ecology, include: response to the cry of the Earth; response to the cry of the poor; ecological economics; adoption of simple lifestyles; ecological education; ecological spirituality; and emphasis on community involvement and participatory action.
Within the Laudato Si’ goals are roughly two dozen indicators, indicative of caring for the Earth and “total sustainability”. Benchmarks include carbon neutrality, biodiversity protection, upholding climate and social justice for the marginalized sectors, and divestment from fossil fuels and other environmentally-destructive practices.
During a webinar on Sustainable Development Goals and Laudato Si’, Rodne Galicha, Executive Director of Living Laudato Si’ Philippines, praised the launch of the Laudato Si’ Goals as it can provide complementary context to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Inspiration, hope and values are necessary to achieve our SDG aspirations,” he said.
The announcement is a part of the “Special Laudato Si’ Anniversary Year” that will run until 24 May 2021, as announced by the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. Plans for the special anniversary year include the 2021 launch of the “Laudato Si’ Action Platform”, a seven-year plan invites Catholic dioceses, religious orders, schools, and other institutions to commit towards a grassroots-based ecological conversion.
Fr. Joshtrom Kureethdam SDB, coordinator of the dicastery’s sector on ecology, stated that “in this way we are planning to grow a Laudato Si’ inspired network that continues to expand and grow exponentially each year”.
He added that the Vatican hopes to arrive at a “critical mass” required for a drastic societal transformation, inspired by the Laudato Si’.
As the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, Galicha added the necessity for adopting ecological solidarity as part of the “new normal”, stating that “ecological solidarity requires paradigm shift, a moral imperative and spiritual conversion”.
Also launched were the Laudato Si’ awards, which seeks to recognize individuals, families, faith and educational institutions, and initiatives that embody the messages of the encyclical. Other projects for the anniversary year include reforestation in Africa, a Laudato Si’-inspired art installation, collaborations with the Plastic Bank, and a Laudato Si’ documentary.
Watch the webinar here with Fr. Joshtrom Kreethdam SDB announcing the Laudato Si Goals: