In 2015 Pope Francis issued Laudato Si’, a major encyclical on the environment offering a hopeful vision that challenged us all to better care for “our common home.” On October 4, 2023, Pope Francis released Laudate Deum, an unprecedented follow-up document to highlight the urgent need for a more sustained response to the ecological crisis in light of the climate crisis and developments in the last eight years.
Laudato Si’ challenged the world to understand that we’re connected with each other, with the natural environment, and with those who will come after us, and that ecological crises are moral challenges that affect the poor and vulnerable most of all. Pope Francis called for all of us to hear both the “cry of the earth and the cry of the poor” and to ask with humility: “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?” He offered a vision defined by the conviction that “...we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world, and that being good and decent are worth it.” Five exceptional leaders discussed the renewed challenges and new questions posed by Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Laudate Deum.
Kim Daniels, director of the Initiative and member of the Vatican Dicastery for Communication, moderated the discussion.
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Photo © Caritas/Stefano Schirato