The Laudato Si’ Special Anniversary Year was announced on May 16 by the Dicastery for Integral Human Development. Here is a link to their website and events scheduled for the year, including today’s commemoration, that opened May 24, 2020 and will run to the same date in 2021. A summary of the Papal message for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation and the Season of Creation follows and includes a link to the full message. http://www.humandevelopment.va/en/news/laudato-si-special-anniversary-year-plan.html
POPE: PEACE WITH CREATOR, HARMONY WITH CREATION
In his message for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation and the Season of Creation, Pope Francis reflects on the Biblical significance of the Jubilee, as evoked by the theme of the Season of Creation, “Jubilee of the Earth”.
By Vatican News
As the September 1 World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation kicks off the month-long Season of Creation, Pope Francis offers a profound reflection on respect for the earth, its resources, the evils caused by man’s greed and the need for “restorative justice” such as debt cancellation for poor countries.
This decisive moment
In his message, the Pope notes that, “the pandemic has brought us to a crossroads”. “We must use this decisive moment,” he says, “to end our superfluous and destructive goals and activities, and to cultivate values, connections and activities that are life-giving.” “We must examine our habits of energy usage, consumption, transportation, and diet. We must eliminate the superfluous and destructive aspects of our economies, and nurture life-giving ways to trade, produce, and transport goods.”
Listen to the land and creation
The Pope reminds us that, “we cannot live in harmony with creation if we are not at peace with the Creator who is the source and origin of all things”. The Jubilee is a time for thinking once again of our fellow human beings, especially the poor and the most vulnerable, to share the common heritage of creation in a “spirit of conviviality, not in competitive scramble but in joyful fellowship, supporting and protecting one another”.
The Jubilee is also a time to listen to the land, to hear the voice of creation and return to our rightful place in the natural created order, remembering that we are part of this interconnected web of life, not its masters.
“The disintegration of biodiversity, spiralling climate disasters, and unjust impact of the current pandemic on the poor and vulnerable,” the Pope says, are a “wakeup call in the face of our rampant greed and consumption”.
A jubilee, the Pope says, is a time to set free the oppressed such as the indigenous people who face injustice and others who are subjected to various forms of modern slavery, such as trafficking in persons and child labour.
Stressing that the Jubilee is a time for “restorative justice”, the Pope renews his “call for the cancellation of the debt of the most vulnerable countries, in recognition of the severe impacts of the medical, social and economic crises they face as a result of Covid-19”.
This also calls for ensuring that the recovery packages being developed and deployed at global, regional and national levels be regeneration packages. Policy, legislation and investment must be focused on the common good and guarantee that global social and environmental goals are met.
Restoring the Earth
Alarmed by the climate emergency, the Pontiff warns that “we are running out of time”, and unless we take action it “will prove catastrophic, especially for poor communities around the world”. He thus invites all nations to adopt more ambitious national targets to reduce emissions.
Lamenting the unprecedented loss of species and degradation of ecosystems, he urges for “restoring the earth to be a home of life in abundance, as willed by the Creator”.
The principle of “restorative justice”, the Holy Father continues, calls for restoring the right of indigenous communities to regain control of the usage of the land on which they have lived for generations.
“Indigenous communities,” he says, “must be protected from companies, particularly multinational companies, that ‘operate in less developed countries in ways they could never do at home”, through the destructive extraction of fossil fuels, minerals, timber and agro-industrial products.”
He denounces as a “new version of colonialism” the corporate misconduct of shamefully exploiting poorer countries and communities that are desperately seeking economic development.
The Pope admits, “We are aware that the cries of the earth and of the poor have become even louder and more painful in recent years.” Yet it is a reason for joy to witness how the Holy Spirit is bringing individuals and communities around the world together to rebuild our common home and defend the most vulnerable.
Young people, communities and indigenous communities are on the frontlines in responding to the ecological crisis. They are calling for a Jubilee for the earth and a new beginning, aware that “things can change”.
The way the “Laudato Si’ Special Anniversary Year” is unfolding is another reason to rejoice. The numerous initiatives at local and global levels for the care of our common home and the poor during the year, the Pope says, should lead to long-term action plans to practise integral ecology in our families, parishes and dioceses, religious orders, our schools and universities, our healthcare, business and agricultural institutions, and many others as well.
Faith communities are coming together to create a more just, peaceful and sustainable world, and the Season of Creation is becoming a truly ecumenical initiative.
Please follow the link to read the full text of Pope Francis’ “Message for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.”
BELARUS: ARCHBISHOP OF MINSK MOGILEV DENIED ENTRY INTO COUNTRY
Belarusian border authorities deny Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz of Minsk Mogilev entry into the country. Appealing to the faithful, he urges them not to let this latest development “aggravate tensions” currently rocking the nation.
By Vatican News
Belarusian border authorities barred Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz from entering into the country on Monday as he sought to return after a trip to Poland.
In a written appeal to the faithful on Tuesday, the 74-year-old Archbishop of Minsk Mogilev explained that he was stopped at the Bruzhi border crossing “without explanation of any reasons” even though the guards “behaved very politely.”
The Archbishop said that he did not want the “incomprehensible and challenging decision of the border authorities to aggravate tensions” given the “current political crisis” taking place in Belarus, reminding everyone that he has always called for “dialogue and peace.”
Invoking his citizenship rights, the Archbishop said that the border officials’ grounds for refusing him entry were not clear to him, and he pointed out that article No. 49–3 of the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus of 20 September 2009 states: “The right of citizens to enter into the Republic of Belarus can’t be limited.”
Besides, the Archbishop continued, the ban on entry interferes with his “pastoral plans as the ordinary of the Minsk-Mogilev Archdiocese and as the Chairman of the Catholic Bishops of Belarus.”
Expressing hope that the “annoying misunderstanding” will soon be corrected, he said that he had made an official request to the nation’s State Border Committee to clarify the situation.
Concluding, Archbishop Kondrusiewicz invited everyone to pray for his return home and for a “peaceful solution to the acute socio-political crisis” in Belarus. He also entrusted the nation and its people to Our Lady and to the intercession of Archangel Michael, the patron of Belarus.
Protests in Belarus broke out after President Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruled Belarus for 26 years, declared victory in presidential elections in early August with around 80% of the vote. Thousands have taken to the streets in massive protests over the past three weeks denouncing the results and calling for a free and transparent vote.
The protests have persisted despite a crackdown that has left many injured and at least six people dead.
In the wake of the protests, Archbishop Kondruziewicz has continuously called on Belarusians to embrace peace and dialogue. He has also spoken against the crackdown on protesters by the nation’s security forces.