13 March 2018

Laudato Si”: the Pope's encyclical explained by Cardinal Peter Turkson and by representatives of Judaism and Islam

On Monday, March 12, at the Notre Dame Institute, a conference was held on the theme "the integral ecology of Pope Francis for the protection of the common home".

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The Holy Land, its beauties, its great significance for the history of humanity. Landscapes that refer us to the Canticle of the Creatures [composed by] St. Francis, the poetic text that inspired Pope Francis to write the Encyclical Laudato Si”. A praise to creation, to universal brotherhood and to dialogue, which was initiated in the Holy Land by the saint himself, when he met the Sultan Malek El Kamal in 1219.

Custos of the Holy Land
"The theme of Creation brings us together. All three major religions referring to Abraham have as their theological substratum the idea of a creator God and, therefore, of a creation. Care for creation is a topic that encourages dialogue and collaboration. I would say that even [people] outside of the group of believers, even an atheist understands how important it is to take care of what he calls nature, of what we call creation.”

In the 'Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center' Pontifical Institute, experts and representatives of Judaism, Christianity and Islam analyzed the Holy Father's Encyclical. Among those present, was the Prefect of the Department for the Integral Human Development Service, Card. Peter Turkson.

Prefect - Dicastery for Integral Human Development Service
"When we talk about the environment, we are not just talking about the natural environment, but also about every set of environments, every set of conditions and situations that are conducive to the promotion of personal wellbeing. If we put all this together, we create an integral ecology: it is a natural, a human and a social reality and it is an invitation to peace.”

The document, intended for Christians and non-Christians, emphasizes that everyone is invited to build a common home and an integral ecology based on the balance between Creation and economic, political and social relations.

Director and founder of the Wasatia Academic Institute
"In the Islamic tradition, God created the earth and placed on it everything that man needs: perfection and balance. So, it is man's responsibility to take care of the earth, because it is created by God and everything that is done against it is an act against God: this is why, if we consider ourselves believers, it is important to do what God asks of us. God asks us to take care of mother earth and to live in peace with others. This is the Pope's message, which is a universal message.”

Director of International Interreligious Affairs AJC
"The encyclical of Pope Francis is a reflection of the Jewish biblical tradition, which teaches us the inexplicable link between the environment, society and our behavior. And if this behavior becomes immoral towards others or if it focuses only on our own interests, without caring and without assuming responsibility towards others, then our behavior will affect the entire system, it will destroy us and it will lead us to disastrous relationships.”

In Laudato Si ', Pope Francis emphasizes that global development is a challenge for everyone. We need international policies that promote a sustainable ecology in favor of the human being, with particular attention to the poorest. As the organizer, Br. Giorgio Vigna, indicated, the objective of the event was to sensitize and stimulate concrete actions.

Commission for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation - Custody of the Holy Land
"Our intention was to divulge Pope Francis' message to the Israeli and to the Arab societies, to promote its riches and its proposals, in the hope of being able to do more and to do it together, propagating a strong and urgent universal message.”