Vatican marks 'Laudato Si'' anniversary with new website

By Cindy Wooden

ROME (CNS) — Marking the first anniversary of Pope Francis’
encyclical on the environment, the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
launched a new website dedicated to the document and efforts around the world
to put its teaching into practice.

The site —
— “witnesses not only to the impact of the encyclical, but also the
creativity and generosity of the people of God everywhere in the world,”
said Cardinal Peter Turkson,
council president.

The council celebrated the first anniversary of the
document, “Laudato Si’,” June 20 with a small conference at Rome’s Basilica of St. Mary in

Figueres, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, in a
video message, said that as scientists, governments, economists and concerned
citizens were pushing for an international agreement to combat climate change,
Pope Francis’ encyclical provided the “moral imperative to take bold

Published six months before the Paris summit on climate
change, she said, the pope’s document raised the issue in “the hearts and
minds of hundreds of millions of people who may not otherwise have considered
climate in their daily lives.”

The science and economics of change to protect the
environment are essential, Figueres said, but “the guidance of our moral
compass” is what will made a difference.

Athenagoras Fasiolo, an Orthodox pastor in Treviso, presented the Italian
edition of the book, “Cosmic
Grace, Humble Prayer: The
Ecological Vision of the Green Patriarch Bartholomew I.”

Pope Francis’ encyclical and the collected environmental
reflections of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, he said,
show that “the Holy Spirit does not cease to work without interruption in
his church,” inspiring leaders to teach care for “all the work of

Father Michael Czerny, an official at the justice and peace council,
told Catholic News Service, “Laudato Si'” does not tell people what
to think, but guides them through the complexities of the issue of climate
change and care for creation, and calls them to reflect on their response.

“The variety and intensity of debate” within and
outside the church, he said, “is a very healthy response” because the
pope wrote the encyclical to contribute to the debate and dialogue.

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