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Follow-On to Laudato Si Coming October 4
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In a significant development for environmental advocacy, Pope Francis has disclosed his intention to release a sequel to his groundbreaking 2015 encyclical, Laudato Si'. The announcement came on August 30th, during his general audience, where he revealed that the new document is scheduled for publication on October 4th, coinciding with the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi.
Photo credit: Gustavo Quepon
The forthcoming exhortation, often referred to as a "second Laudato SĂŹ," will be unveiled at the conclusion of a Vatican-backed ecumenical initiative spanning from September 1st to October 4th. This period, known as the Season of Creation, is set to commence on September 1st, which also marks the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. The thematic focus for this year's observance is "Let Justice and Peace Flow."
In his address to the public audience, Pope Francis urged unity among Christian adherents in the shared commitment to steward the environment as a divine bestowal. He emphasized the importance of standing in solidarity with those adversely affected by environmental and climate-related injustices. The pontiff strongly condemned the ongoing global disregard for the planet, likening it to a senseless and devastating war on the Earth, which he described as our collective home. Urging action, he implored individuals to engage in both diligent effort and prayer to revitalize the planet.
This recent revelation follows the Pope's earlier statement wherein he disclosed his plan to craft a follow-up to the Laudato Si' encyclical. The Holy See Press Office director, Matteo Bruni, confirmed that the Pope's new writing aims to update the encyclical's content to address contemporary environmental crises.
Laudato Si', the second in a trilogy of encyclicals issued during Pope Francis' tenure, was unveiled in June 2015. Its title, which translates to "Praise be to you," captures its central message, focusing on human ecology - a term initially coined by Pope Benedict XVI. Within its pages, the encyclical delves into subjects encompassing climate change, environmental preservation, and the safeguarding of human life and dignity.
During the August 30th announcement, Pope Francis disclosed that the sequel to Laudato Si' would take the form of an "exhortation." This category of papal documents includes pastoral writings that encourage the faithful to embrace certain virtues or take specific actions. Notably, Pope Francis has previously published five apostolic exhortations, including "Evangelii Gaudium" and "Amoris Laetitia," which have been well-received within the Catholic community.
Coincidentally, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi was chosen by Pope Francis as the release date for his most recent encyclical, "Fratelli Tutti," in 2020. This encyclical centers on themes of fraternity and social friendship, resonating with the saint's teachings and dedication to peace and unity.
In anticipation of the upcoming environmental exhortation, Catholics and individuals across the world await Pope Francis' guidance on addressing contemporary ecological challenges. The sequel to Laudato Si' is anticipated to offer renewed perspectives and insights, inspiring global efforts toward the preservation and restoration of our shared planet.
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