Cardinal John’s Newsletter – 9 March 2017

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Dear Friends
Last Friday night and Saturday the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council met for the first of the four meetings we will have during this year. As usual we had a full agenda including reflecting again on LAUD-ATO SI, the Encyclical Letter of Pope Francis on Care for Our Common Home. This Letter was published on Pentecost Sunday almost two years ago. We went back to it because we wanted to make sure that the urgent message of the Holy Father is not being forgotten, that the challenge to “care for” the world’s natural re-sources is still being heard and that we are responding to his chal-lenges. Part of our discussion was about what we might be able to do as individuals, and also what influence we might have over our schools, colleges, parishes and families in the Archdiocese to ensure that we “come together to take charge of this home which has been entrusted to us.” (LS 244)

One of the interesting aspects of our discussion at the meeting was how a number of people said they had always known that there is an ecological crisis. They knew that we have a responsibility to care for the world which has been gifted to us, that parts of the world are in particular danger due to global warming, rising sea levels, de-forestation, lack of water and sanitation…BUT…they had never related these situations to their faith. That is the beauty and wonder of this Encyclical. Pope Francis makes it very clear that God is the Creator, the world and its resources are given to us to care for, not to plunder and abuse, we have a responsibility to make sure that there are enough natural resources for the coming genera-tions. Using the words of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Pope reminds us: “For human beings…..to destroy the biologi-cal diversity…by causing changes in its climate…; to contaminate the earth’s waters, its land, its air, and its life – these are sins.” (LS 8) Then he says the appropriate response to this is what St John Paul II had already called for ,“a global ecological conver-sion.” (LS 5)

Laudato Si is an urgent and important letter. Maybe this Penitential Season of Lent is the time for all of us (it is for me anyway) an op-portunity to examine how I use resources, how I care for “our Com-mon Home” and what I am doing about it practically.
How can you use this Lent to be more aware of the fragility of our planet and what you are doing to care for it?

Ngā mihi nui

+ John

The full newsletter can be viewed here.