The Pope and us

Laudato Si

Joy and Wonder, and the fight for Justice

What a joy and wonder to have the Pope issue the Encyclical. While I, among with many people, thought he would be issuing a strong statement on climate, he actually did far more than that. He made the connection between climate, poverty, and a faithful life. The same connections which we made as the foundational thesis of the Symposium way back in 2013. Laudato Si – Praised Be. It is an encyclical on Justice for all, the immorality of poverty, and the moral duty of all peoples (not just Catholics!) to fight poverty in all it’s forms. It is about the God given planet we live on, and our moral, spiritual duty to cherish and protect all of nature. And it is about how climate disruption is a huge generator of poverty and a threat to God’s creation.

Often the best journeys, spiritual or secular, start without a clear end in sight. Thus it was with the Symposium. When Byron and I sat our my dining room table and created the original thesis for the symposium, we did not know where it would lead. We did not know that it was a transformational moment. We did not know that the symposium would engage, motivate, and move many people, participants and speakers (and steering committee members!). We did not know that our conversations in a little town in Vermont would alter and open the environmental movement nationally to speaking about faith. We did not know the extensions of the discussions and logic from our original thesis.

People who are true to any and every faith and spirituality have a deep and abiding concern for social justice and the care for future generations. Climate disruption is creating extreme social injustices, especially against our children and future generations. All people of any faith and spirituality are called, by their faith and spirituality, to work strongly against climate disruption as a demonstration of their faith and spirituality.

Pope Francis has now put quite a bit more color on this, but so have we. While we remain committed to this thesis, we have also expanded our thinking to encompass Justice more broadly. Because it turns out that a failure to create a Just world also creates most of the other problems of a modern society. At the symposium on August 8 – 9, we will be exploring this broader connection to Justice, as well as how to work together to address climate disruption, and how to maintain our motivation and the health of our inner being.

We look forward to talking with you there. You can Register Here.