Catholic Education Melbourne’s response to Care
for our Common Home
In response to Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’, the Religious Education
Conference has gone green.
We have sought to make this Religious Education Conference a
practical and visible witness to living sustainably on our God-given planet. Therefore, we will be providing all information and resources through an online
platform for delegates to access on smart devices. Wherever possible, we have
sought out suppliers whose practices align with these teachings and we have
tried to consider all aspects of this conference for its social and
Pope Francis in his encyclical Laudato Si’ reminds us that as Christians we are called by God to
be trustees of this planet. We need to treat it and everything on it with
respect, as it is created by God.
destruction of the human environment is extremely serious, not only because God
has entrusted the world to us men and women, but because human life is itself a
gift which must be defended from various forms of debasement. Every effort to
protect and improve our world entails profound changes in “lifestyles, models
of production and consumption, and the established structures of power which
today govern societies’ (Pope Francis, Laudato
Si’ 2015, n. 5).
Many of us recognise that by
living the way we currently do, we are impacting negatively on the environment
and on the lives of those who depend on it for their own survival. We have not
yet realised the full impact of living a throw-away lifestyle, not only on
future generations, but on our existing human population. Water pollution,
deforestation and soil erosion are side effects of our growing need for cheaper
and newer products.
Another is the impact of environmental damage on the lives
of people who produce these products. Many of these communities have to live in
substandard conditions, with limited access to education, medical assistance or
support to improve their living conditions because of the economic power of
many big businesses and their relentless drive for profit. Our current
lifestyle has severe repercussions on the environment and our global social,
economic and political stability.
Pope Francis reminds us in his encyclical that ‘humanity is called to
recognise the need for changes of lifestyle, production and consumption, in
order to combat this warming or at least the human causes which produce or
aggravate it’ (n. 23) Catholic Social Teaching makes this call clear with its
emphasis on the dignity of the human person, solidarity, the common good, the
preferential option for the poor and our responsibility to be stewards of
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