The Laudato Si’ Action Platform was launched during a May 25 Vatican press conference closing Laudato Si’ Week (see the livestream).

The speakers, including Pope Francis and Cardinal Peter K.A. Turkson, invited the universal Church to undertake a seven-year journey to sustainability in the spirit of integral ecology. The ambitious plan includes seven goals and seven sectors within the Church to journey together.

At the close of the gathering, UN High-Level Climate Champion Nigel Topping affirmed the effort in video remarks, saying, “The Laudato Si’ Action Platform will be a massive contribution. This project is yet another sign of the commitment of the Church in line with the scale of the challenge we face.”

Explore the Laudato Si’ Action Platform

The Platform, viewed here, is a dynamic digital space to assist Catholics and all people of good will in discerning their response to the ecological crisis. Individuals and groups who anticipate joining the journey this year are being invited to pledge their commitment by October 4, 2021, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. A new cohort will launch each year around this time as momentum builds.

CMSM Justice and Peace Fellow Bethany Welch, who is serving on a Vatican Laudato Si’ working group for religious, along with Fr. Frank Donio, SAC, CMSM executive director, noted, “Each sector of society has an entry point for the platform and generous accompaniment along the way.”

The Union of Superiors General (USG) for male religious and the International Union of Superiors General (UISG) for women religious are coordinating the efforts of religious orders at the international level, with assistance from the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM). In the United States, CMSM is working collaboratively with staff of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and the U.S.-based Catholic Climate Covenant (CCC) to prepare materials, webinars, communication tools, and more to assist congregations.

Next Steps for U.S. Religious

On May 27, members of CMSM’s Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation Committee are meeting with LCWR representatives to discuss the platform and hear from Sr. Sheila Kinsey, executive co-secretary of the Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation Commission (JPIC) of the International Union of Superiors General on how religious orders in the United States can best move forward in the spirit of their own respective charisms and contexts.

This is a collaborative effort and a kairos moment to hear the cry of the earth. As Father Joshtrom Isaac Kureethadam said at the press conference, “our prayer and dream is to initiate ‘a people’s movement from below’ that can really bring about the radical change needed given the urgency of the crisis of our common home.”