+ Pope Francis
Goodbye Global Catholic Climate Movement. Welcome, Laudato Si’ Movement!
As one of the original founders of the Global Catholic Climate Movement, I was delighted to hear some weeks ago about what’s being announced today: That the Global Catholic Climate Movement, born in 2015 and later inspired by the publication of Pope Francis’s masterful eco-encyclical Laudato Si', was about to take a critical and natural step in its growth.
A Catholic movement made up of more than 800 organizations and thousands of Laudato Si’ Animators around the world, the GCCM spent 2020—the fifth anniversary of its founding—not just in lockdown because of COVID-19, but in the beginnings of a major discernment process about its identity, mission, name, and structures. According to the organization, the process developed in a synodal spirit, involving its members through several rounds of consultations.
One of the most important changes of this process has been the organization’s new mission statement: "To inspire and mobilize the Catholic community to care for our common home and to achieve climate and ecological justice.”
"It is important to note that the mission is being broadened to include the concept of ecological justice, based on the spirit of Laudato Si', where ‘everything is interconnected,’” said Dr. Lorna Gold from Ireland, Chair of the Board of Directors. “This new mission reflects a broader and more coherent vision with Laudato Si', which was the spark that motivated the founding of the movement in the beginning.”
The most noticeable change is the movement’s new name: Laudato Si' Movement, which was announced this morning with a moving array of voices from the past and today, including Cardinal Michael F. Czerny SJ, who noted in a special video presentation that each time the name is now said, it is not the statement of a corporate movement but it is indeed a prayer.
“The main reason, beyond the difficulties of the previous name which was too long, was that we felt that Global Catholic Climate Movement no longer represented what we were really doing,” said Tomás Insua, Executive Director and one of the co-founders of the movement. “From practically its beginning, the movement has developed its activities from the integral vision of Laudato Si', much broader than the climate crisis.”
Choosing the name was no easy task: a list of 25 possible names was submitted for consultation and voted on by hundreds of movement members, cardinals, and other Church leaders.
According to Yeb Saño, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the Philippines-based movement, after two years of discernment, confirmation of the new name came from Pope Francis himself.
"We sent the Pope a letter explaining the synodal process we had followed,” Saño said “and asking for his blessing to change the name. The Pope's response, in the form of a written message, came providentially on the eve of Pentecost, during this year's Laudato Si' Week.”
The handwritten note from Pope Francis reads: "To the Laudato Si' Movement: Thank you for the mission of promoting integral ecology and for the help you offer to the Church throughout the world. Happy Laudato Si' Week. Fraternally, Francis".
The Laudato Si' Movement thus reconfirms its identity as a global movement that brings together more than 800 Member Organizations and thousands of Laudato Si' Animators at the local level.
For more information about the movement and its activities, go to laudatosimovement.org.
This morning's rollout of the big news can be veiwed below.
In the News
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