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Ecology in the COVID-19 crisis: Ecojesuit seeking a dialogue for change

27 May 2020
Two sides of the COVID-19 lockdown: Embracing the regenerative power of nature/Embracing the reality of climate change by preparing for its impacts while seriously seeking reduction in GHG emissions. (Entries for #SketchingforChange2020, Drawing Laudato Si’: Elizabeth Carranza (photo) and Jaymee Duran/JMEAD Arts Factory (artwork))

There is anticipation of a new normal as the world tries to get back on its feet from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic that has reached to date a staggering 5.5 million cases of infection, 346,000 deaths, and 2.2 million recoveries in 188 countries. We are challenged to make this recovery a new normal, but as the world and economies open up, we are seemingly online to a slow normal. Indications are emerging that while responses to the crisis are genuine, the strategies are not changing and there is still the inability to grapple with the extent of the problem. National and regional recovery responses still do not reckon the “global-ness” of the problem and “business as usual” is still a sustained mantra, even as an economic development at all costs opened a Pandora’s box and the Shakespearean wish of “a pox on both your houses” has found its mark. The ecological context of the current crisis may not be widely discussed but there should be recognition that the continuous breaching of the planetary boundaries, particularly habitat destruction and biodiversity loss through disastrous land use changes from the Amazon to Australia, has made COVID-19 and future pandemics and seasonal
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Healing a broken world and Father Nicolás, five years before Laudato Si’

26 May 2020

Five years before Laudato Si’ was released, Father Adolfo Nicolás SJ, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, convoked a task force on ecology in 2010 composed of Jesuits and lay collaborators. Their task: to respond to an important concern identified in the 35th General Congregation (GC 35) that Jesuits cannot remain indifferent to – the situation of widespread environmental destruction threatening our planet’s future. The result is a document, Healing a Broken World, published by the Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat and released in September 2011, with suggestions to examine personal lives, community lifestyles, and institutional practices. Ecojesuit shares some sections of the document below, appreciating deeply what Fr Nicolás did in following through GC 35’s response to the ecological concern. Fr Nicolás wrote, “(j)ust as we Jesuits are called to promote and serve right relationships not only with God and with other human beings, in the same way and with the same urgency, we are called today to restore and heal humanity’s broken relationships with creation.” Healing a Broken World Part of the Society’s mission, as emphasized by General Congregation 35 (GC 35), is to respond to ecological or environmental challenges, “to appreciate more deeply our covenant with creation”
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Everything is connected

Lindy Brasher This year marks the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home and to mark the occasion, the Vatican named 16 to 24 May 2020 as Laudato Si’ Week. The theme for this special week is “everything is connected.” One might ask, “How can everything be...


Singing the Lord’s song in a strange land: Laudato Si’ and COVID-19

Fr John Webootsa MCCJ The coronavirus pandemic highlights in a striking way our vulnerability as humans, what we have in common with each other and with other creatures. For a very long time we are suffering a common pandemic as a human family. No human, no creature is excluded from this situation. However, this...

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