Interreligious Responses to Laudato Si

A Fifth Anniversary Celebration and Reaffirmation of Pope Francis' Encyclical on Care for Our Common Home

October 29-30, 2020
Location: Online Zoom Webinar

“The cry of the earth and of the poor cannot continue.” This is the urgent message that Pope Francis is reiterating on the fifth anniversary of his pivotal 2015 encyclical, Laudato Si: On Care for our Common Home. Its title, Laudato Si (“Praise be to you”), are the opening words of an often-prayed hymn of praise of God, the earth, and all her creatures by St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226), whom Pope Francis identifies as “the example par excellence of care for the vulnerable and of an integral ecology.” Resonating that same urgent message, this conference, encouraged by Pope Francis’ officials at the Holy See, drew attention to the even greater urgency of this universally significant document in its fifth anniversary year and how its message resounds across religious traditions. In his 2020 encyclical Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis draws from Laudato Si: “In this shallow, short-sighted culture that we have created, bereft of a shared vision, ‘it is foreseeable that, once certain resources have been depleted, the scene will be set for new wars…’” This event convened voices from Pope Francis’ staff in Rome and from diverse religious traditions and various agencies to encourage discernment, cooperation, and policy development for an integral ecology.

The program consisted of three online sessions over two days. On October 29 Cardinal Miguel Ayuso, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, delivered the keynote address in the first session after words of welcome from Dr. John J. DeGioia, president of Georgetown University. Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim, co-founders and co-directors of the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology, offered reflections after Cardinal Ayuso’s address. In a subsequent session, Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu representatives reflected on how Laudato Si resonates in their religious traditions. On October 30, representatives of various agencies and organizations structured to connect religious communities on environmental issues explored how multireligious cooperation enhances care of the earth and the vulnerable.

This event was co-sponsored by Georgetown University's Office of the President; Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs; and Office of the Vice President for Global Engagement with the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale University.


Thursday, October 29, 2020

10:00 – 11:45 a.m. EDT | How Laudato Si Moves Interreligious Dialogue Forward

Welcome: Dr. John J. DeGioia, President, Georgetown University

Keynote Address: Cardinal Miguel Ayuso, President, Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue

Moderator: John Borelli, Georgetown University

Reflections: Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim, Yale University

1:00 – 2:45 p.m. EDT | How Laudato Si Resonates among Religious Traditions

Muhammad Faruque, University of Cincinnati
Vasudha Narayanan, University of Florida
Kyoichi Sugino, Religions for Peace; Rissho Kosei-kai
Mary Evelyn Tucker, Yale University (moderator)

Friday, October 30, 2020

10:00 – 11:45 a.m. EDT | Implementation of Laudato Si: A Call for Multireligious Collaboration

Rabbi Ellen Bernstein, Shomrei Adamah ("Keepers of the Earth")
Rev. John Chryssavgis, Archdeacon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate
Iyad Abumoghli, United Nations Environment Programme
Rev. Joshtrom Kureethadam, Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development
Peter Marra, Georgetown University (moderator)

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