“We cannot afford to be slow learners on the vital issue of sustaining creation” – Bishop Martin Hayes

22 May 2022

  • Form eco-awareness groups and register for webinar on the Laudato Si’ film-documentary The Invitation

Next week is Laudato Si’ Week marking the seventh anniversary of the publication of the bestselling and accessible encyclical letter by Pope Francis addressing everyone’s responsibility to care for our common home.  Ahead of Laudato Si’ Week, Bishop Martin Hayes highlighted that Laudato Si’ remains central to the universal Church’s blueprint for climate action. 

Bishop Hayes said, “The valuable guidance offered to society by Laudato Si’ is once again evidenced by the report, in April, of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shows that global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise.  It is past the time to call on others to begin to limit use of fossil fuels, we now need to make rapid transformation to avoid the worst effects of climate impact.

“This reality was to the fore during discussions at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow which I attended last November.  For the sake of our future generations we cannot afford to be slow learners on the vital issue of sustaining creation.  But we can act now.  For example, changes in lifestyle and behaviours can have a significant role on mitigating climate change, particularly by limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius through carbon removal.  If we wish to limit warming to below two degrees Celsius, then climate finance for mitigation must be provided at a level of three to six times higher* by the year 2030.”

Bishop Hayes continued, “As people of faith we are called to be custodians of God’s creation, ‘this is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience’ (Laudato Si, 217).  On this the seventh anniversary of its publication, I strongly encourage all people to read Laudato Si’ and inform themselves of their faith-based ecological obligation.

“At parish level, I urge the faithful to reflect on the message of Laudato Si and to form eco-awareness groups to help the Church apply its content in practice.  For those who wish to pursue a deeper understanding of Laudato Si’, I encourage you to sign up to the Laudato Si’ Action Platform on https://laudatosiactionplatform.org/ and I invite all to register for the webinar on the Laudato Si’ film-documentary The Invitation, which will be broadcast on 27 May at 1.00pm,” Bishop Hayes concluded.


Notes for editors

  • Bishop Martin Hayes is Bishop of Kilmore and the coordinating bishop for Laudato Si.  Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’ on care for our common home, was published in 2015 and become a worldwide bestseller.  The encyclical is developed around the concept of integral ecology: as a paradigm to articulate the fundamental relationships of the person: with God, with one’s self, with other human beings, and with creation.
  • *Source https://www.wri.org/
  • Trócaire will be partnering with the Laudato Si’ Movement in order to bring The Invitationto Ireland.  There will be local screenings in parish communities, churches, schools community centres, universities, and retreat centres.  
  • As part of Laudato Si’ Week activities, footage from the film will be shown to the general public for the first time during a webinar hosted by the Laudato Si’ Movement.  The event will not be recorded and clips won’t be shared afterwards, so this is a great opportunity for an inside look at the film.  The webinar will take place at 1.00pm Irish time on 27 May 2022, and you can register on https://laudatosiweek.org/event/laudato-si-movie-presentation/ 

For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long +353 (0) 86 172 7678