In these times of global shortages, those who hold the purse strings in the Vatican – the Jesuit Juan Antonio Guerrero Alves and Cardinal Reinhard Marx, prefects respectively of the secretariat for the economy and of the council for the economy – have issued urgent calls to the heads of the curia to be “sober” and to “cut the costs of conferences, travel abroad, external consultancy.”
But the celebrations for “Laudato Si’” are evidently an exception. Yesterday, Sunday May 24, the fifth birthday of the signing of the encyclical struck and a whole jubilee year was announced to celebrate it, with an endless program.
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To begin with, there has already been a prologue, “Laudato Si’ Week,” launched on 16 May with a video message from Pope Francis amid evocative images of zebras, camels and savannas, and crowned on Sunday the 24th with the common recitation throughout the world, at noon according to local time, of a prayer composed at the Vatican for the occasion, so that we may all “know how to listen and respond to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.”
Among those who took part in the preparatory week – with a multiplicity of local initiatives – the United States comes in first with 2,316 registrations, followed in the ranking by Italy, France, Spain, Argentina, Brazil and then other nations little by little, with China dead last with just one signup.
But there is more in store for them. Because at the end of the summer they will meet together in the “Season of Creation,” announced as in years passed from September 1, the world day of prayer for creation, to October 4, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, with the commitment to invent and put into practice over the span of those days acts of “reparation of our relationships with others and with all creation.”
This is an ecumenical initiative launched not only by Pope Francis but jointly by Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew, by Anglican archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, and by the outgoing secretary general of the Ecumenical Council of Churches, the Lutheran Olav Fyscke Tveit.
In the middle of the 2019 edition of the “Season of Creation,” on September 20, a global climate strike made headlines, with students from all over the world skipping school and with Greta Thunberg in the starring role. The strike is expected to have an encore this year.
But before the “Season of Creation” arrives, on the schedule for June at the Vatican are two initiatives of the dicastery for promoting integral human development headed by Cardinal Peter Turkson.
The first, on June 18, will consist of a web seminar – according to the jargon a “webinar” – with experts from all over the world, called to formulate “assessments” and plan “future journeys” inspired by “Laudato Si’.”
The second will be the publication of an “Inter-Dicasterial Text with Operational Guidelines” as a practical follow-up to the encyclical.
Other “webinars” unspecified in number and content have also been announced for the autumn, these too organized by the dicastery for the promotion of integral human development.
Not to mention the round table – not via the web but, it is hoped, with physical presences – that the Vatican will organize at the end of January in Davos, during the World Economic Forum that brings the who’s who of world powers together every year in the Swiss town.
At the beginning of the spring of 2021, a meeting is also on the agenda – but for now only at the “proposal” stage – among leaders of the various religions, also under the auspices of “Laudato Si’” and naturally with the pope.
All of it resulting in the concluding triduum, between May 20 and 22 of 2021, for this sort of jubilee year, during which an international conference will be held at the Vatican and a “Multi-Year Action Platform” inspired by the encyclical will be launched.
The final triduum will be gladdened with the voices and sounds of the “Living Chapel” created by Julian Revie in partnership with the United Nations and the Global Catholic Climate Movement, with a choir of children from disadvantaged areas of the world, with the songs of birds recorded in forests devastated by man, with sounds from oil barrels and other recycled materials, and with texts by Saint Francis and by the pope who took his name.
Not only that. The Vatican has announced that it will support the goal of the “Living Chapel” to “create natural gardens and sacred spaces” inspired by “Laudato Si’”; will promote the creation of a documentary film and an “immersive show” on the encyclical; will join the battle against polluting plastic materials; will support the organization “Laudato Tree” in planting one million new trees every year in the arid regions of Africa; and will launch on social media the first worldwide competition on reinterpreting the Bible in the light of “Laudato Si’.”
In addition, the Holy See will put to work a number of volunteer dioceses, parishes, families, schools, farms, etc in “a 7-year journey of integral ecology in the spirit of Laudato Si’,” with the aim of doubling the number of those engaged in it every year and so mobilizing “a critical mass needed for radical societal transformation invoked by Pope Francis.”
To individuals who distinguish themselves through their efforts in the various areas of activity, starting in 2021 the Vatican will assign a dozen “Laudato Si’” awards.
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But it’s not finished. On the agenda of the celebratory year announced a few days ago, two separate appointments were initially scheduled for this spring but then postponed until the autumn due to the coronavirus pandemic.
They are two events in which Pope Francis has invested a great deal, but which also reveal the most vulnerable point of his pontificate.
The first will be held on October 15 at the Vatican and is entitled “Reinventing the Educational Global Compact.”
It comes as no surprise that a pope like Jorge Mario Bergoglio would take so much to heart the education and training of the new generations, he who is part of the Society of Jesus, for centuries a great educator of ruling classes.
But what is striking is the total absence in his educational project of any Christian specificity.
In the video message with which Francis launched the initiative there is not the slightest verbal trace of God, Jesus, or the Church. The dominant formula is “new humanism,” with its accessories of “common home,” “universal solidarity,” “fraternity,” “convergence,” “welcome”… And the religions? These too lumped together and neutralized in an indistinct dialogue.
The novelty of this initiative of Francis consists precisely in the fact that it is the first time – in the history of the Church – that a pope has made his own and placed himself at the helm of a worldwide educational pact so radically secularized.
The second appointment is convened for November 21 in Assisi, has the title “The Economy of Francesco” (the saint, not the pope who bears his name) and has as its objective nothing less than “a pact to change the current economy of world.”
It will be “a festival of the economy of young people with the pope, a middle way between Greta Thunberg and the powerful of the earth,” according to the announcement by the main organizer, economist Luigino Bruni, a member of the Focolare movement and a consultant for the Vatican dicastery for the laity, family and life.
Among the figures who have already confirmed their presence will be the Malthusian economist Jeffrey Sachs, in this pontificate an inevitable guest of every Vatican event concerning the economy and ecology, Carlo Petrini, founder of Slow Food and formerly Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s personal guest at the synod for the Amazon, and the Indian environmentalist Vandana Shiva, as highly praised among the “popular movements” dear to the pope (she participated in their third world gathering) as she has been discredited by the scientific community worthy of the name.
Curiously, Vandana Shiva and Carlo Petrini were a few years ahead of their time in the condemnation of the sin of “ecocide” that Francis has said he wants to introduce into the catechism. In fact, in October of 2016, the two of them staged a symbolic trial in Holland, at the Hague, in which they convicted in absentia, precisely for that crime of “ecocide,” the biotech multinational Monsanto.
In this other initiative of Pope Francis as well there is a glaring absence of any specifically Christian feature, replaced by a generic alignment with the dominant agnostic ideology of environmentalism, pacifism, and individual rights.
It’s all happening as if the words “Laudato si’” of the canticle of Saint Francis have been purged of what comes next: “my Lord.”
Source: Settimo Cielo
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