We have been inviting Bishops from around England and Wales to share with us their thoughts on Laudato Si’ and ecological conversion. Here are the first 4 reflections recorded, with permission, at our “Living Laudato Si’: Your Parish and Your Planet” retreats which were hosted by Boarbank Hall (read more about them here). Due to the COVID 19 Pandemic these retreats were held online.
Bishop John Arnold shared some thoughts on the need for practical, individual and community-based responses to Laudato Si’. He emphasised that:
Bishop Richard Moth centred his talk around that idea that “all is gift”, that in order to care for our common home we must recognise the true value of the gift that we have been given by God through Creation.
Archbishop Malcolm McMahon spoke about the need for us all to undertake an ecological conversion; a conversion of heart that draws us closer to Jesus. He linked this conversion with the need to dialogue and dream with others about how we can build a better world.
Bishop Philip Egan spoke about the great spiritual traditions of Catholic theology that help us to understand that Care for Creation is at the centre of our tradition, from the book of Genesis into all aspects of Catholic Social Teaching.
Bishop Peter Brignall shared some ideas on the wealth of knowledge and spirituality that can be drawn from non-Catholic traditions, particularly that of Celtic Spirituality.
Archbishop John Wilson discussed the idea of the human soul in relation to our response to the ecological and social crises we see around us.
Archbishop Bernard Longley highlights the integral nature of humankind’s relationship with our surroundings, drawing upon the way that the Franciscan tradition is deeply embedded in Laudato Si’.
Bishop Marcus Stock reminded listeners of the importance to remember that our efforts are not alone and that all of our work should be grounded in the reality that God, as Creator, is actively working to protect and nurture Creation.
Bishop Patrick McKinney talked about circular economies and gave an overview of the environmental and social issues associated with the fast fashion industry, highlighting our personal and collective responsibilities to make a change in the way we shop.
Bishop Ralph Heskett shared his knowledge of the teachings of Redemptorist Saint Alphonsus Ligouri, drawing our attention to the fact that all of Creation is a gift, and we are in turn all challenged to cherish and care for this gift.
Bishop David Oakley spoke about pastoral theology and explored how Gaudium et Spes and the Second Vatican Council can help to illuminate our understanding of Laudato Si’. He emphasised that the process of dialogue, which was so essential to the creation of Gaudium et Spes, is key to addressing the ecological crisis.
Bishop Terry Drainey shared his thoughts on the personal responsibilities that Laudato Si’ challenges us all to consider in relation to care of Creation.