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Dear brothers and sisters,

With the Encyclical Laudato si’, promulgated in 2015, I invited all people of good will to take care of the Earth, which is our common home. For a long time now, this house that hosts us suffers as a result of wounds that we cause by our predatory attitude, which makes us feel that we are masters of the planet and its resources, and authorizes us to make irresponsible use of the goods God has given us. Today, these wounds manifest themselves dramatically in an unprecedented ecological crisis, which involves the ground, air, water and, in general, the ecosystem in which human beings live. The current pandemic has now brought to light in an even stronger way the cry of nature and that of the poor who suffer the consequences the most, highlighting that everything is interconnected and interdependent and that our health is not separate from the health of the environment in which we live.

Therefore, we need a new ecological approach that can transform our way of inhabiting the world, our lifestyles, our relationship with the Earth’s resources and, in general, our way of looking at humanity and of living life. An integral human ecology, which involves not only environmental questions but also mankind in its entirety, becomes capable of listening to the cry of the poor and of being leaven for a new society.

We have a great responsibility, especially with regard to future generations. What world do we want to leave to our children and our young people? Our selfishness, our indifference and our irresponsible ways are threatening the future of our children! I therefore renew my appeal: let us take care of our mother Earth; let us overcome the temptation of selfishness that makes us predators of resources; let us cultivate respect for the gifts of the Earth and of creation; let us inaugurate a lifestyle and a society that is finally eco-sustainable: we have the opportunity to prepare a better tomorrow for all. From God’s hands we have received a garden, we cannot leave a desert to our children.

In this context, on 24 May 2020 I proclaimed the Laudato Si’ Year, the organization of which was entrusted to the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. I thank all those who have celebrated this year with many initiatives. Today I am pleased to announce that the Laudato Si’ Year will result in a concrete action project, the Laudato Si’ Action Platform, a seven-year journey that will see our communities committed in different ways to becoming totally sustainable, in the spirit of integral ecology.

I would therefore invite everyone to embark on this journey together, and in particular I address these seven environments: families — parishes and dioceses — schools and universities — hospitals — businesses and farms — organizations, groups and movements — religious institutes. Work together. Only in this way will we be able to create the future we want: a more inclusive, fraternal, peaceful and sustainable world.

On a journey that will last for seven years, we will let ourselves be guided by the seven aims of Laudato si’, which will show us the direction while we pursue the vision of integral ecology: the response to the cry of the Earth, the response to the cry of the poor, the ecological economy, the adoption of a simple way of life, ecological education, ecological spirituality and community engagement.

There is hope. We can all collaborate, each one with his own culture and experience, each one with her own initiatives and capacities, so that our mother Earth may be restored to her original beauty and creation may once again shine according to God’s plan.

God bless each one of you, and bless our mission to rebuild our common home. Thank you.

L'Osservatore Romano, Weekly Edition in English, 28 May 2021

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