St Augustine College is Proud to Incorporate the Vision of the Laudato Si’ Action Plan as part of its 2023 Philosophy and Peace Studies Curriculum
The involvement of St Augustine College with the Laudato Si' Action Platform, an initiative of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, is a commitment to adopting an ecological worldview that addresses the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor as in reality one interconnected cry. By aligning with this initiative, the College aims to offer real and lasting solutions to the ecological crisis and encourage concrete actions to protect our common home.
St Augustine College of South Africa is incorporating the vision of the Laudato Si' Action Plan into its 2023 Philosophy and Peace Studies Curriculum. The Laudato Si' Action Plan, inspired by Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si', emphasizes the importance of integral ecology, where the interconnectedness between humanity, the Earth, and all living beings is recognized and prioritized. The vision is to create a world that embraces all beings as part of a common home.
A statement by St. Augustine College highlights its involvement in the Laudato Si' Action Platform in South Africa, affirming its belief in the importance of adopting an integral ecological worldview that considers the interconnectedness between humanity, the Earth, and all living beings.
Laudato Si’ Tools and Resources
The Laudato Si’ Action Platform offers tools and resources for a journey towards total sustainability in the spirit of integral ecology. It offers real and lasting solutions to the ecological crisis. This ever-growing program supports participants to develop tailored Laudato Si’ Action Plans to accomplish one purpose: Concrete actions to protect our common home.
In his 2015 encyclical, Laudato Si', Pope Francis refers to Saint Francis of Assisi who held that “our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. This sister now cries out because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life.”
In 1971 Pope Paul VI referred to the ecological concern as “a tragic consequence” of unchecked human activity: “Due to an ill-considered exploitation of nature, humanity runs the risk of destroying it and becoming in turn a victim of this degradation”.
In the Encyclical, Pope Francis quotes Patriarch Bartholomew: “For human beings… to destroy the biological diversity of God’s creation; for human beings to degrade the integrity of the earth by causing changes in its climate, by stripping the earth of its natural forests or destroying its wetlands; for human beings to contaminate the earth’s waters, its land, its air, and its life – these are sins.”
“We Need a New and Universal Solidarity”
Says Pope Francis: “Bartholomew has drawn attention to the ethical and spiritual roots of environmental problems, which require that we look for solutions not only in technology but in a change of humanity; otherwise we would be dealing merely with symptoms. He asks us to replace consumption with sacrifice, greed with generosity, wastefulness with a spirit of sharing, an asceticism which “entails learning to give, and not simply to give up. It is a way of loving, of moving gradually away from what I want to what God’s world needs. It is liberation from fear, greed and compulsion.”
“We need a new and universal solidarity” says Pope Francis in his appeal for the protection of our planet – our common home – by the human family “to seek a sustainable and integral development. It is precisely the lineaments of such a new worldview that the academic programmes and short courses offered at St Augustine College aim to trace and disseminate.
Waste and the throwaway culture
Further issues dealt with by the Laudato Si’ Action Platform includeare:
· Pollution and climate change, including global warming, the growing concern about the depletion of natural water sources, the loss of biodiversity, inequality, decline in the quality of human life, the breakdown of society, and the waste of a throwaway culture.
· An awareness of the gravity of today’s cultural and ecological crisis that must be translated into new habits.
· The rich heritage of Christian spirituality that has a precious contribution to make to the renewal of humanity.
· The need to regain the conviction that people need one another, that they have a shared responsibility for others and the world, and that being good and decent is worthwhile.
Integral Ecology is a way of thinking about these issues that is firmly rooted in the core values of the Christian tradition, while being applicable to many contemporary societal issues, and specifically to Peace Studies and peace building as personal, communal and societal practice.
St Augustine College is proud to be part of the Laudato Si’ Action Plan in South Africa.
“It is our firm conviction that what the world needs is a conversion to an integral ecological worldview. A worldview that is radically relational, that is as open to the cry of the earth as to the cry of the poor; a worldview that strives to make practical the vision of the world as a common home for all beings. From 2023 onwards St Augustine’s offerings in Philosophy and Peace Studies will also reflect this vision.”
· The Laudato Si’ Action Platform (https://laudatosiactionplatform.org/)
· Watch the address of Pope Francis (https://youtu.be/VfCBmJugoMg)
· Read about St Augustine College (https://www.staugustine.ac.za/latest-news/)