The YCW in England and Wales have welcomed the publication of the Laudato Si', the latest encyclical from Pope Francis. The document is a fervent exhortation to people across the world to realise that care for creation and the world in which we live is entwined with our care for each other and the future generations.
The Holy Father correctly identifies the desire that young people possess to see change in the world, something that YCW members are already acutely aware of.
The document sets out the problems in the current situation of the world around us, before reminding us of our Christian duty to care for creation and each other as set out in the Scriptures and other Church teaching. Pope Francis then offers us some practical solutions to how we change our attitudes and care for one another. This is evidently rooted in the See, Judge, Act methdology of our founder, Joseph Cardijn.
In a section entitled, 'the need to protect employment', Pope Francis highlights that any talk of ecology must not exclude human beings and that it is extremely important that we take into account the value of human labour. He states, 'We were created with a vocation to work. The goal should not be that technological progress increasingly replace human work, for this would be detrimental to humanity. Work is a necessity, part of the meaning of life on this earth, a path to growth, human development and personal fulfilment.'
Phil Callaghan, National President, responded, 'This encyclical is an important addition to the rich social thought of the Church. Pope Francis highlights the sacred nature of human work and how this is intrinsically linked to the way in which we think about our ecology.' He continued, 'The Holy Father understands the change that young people long to see, an economic solution which is centred around the protection of the world and which fully recognises the dignity of human life and work."
You can read and download Laudato Si' on the Vatican website: http://m.vatican.va/content/dam/francesco/pdf/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si_en.pdf