The health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us of our fragility and our limits. With pain, we have seen the death of so many people, no one has been left out, nor has anyone been spared from this international emergency, so it is certain that everything is intimately related. Despite the uncertainty, we do not lose hope. Today, more than ever, we have the opportunity to think about a possible new world. In this context, we believe that the teachings of the Encyclical Laudato Si’ can offer a more human and fraternal framework for thinking about an integral and more just development for the whole human race.
Since, as Franciscans, we cannot remain on the side-lines of peaceful, non-violent transformation, but rather be active, creative and courageous participants in it. Pope Francis, building on the teachings of St. John Paul II and his call for ecological conversion, calls us to respond to “the urgent need for us to move forward in a bold cultural revolution” (LS.114). Amid so many crises, our contemporary civilization needs the Franciscan vision of the world and values. We cannot bury them, but rather take creative and courageous risks so that we can become troubadours of hope, artisans of a new, transformed society, and be living parables of the Kingdom of God.
“Since everything is closely interrelated, and today’s problems call for a vision capable of taking into account every aspect of the global crisis, I suggest that we now consider some elements of an integral ecology, one which clearly respects its human and social dimensions.”
(Pope Francis, LS. 137)