Laudato Si’ Movement and the countless other organizations leading creation care efforts around the world are part of a “renewal movement” taking place throughout the global Catholic Church, said Dr. Erin Lothes in the latest Laudato Si’ Movement podcast.
“It’s beautiful to see ourselves as a renewal movement in the Church that is led by the Spirit to place care for creation at the center of what we do because we are living in a crisis time where clearly things are going very wrong, and it’s time for that renewal,” she said.
Dr. Lothes, an associate professor of theology at Saint Elizabeth’s University (New Jersey, USA), also serves as a Senior Program Manager of the Laudato Si’ Animators program with Laudato Si’ Movement (formerly Global Catholic Climate Movement).
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She said the recent name change makes clear what’s at the center of this Spirit-led movement.
“The name change points to the centrality of eco-conversion, that what’s at the heart of our movement is a renewal of Church life to focus on the care for the poor and the care for the Earth as central to Christian discipleship,” Lothes said.
“We’re rooted in the call to praise God, Laudato Si’, praised be, in harmony with all the creatures for the sake of a more sustainable, flourishing, just society. And it’s not just about achieving technological change to remedy the climate crisis; it’s about a renewal of our ways of life so that we are living in balance with all of God’s creation.”
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In a wide-ranging conversation, Lothes remembered her feelings when Pope Francis chose his name — “Earth-shaking exciting news” — why she cried when she first read Laudato Si’, and how Laudato Si’ Movement has surpassed her most outlandish of expectations.
“I had no idea it would grow as it has. It’s just astounding to see the size of the movement, the reach of the movement, its growth over the entire globe, its presence among young people, older people, families, children, parishes,” she said.