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CELAM: Pastoral Letter on “common home and Laudato Si’”, “an integral view of Creation”

“Missionary disciples, custodians of the common home – Discernment in the light of the encyclical Laudato Si’” – this is the title of the Pastoral Letter of the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM), which is officially presented today in Bogota, the capital of Colombia, to the presidents and secretaries general of the Bishops’ Conferences of Latin America. An extensive document, received in advance by Sir news agency, in which Laudato Si’ is a constant reference which proposes a reflection on the safeguarding of Creation and the need for an integral ecology for Latin America.
As CELAM general secretary, Mgr. Juan Espinoza, auxiliary bishop of Morelia (Mexico), wrote in the presentation, the letter, divided into 144 paragraphs, starts with the conviction “that genuine development will not be achieved if we damage our common home, that is, our planet Earth, which is God’s Creation”. With the Pastoral Letter, “we, Latin American Bishops, in communion with Pope Francis, wish to ‘enter into dialogue with everyone about our common home’, particularly about the way in which we are building the future of our planet”.
Mgr. Espinoza wrote that it is necessary to look at Creation with “a loving eye” and from “an integral perspective”, one that “knows how to integrate the various aspects” and goes beyond the “green”, that is, the simple protection of the natural environment, to assume the polychromy” of life in its different aspects.
The Letter, after a first part dedicated to integral ecology viewed as a general guiding principle of the whole issue, dwells at length on the subject of the extraction activity and its impact on the continent, thereby suggesting consistency between Word and life and, finally, some operational criteria to concretely live an integral ecological conversion (chapter V).

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