(Brussels) How can we invite people to join us on the path “towards a change of lifestyles” to protect the environment? This is the question that participants in the second “Laudato Si’ Reflection Day” will try to answer. The event, which will take place on 12 June (from 10am to 4.30pm at the COMECE office, 19 Sq. De Meeus), is jointly organised by COMECE, CCEE, CIDSE, GCCM, Justice & Peace Europe, and JESC. The focus this year will be on “ecological conversion”, which is intended not only as a spiritual change, but also as a change of lifestyle. There are “initiatives and projects that are already trying to live this necessary change, however small”, the organisers explained. “It is these examples that can convince us rather than big words” that “a ‘good life’ is not necessarily just a vision, but that it can be achieved, step by step”. The starting point cannot be “how to safeguard the existing wealth in our societies”, but rather to define what a “good life” is. Hence, our reflection should not focus on the “loss of the existing” but should be seen as an “opportunity for something new”. The reflection day will be introduced by the general secretaries of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the EU (COMECE) and of Justitia et Pax Europe. After a discussion on the “political challenges and expectations for the next five years”, examples of good Church practices will be presented (green Churches, the management of the headquarters of a Bishops’ Conference, in the family…). Discussion will then focus on sustainability goals for 2030 and the project of a “European Laudato Si Alliance”.
Tomorrow, 6 June, the COMECE Standing Committee (the president, Mgr. Hollerich, with the vice-presidents and general secretary) will be in Rome to meet Card. Parolin and Mgr. Gallagher. They will then be received in audience by Pope Francis. Topics to be discussed may include: Europe, the EU election results, the environment and digitization. The audience with the Pope will take place at 11.30am