Argentinian Jesuit reflects on the encyclical “Laudato Si”

(Vatican Radio)  Father Augusto Zampini is an Argentinian Jesuit priest and moral theologian who knew and worked with Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio in Buenos Aires.  He says the encyclical “Laudato Si” reflects the Pope’s personality and his experience of ministering to the poor in the shantytowns of the Argentinian capital.

Reading the encyclical, Father Zampini said he could hear the Pope’s voice and how he is talking “on behalf of those who are marginalized” and also sense his “hope for a better world.”  He said the Pope’s experience of working with the poor in Buenos Aires was very important and helped shape his thoughts in the encyclical on issues like global inequality, poverty and exclusion.

Fight for vested interests

Asked about the Pope’s stated desire to release his encyclical in plenty of time before a key UN summit on climate change in Paris, Father Zampini said this was a “deliberate” move because Pope Francis wants “to have a say” and also include “the voice of the voiceless” in these crucial negotiations that will help decide the future of our planet.  He conceded, however, that some people in powerful positions won’t want to accept the Pope’s appeal for a constructive dialogue on the issue of climate change and instead will “fight for their own vested interests.”

An ecological conversion

When it comes to the encyclical’s lasting impact, Father Zampini believed this “inspiring document” will have a two-fold impact: both on the upcoming UN negotiations on climate change and also within the Church where he hopes it will trigger a “transformation… and the beginning of an ecological conversion within Catholic communities worldwide.”

One thought on “Argentinian Jesuit reflects on the encyclical “Laudato Si”

  1. He conceded, however, that some people in powerful positions won’t want to accept the Pope’s appeal for a constructive dialogue on the issue of climate change and instead will “fight for their own vested interests.”

    I haven’t the foggiest idea who these people might be, except perhaps:
    Politicians who have talked about the danger of ‘climate change’ so much that they can’t see any way of backing down in the face of the data which proves them wrong;
    Academics whose research is funded by governments who only fund research into the ‘danger’ of climate change;
    NGOs whose aims are furthered by promoting the ‘dangers’ of climate change.

    However, what is pretty certain is that the Pope’s appeal for a constructive dialogue will fall on deaf ears when it comes to those people I have just mentioned. These are the very people who constantly refuse to debate the science of climate change. They attempt to shut down debate at every opportunity. Some of them even attempt to stop people with a different viewpoint being able to express that viewpoint in the media.

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