At a press conference held in the Vatican’s Sala Stampa on the morning of Thursday, May 25, during Laudato Si’ Week, Pope Francis’ Message for the Day of Creation (World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation), which is celebrated every September 1 and kicks off the ecumenical celebration of the Season of Creation, was presented.

“In this Season of Creation, let us dwell on these heartbeats: our own, those of our mothers and grandmothers, the heartbeat of the created heart and that of God’s heart. Today they are not in harmony, they do not beat together in justice and peace. Many are prevented from drinking from this vigorous river. Let us listen then to the call to stand with the victims of environmental and climate injustice, and to put an end to this senseless war against creation,” Francis said in his message.

The Pontiff spoke seriously about war, the “rivers that are drying up,” the “unbridled burning of fossil fuels and the destruction of forests,” which “are raising temperatures and causing great droughts,” and he longed “for our common home to overflow with life once again.”

The press conference was attended by Cardinal Michael Czerny, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development; Tomás Insua, Executive Director of Laudato Si’ Movement; and Dr. Cecilia Turbitosi, Laudato Si’ Animator of the Circle of the Sacred Heart of Ladispoli, and volunteer of the Missionary Center of the Diocese of Porto-Santa Rufina.

WATCH: The video that calls us to work together during this this SOC

“How can we contribute to the mighty river of justice and peace during this Season of Creation? What can we, especially as Christian Churches, do to heal our common home so that it will teem with life once again?” the Pope asks in his message and gives a simple answer: “We must decide to transform our hearts, our lifestyles and the public policies that govern our society.”

He also urged the implementation of “ecological respect” in four directions: “towards God, towards our fellow men and women of today and tomorrow, towards all of nature and towards ourselves.”

“In this Season of Creation, as followers of Christ on our common synodal journey, may we live, work and pray so that our common home may once again teem with life,” urged Card. Czerny at the press conference.

Tomás Insua, for his part, highlighted the “prophetic” dimension of the Pope’s message, which “does not mince its words”, but reaffirms the “dramatic urgency of the climate emergency”. That is why Francis has a “model of moral leadership”.

WATCH: The full press conference in English and Italian 

Participate in the Season of Creation by including the 2023 theme and symbol (“A mighty river”) in Sunday liturgies or at a community prayer service; denouncing the impacts of climate injustice to national government leaders; and participating in global events, in particular, the upcoming June 5 launch of the 2023 Celebration Guide.

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