Today too, dear brothers and sisters, our thoughts turn to Palestine and Israel. The number of victims is rising and the situation in Gaza is desperate. Please, let everything possible be done to avoid a humanitarian disaster. The possible widening of the conflict is disturbing, while so many war fronts are already open in the world. May weapons be silenced, and let us heed the cry for peace of the poor, the people, the children…
Brothers and sisters, war does not solve any problem: it sows only death and destruction, foments hate, proliferates revenge. War cancels out the future, it cancels out the future. I urge believers to take just one side in this conflict: that of peace. But not in words – in prayer, with total dedication.
With this in mind, I have decided to call for a day of fasting and prayer on Friday 27 October, a day of penance to which I invite sisters and brothers of the various Christian denominations, those belonging to other religions and all those who have at heart the cause of peace in the world, to join in as they see fit. That evening, at 18.00 at Saint Peter’s, we will spend an hour of prayer in a spirit of penance to implore peace in our time, peace in this world. (NB – This is 5pm UK time)
Earlier this year the Bishops of England and Wales issued a document on Migrants and Refugees. A talk on this document, Love the Stranger, was given by Liam Allmark of the Jesuit Refugee Service at Gidea Park parish. Please visit www.whatgoodnews.org to see the edited recording.
Eight years have passed since I published the Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’, when I wanted to share with all of you, my brothers and sisters of our suffering planet, my heartfelt concerns about the care of our common home. Yet, with the passage of time, I have realized that our responses have not been adequate, while the world in which we live is collapsing and may be nearing the breaking point”. (LD #2)
Thus begins “Laudate Deum” (Praise God), Pope Francis’ new exhortation, released today (4th October), which continues Laudato Si’s message.
In 2015 Pope Francis wrote his encyclical entitled ‘Laudato Si’ (Praise be). The title was based on the opening line of the Canticle of Creatures by St Francis of Assisi – Laudato Si mi’ Signore (Praise be to You, My Lord).
This encyclical is subtitled On Care for Our Common Home as it looks at the problems of our environment and the interlinked problem of the poor. In fact Pope Francis asks us to heed The Cry of the Earth and The Cry of the Poor.
Now on October 4th 2023 a follow up exhortation will be released entitled Laudate Deum (Praise God). To coincide with this (released on the feast day of St Francis of Assisi) we will have a meeting at church on 5th October (beginning with Evening Prayer at 7pm) to look briefly at Laudato Si and to give some information on Laudate Deum. We invite all to attend.
The Season of Creation continues to be celebrated across the globe. This week we discovered touching stories in the Philippines, where the Institute of Formation and Religious Studies gathered for a celebration; in a message from the Archbishop of Jakarta; in a prayer gathering in Rome; in a Pilgrimage for the Planet along the Thames River in London; and a tree planting at the Shrine of Our Lady of Huachana in Argentina, among so many other things that we don’t have time to tell you about!