In 2015 Pope Francis released his encyclical, LAUDATO SI’: ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME. It is probably the most overt sustained focus on the environment of any Papal encyclical. Reflecting on the current environmental crisis, Pope Francis calls everyone to unify around radical environmental, social, and cultural change to protect the possibility of life on Earth. Drawing from numerous Catholic sources – most notably, his namesake Saint Francis of Assisi, as well as Benedict XVI – he uses the phrase “ecological conversion” to describe having a healthy relationship with creation which would allow us to recognize our errors, sins, faults and failures and lead to heartfelt repentance and desire to change. In the encyclical Pope Francis is signaling the need for thorough-going and deep transformation of Catholicism, away from anthropocentrism and toward an “integral ecology”. In the opening words of Chapter 4 of the encyclical: “Since everything is closely interrelated, and today’s problems call for a vision capable of taking into account every aspect of the global crisis, I suggest that we now consider some elements of an integral ecology“.
An Oxford-based Laudato si’ research institute “conducts cutting-edge multidisciplinary research for societal transformation on the most pressing ecological and social issues of our day”.