Appleton, WI

Oct 29: Day by Day with Father Bill


On October 10, Pope Francis participated in the virtual TED [Technology, Education, Design] Countdown Global Launch. I would like to share with you some of the highlights of the Holy Father’s address.

I would like to propose three courses of action. As I wrote in Laudato Si, the change and the right orientation for our journey of integral ecology require first that we all take an educational step. So, my first suggestion is to promote, at every level, an education geared towards the care of our common home, developing the understanding that environmental problems are linked to human needs…An education based on scientific data and on an ethical approach…I am encouraged by the fact that many young people already show a new ecological and social awareness, and many of them fight generously for the defense of the environment and for justice. As a second proposal, we must focus on water and nutrition. Access to safe and drinkable water is an essential and universal human right. It is essential because it determines the survival of people and therefore is a condition for the exercise of all other rights and responsibilities. Providing adequate nutrition for all, through non-destructive farming methods, should become the main purpose of the entire cycle of food production and distribution. The third suggestion is about energy transition: a gradual replacement, but without delay, of fossil fuels with clean energy sources. We only have a few years. Scientists estimate approximately less than thirty to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. Not only must this transition be quick and capable of meeting present and future energy needs, it also must be attentive to the impact on the poor, on local populations, as well as on those who work in the energy production sectors…the Earth must be worked and nursed, cultivated and protected. We cannot continue to squeeze it like an orange. And we can say that taking care of the Earth is a human right…Integral ecology implies a renewed politics, conceived as one of the highest forms of charity. Yes, love is interpersonal, but love is also political. It involves all peoples and it involves Nature. I invite all of you to embark on this journey, that I proposed in Laudato Si and also in my new encyclical Fratelli Tutti [Brothers (and Sisters) All]. As the term Countdown suggests, we must act with urgency. Each one of us can play a precious role, if we all begin our journey today – not tomorrow – today. Because the future is built on today, and it is not built in isolation, but rather in community and in harmony.

Father Bill +