The Vatican has launched its annual "Season of Creation," a five-week initiative aimed at emphasizing the importance of caring for the planet and its resources. To shed light on this significant event, we interviewed Christina Leaño, Associate Director of the Laudato Si' Movement.
Christina, thank you for being here today. Can you provide more insights into the Season of Creation and its theme?
Christina Leaño: "The Season of Creation is a month-long celebration that begins on September 1st, the Feast of Creation, and culminates on October 4th, the Feast of Saint Francis. It's a global Christian observance where we acknowledge God as our Creator and recognize our Christian duty to care for the environment. This year's theme is 'Let Justice and Peace Flow,' symbolized by the mighty river, drawing inspiration from the scripture of Amos, 'Let justice flow on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream.'"
We also know that this season coincides with the announcement of a new publication by Pope Francis updating his encyclical Laudato Si'. What are your expectations for this release, and what significance does it hold for the movement?
Christina Leaño: "We are truly humbled and profoundly thankful for this upcoming release by Pope Francis. It's quite remarkable that just eight years after the encyclical, he's delivering an Apostolic Exhortation. While it doesn't carry the same level of authority as an encyclical, it remains a magisterial document. Given the pope's recent messages during the Season of Creation, we anticipate he'll address the urgency of the climate crisis. With the wildfires, unprecedented heatwaves, and ongoing global challenges, the pope's motivation seems to be driven by the dire realities we face, calling for accelerated action."
Before we conclude, could you share more about the Laudato Si' Movement's campaign to pray and act for climate justice in the lead-up to COP28?
Christina Leaño: "Certainly. We're urging everyone to pray for government leaders participating in COP28 as they work towards transitioning away from fossil fuels and assisting climate justice victims. We invite people, especially those in regions affected by climate injustice, to use the hashtag #PrayingForYou on social media to show their support and solidarity."