During their Spring General Meeting in Maynooth last week, Bishops received a report on the wide range of work being undertaken by its Laudato Si’ Working Group, together with various related initiatives being undertaken at parish level across the country.
In response to the impending loss of nature to our world, the call of Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical letter, Laudato Si’, and the agreements made at the recent UN Conference on Biodiversity (COP15), bishops ask parishes, through their parish pastoral councils and diocesan trusts, as a first step, to identify and care for 30% of parish grounds as a haven for pollinators and biodiversity, in order that it can be enjoyed in perpetuity by the whole community.
Bishops said, “In embracing this initiative we encourage parishes to expand their circles of solidarity, to protect and care for biodiversity and recommend that, by 2030, 30% of church grounds be returned to nature. The first goal of Laudato Si’ asks us to respond to the ‘Cry of the Earth’. In Laudato Si’ we read that this diversity of species has an ‘intrinsic value independent of their usefulness. Each organism, as a creature of God, is good and admirable in itself’ (LS 140). Humanity is called to care for the earth and all of its creatures, in other words to ‘live out our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork’ (LS, 217).”