On Care for our Common Home
On Wednesday April 22, 2020 Fr. Kevin O'Brien, SJ, President of Santa Clara University, and 29 other readers, successfully sustained a reading of the text from noon-10:00 PM, cycling through the entire text of 246 sections 2.2 times.
The final section that was proclaimed (#38) states:
38. Let us mention, for example, those richly biodiverse lungs of our planet which are the Amazon and the Congo basins, or the great aquifers and glaciers. We know how important these are for the entire earth and for the future of humanity. The ecosystems of tropical forests possess an enormously complex biodiversity which is almost impossible to appreciate fully, yet when these forests are burned down or levelled for purposes of cultivation, within the space of a few years countless species are lost and the areas frequently become arid wastelands. A delicate balance has to be maintained when speaking about these places, for we cannot overlook the huge global economic interests which, under the guise of protecting them, can undermine the sovereignty of individual nations. In fact, there are “proposals to internationalize the Amazon, which only serve the economic interests of transnational corporations”. We cannot fail to praise the commitment of international agencies and civil society organizations which draw public attention to these issues and offer critical cooperation, employing legitimate means of pressure, to ensure that each government carries out its proper and inalienable responsibility to preserve its country’s environment and natural resources, without capitulating to spurious local or international interests.
Pope Frances' 77-page environmental encyclical is an amazing blend of secular concerns, scientific and poetic elements, Christian language, social justice teachings, imagery, and prayers.
It serves as a foundational document for many SCU initiatives and also centers this week (literally and figuratively) of tUrn events.
This work challenges us to renew our commitment and restore balance in all of our relationships to each other, to all living things, and to the future.
We are taking the Laudato Si' challenge
During tUrn readers take on 20 minute "shifts" to sustain a 10-hour reading of this text.
Why 10 hours?
One hour per year we have remaining, according to most in the scientific community, to drawdown global warming such that we do not enter an inescapable, accelerated warming loop that would devastate life as we know it.
We, who are living in this unprecedented window of time in human history, can either become informed and move into generous, unprecedented, just, informed action, or we can say, when asked in ten years, that we did not do that.
And join us October 14, 2020 for our next marathon reading.
Thank you for participating together.
We hope you can gaze at
a tree while hearing