Social justice and environment

Photo by Joshua Earle via Unsplash
In St Augustine’s description of his ministry, he said that: ‘The turbulent have to be corrected, the faint-hearted cheered up, the weak supported; the Gospel's opponents need to be refuted, its insidious enemies guarded against; the unlearned need to be taught, the indolent stirred up, the argumentative checked; the proud must be put in their place, the desperate set on their feet, those engaged in quarrels reconciled; the needy have to be helped, the oppressed to be liberated...
Photograph of flooding in Bangladesh
In August 2015, several Islamic institutions and individuals came to together to issue an important new document about the urgent challenges posed by climate change. Damian Howard SJ outlines the vision and significance of the Islamic Declaration on Climate Change, which explores new interpretations of the Qur’an. How much common ground is to be found between this declaration and Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato si’? Christianity is not the only world religion getting to...
Picture of Pope Francis
On Friday 25 September, Pope Francis will address the UN General Assembly in New York, whose members will be discussing many of the issues that the pope addressed earlier this year in Laudato si’. Climate scientists Ottmar Edenhofer and Christian Flaschland give a detailed analysis of the ground-breaking encyclical, its place in church tradition and its dialogue with current climate science. How is Pope Francis challenging the Church and the world? Pope Francis’ long-awaited...
Al-Moukhales Centre, Syria
Headlines broadcasting the latest developments in Syria are now a daily occurrence, but how well do they convey the reality of life for the Syrian people at the moment?  Earlier this summer, Frances Murphy heard Fr Ziad Hilal SJ in conversation about the ‘crisis of humanity’ through which the Syrian people are living. Fr Ziad shared his personal experience of life in Homs and described the work of the Jesuit Refugee Service in Syria. ‘The media often give a bad image...
Photo of animal dominoes
Faith-based discussions about ecological issues often revolve around a theme of stewardship, but Pope Francis has taken a different approach in his encyclical, says Henry Longbottom SJ. How does the ecological conversion to which Laudato si’ calls us compare with a movement in secular philosophy which advocates an environmental virtue ethics? There's a striking absence of ‘stewardship’ language in Pope Francis’ recent encyclical, Laudato si’. The term,...
Laudato si’ has been billed by many as Pope Francis’ intervention in the climate change debate, but it is so much more than that, says Damian Howard SJ. In this detailed analysis of the Pope’s first encyclical, he sets the text in its cultural and political context, and asks how it fits into the tradition of Catholic Social Teaching. How does this ‘exciting new synthesis’ of Catholic theology and the ecological movement have the potential to change our civilisation? Pope Francis’ long-...
Pope Francis
Laudato si’ has been billed by many as Pope Francis’ intervention in the climate change debate, but it is so much more than that, says Damian Howard SJ. In this detailed analysis of the Pope’s first encyclical, he sets the text in its cultural and political context, and asks how it fits into the tradition of Catholic Social Teaching. How does this ‘exciting new synthesis’ of Catholic theology and the ecological movement have the potential to change our civilisation...
Palm Sunday 2015 in Managrú
A team of two Jesuits in formation and two Maronite sisters, from Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Britain, travelled to the remote village of Managrú in Colombia to accompany the community in their celebration of Holy Week. A member of that team, Philip Harrison SJ, describes how he spent a Triduum like no other in the presence of a community devastated by poverty yet radiant with Easter joy. Managrú surprised us from the start, appearing suddenly out of the dense jungle vegetation. The...
Archbishop Denis Hurley
On the anniversary of the death of Denis Hurley, Paddy Kearney explains how the man who was Archbishop of Durban for 45 years is still having an impact on that city.  Why would Archbishop Hurley have approved of Pope Francis’ priorities for the Church, and how are those priorities finding expression in the mission of a new project? 13 February 2015 marks eleven years since the death of a man who, for 45 years, was Archbishop of Durban. This anniversary, in the centenary year of...
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The world meeting of grassroots movements ‘is a sign, a great sign’, Pope Francis declared when receiving their representatives in the Vatican on 28 October 2014. What do the expressions ‘popular or grassroots movements’ mean? Where did the idea of inviting them to the Vatican come from, and how did the meeting unfold? But most of all: what does this sign tell us about the direction that Pope Francis is proposing for the Church and the world? Michael Czerny SJ of the...

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