Social justice and environment

The Claim
Directors: Gianni Beretta and Patrik SoergelScreenings on Saturday 12 August 2017 in London and Wednesday 16 August 2017 in Glasgow (see end of review for details) What does it take to change a conservative into a revolutionary? Archbishop Oscar Romero, born 100 years ago this year, was appointed largely because it was expected that he wouldn’t be one to rock the boat, to cause trouble for the rich benefactors of the Church in Central America. As a consequence, many of his fellow priests,...
Rio 2016 Olympic logo
Is Rio de Janeiro ready to be the centre of the world’s attention for the duration of the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games? A Jesuit scholastic living and studying in Brazil shares his perspective on the country’s preparations to step into the spotlight. The world is expecting a carnival, says Ricardo da Silva SJ – will Rio 2016 deliver? The most iconic global sporting event is about to begin in the ‘Marvellous City’, as Rio de Janeiro is affectionately known...
Photo by Juliana Muncinelli at flickr.com
‘The cross of Christ is a sign of God’s willingness to forgive us’, writes Russell Pollitt SJ as he concludes our series on the Spiritual Works of Mercy in Laudato si’.  As we contemplate our own sinfulness and the ultimate example of forgiveness in these days of Holy Week, we follow Pope Francis in viewing the ecological crisis ‘as a summons to profound interior conversion’, and recognise that true conversion involves sharing God’s mercy with...
Inscription in the Church of Saint-Sulpice, Paris
‘O if we but knew what we do’, wrote Gerard Manley Hopkins as he despaired over the way in which he saw the natural world suffer at the hands of humankind. This attentiveness to and solidarity with the suffering of a fragile planet and its most vulnerable inhabitants is a Spiritual Work of Mercy, writes Teresa White FCJ: comforting the afflicted is at the very core of what it means to be merciful. Recently, a friend of mine spent a few days in Paris, and on her return she told...
‘The gravity of the ecological crisis demands that we all look to the common good, embarking on a path of dialogue which demands patience, self-discipline and generosity’, writes Pope Francis in Laudato si’. When we struggle to show this patience, particularly in the face of what we perceive to be wrongdoing, we should look to the resilience of the natural world for encouragement and instruction in this particular work of mercy, says Henry Longbottom SJ. The Marsh...
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,...

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