Issued by the Catholic Center for Studies and Media - Jordan. Editor-in-chief Fr. Rif'at Bader - موقع أبونا

Published on Saturday, 22 May 2021

Marking Laudato si' Week, the Holy See underlines need to care for the hungry

By Munir Bayouk/ :

By Munir Bayouk/   :

The Vatican is currently presenting a series of webinars on food for all marking the “Laudato si’ Week” which is being celebrated on May 16-24. The series is intended to draw attention and to influence the UN Food Systems Pre-Summit, due to convene in Rome in July 2021, on the impending global food shortages.


According to press reports, the webinar series which is  called “Food for life, food justice, food for all,” is inspired by Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical letter Laudato si’, while organizers hope it will showcase how an integral ecology-- considering the interconnections, among other things, between social systems and ecosystems--can inspire a regeneration of food systems in the post-COVID future.


With reports indicating that some 957 million people across 93 countries do not have enough to eat, the Vatican seized the opportunity to express its sympathy with the starving people, to express support for any efforts designed to solve this problem, and to alleviate the suffering of the hungry millions of people.


The three webinars--being organized in conjunction by the Holy See’s Secretary of State and its permanent mission to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and World Food Program, as well as the Vatican’s COVID-19 Commission and the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development--focus on three areas.


The first webinar, titled “Food for Life: The role of women in the promotion of integral human development,” features a dialogue about the unique role of women in development, with emphasis on how to support their leadership in shaping resilient food systems across the globe. While the second webinar, “Food Justice: Jobs, innovation, and finance at the service of food justice,” emphasizes the importance of dignified work, finance and innovation in rebuilding sustainable food systems, particularly in the post-COVID future. The final webinar, titled “Food for All: Food conflicts and the future of food systems,” is set to explores different responses to food conflicts, and how the Church can best contribute to address hunger and food inequality around the world.


It is hoped that the three conversations, will reveal how the Church can contribute to this transformation of food systems towards the care for our common home, with focus on the eradication of hunger, the respect of human dignity, and the service of the common good.


Over the past years, the Catholic Church has been sounding the alarm bell in this regard by warning of an impending danger that threatens the entire humanity in the years to come which includes famine.


The date May 24, 2015 marked a turning point that reflects on the future of the world when His Holiness Pope Francis signed his landmark encyclical, namely Laudato si’ which represents a remarkable challenge for all people to consider in a serious way which indicates that our future on this planet will be determined by how we treat nature.


It is important in this regard to recall a key point mentioned in Laudato Sí ‘encyclical which says, “Climate change is a global problem with grave implications negatively affecting environmental, social, economic, political aspects. It is one of the principal challenges facing humanity nowadays. There is an exigent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions which is a moral and humanitarian imperative.”


Pope Francis reflected on climate change bearing in mind that such a change has a negative effect on all aspects of life including rain which impacts food production.


All efforts designed to restore a healthy environment is a collective duty, whereby all world countries should join hands and intensely work in this direction, for when famine strikes, there’s no going back, thus every effort should be made to forestall such an occurrence.


His Holiness Pope Francis had earlier associated the cry of the poor with the cry of the Earth since the poor are the mostly affected by the deteriorating climate situation. From this premise, this is the right time to deeply comprehend and grasp this landmark encyclical, namely Laudato Si' so as to save our common home from the catastrophic famine lurking around the corner.


It is important, while marking the Laudato si’ Week” which is being celebrated May 16-24 to call for global adoption of this encyclical and to reverse all measures that adversely impinge on environment.