The Laudato Si 7 year Action plan is a journey towards total sustainability in the spirit of Laudato Si giving attention to the 7 Laudato Si Goals (LSGs): The Cry of the Earth, The Cry of the Poor, Ecological Economics, Adoption of Simple Life Styles, Ecological Education, Ecological Spirituality and Emphasis on Community Involvement and Participatory Action. See a reflection on (1) The Cry of the Earth, (2) The Cry of the Poor, (3) Ecological Economy.
Calling for adoption on simple lifestyles it is a call for sobriety in the use of resources and energy, avoiding single-use plastic, adopting a more plant-based diet and reducing meat consumption, greater use of public transport and avoid polluting modes of transportation, and behaviors such as these.
Pope Francis reminds us, “All of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvements and talents” (LS, 14), and, everyone can adopt a simple lifestyles. As a fourth of LSGs, the Adoption of Simple Life Styles is at the center of all the seven goals proposed by the Laudato Si encyclical.
Further, this commitment concerns more the other LSGs almost all the 7 social realities mentioned in the Encyclical - Families, Dioceses and Parishes, Schools, Universities and Colleges, Hospitals and Health Care Centers, Businesses and Agricultural Farms, Religious Orders. It is, therefore, useful to see in which way each one of these seven groups of institutions could and should answer, “The urgent challenge to protect our common home” and “bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change” (LS, 13).
However, in our globalized world financial power it is at center of any good and bad plan and action concerning our common house, it should adopt good practices, as its own ‘simple Lifestyles’, since it is the first to adopt sobriety in the use of resources and energy.
Actually, on April 4th2021, Pope Francis brought to the world’s attention this issue writing a message to the Participants in the 2021 Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund, those he calls to assume at full their social and financial responsibilities. “For all our deeply-held convictions that all men and women are created equal, many of our brothers and sisters in the human family, especially those at the margins of society, are effectively excluded from the financial world. The pandemic, however, has reminded us once again that no one is saved alone.”
This conviction should focus the discussions that “contribute to a model of ‘recovery’ capable of generating new, more inclusive and sustainable solutions to support the real economy, assisting individuals and communities to achieve their deepest aspirations and the universal common good.” However, “The notion of recovery cannot be content to a return to an unequal and unsustainable model of economic and social life,” where a minority of the population owns half of its wealth.
Sometimes, pope Francis seems repetitive, in fact having cleared the central evangelical values, he tries to send them through in many and varied way, always aiming at the essential.
Here he focuses in bringing the attention to ecological conversion that only when adopted by all can simple life styles be assured. “Nor can we overlook […] the ‘ecological debt’ that exists especially between the global north and south. We are, in fact, in debt to nature itself, as well as the people and countries affected by human-induced ecological degradation and biodiversity loss.”
Therefore he calls “the financial industry, which is distinguished by its great creativity”, to prove its capacity of developing mechanisms for calculating this ecological debt. Developed countries should pay it “by significantly limiting their consumption of non-renewable energy or by assisting poorer countries to enact policies and programs of sustainable development.” And by “covering the costs of the innovation required for that purpose”, even the impoverished countries can afford a simple lifestyle, overcoming poverty without damaging nature’s life (See LSI, 51-52).”
If “all men and women are created equal,” those “many of our brothers and sisters in the human family, especially those at the margins of society,” cannot be either left behind in our journey toward a more dignified life, not be forced to destroy their habitat trying to survive.