Video: Laudate Deum

Following on from his 2015 encyclical, Laudato Si’, Pope Francis published a new apostolic exhortation, Laudate Deum, on 3 October 2023.

To introduce this new document, ACI invited Jacqui Remond (Australian Catholic University), Tony Smith (Tasmania), Sherie Chant (Kolbe College, WA), and Irene Baik (Parramatta YCSà to present their reflections at our October webinar,


Church’s mission starts from reality: Cardinal Hollerich

In an interview with La Civilta Cattolica, Luxembourg Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich has called for the Church to focus on its mission, starting the reality that see us all as children of the same Father.

“I believe that today in Europe we are suffering from a pathology, which, that is, we are unable to see clearly what the mission of the Church is,” Cardinal Hollerich, a former chaplain to the Luxembourg YCW, warned.

“We always talk about structures, which is certainly not a bad thing, because structures are important and certainly need to be rethought. But there is not enough talk of the mission of the Church. Which is to announce the Gospel. To announce, and above all to testify, the death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. 

“A witness that the Christian must interpret mainly through his commitment in the world for the safeguarding of creation, for justice, for peace. 

“The teaching of Pope Francis is everything and nothing other than the clarification of the Gospel. It is not difficult to understand. In today’s secularised world, direct proclamation is not always understood, but our witness is. We are observed and valued in the world for how we live the gospel. 

“It is a bit like it happens for teachers at school: it is certainly important what they say, but even more important is what they communicate about themselves. In our case, what matters is consistency with the Gospel. 

“Take the encyclical for example it is certainly important what they say, but even more important is what they communicate about themselves. In our case, what matters is consistency with the Gospel. Take the encyclical for example it is certainly important what they say, but even more important is what they communicate about themselves. In our case, what matters is consistency with the Gospel. 

“Take the encyclical for example Laudato si ‘.  Many have read it, even among non-believers, even among those who do not know the Gospel. And all those who read it shared its value, importance, urgency. I had direct feedback from my daily contacts with the politicians of the European Parliament and Commission in Brussels. So everyone has read  Laudato Sì,  and admires it. And the same was also true for  Fratelli Tutti. 

“In other words, everyone recognizes Pope Francis as the paternity of the proposal for a new humanism. Which he often proposes in solitude among the great world leaders. But then it is up to us to be able to explain that Francis’ humanism is not just a political proposal, but a proclamation of the Gospel. Those outside the Church sometimes understand the Gospel better than those inside. 

“Pope Francis therefore indicated this way of proclaiming the Gospel, which starts from reality, that reality that sees us all as creatures and children of the same Father. But to answer your initial question: in all European countries there has been much talk at synods of communion, of participation, but very little of mission,” Cardinal Hollerich concluded.


Hollerich: la Chiesa deve cambiare, rischiamo di parlare a un uomo che non c’è più (Vatican News)


GilPe / Wikipedia / CCA BY SA 4.0

Laudato Si’ five years on

Laudato Si'

This month marks the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ important encyclical Laudato Si’ on “Care for Our Common Home,” updating Catholic Social Teaching on environmental as well as labour and other issues.

Brian Lawrence offers a detailed analysis of the encyclical in his article “The Economics of Laudato Si’: No surprises here” published by the Australian Catholic Council for Employment Relations.”

“Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ is primarily concerned with a range of environmental issues, particularly climate change. However, as the Pope emphasises, environmental issues cannot be separated from the promotion of social justice, the need to care for the poor and the operation of economic systems. As a result, a significant part of the encyclical draws on Catholic social teaching on economic affairs and the operation of markets,” Lawrence writes.

“The encyclical’s analysis and consideration of economic issues has been criticised in some quarters. Prominent attacks on the encyclical, and Pope Francis personally, are to be found in editions of The Australian and The Weekend Australian newspapers published shortly after the publication of the encyclical.

“The editorial of The Weekend Australian on 27-28 June 2015 claimed that Pope Francis and his advisers “emerge as environmental populists and economic ideologues of a quasi-Marxist bent”, that his views “are not part of the church’s deposit of the faith and they are not tenets of faith and morals” and that “the flock is not obliged to follow the shepherd” in his attempt to “reposition the church so far to the green-left”.

“The substance of the editorial is a personal attack on Pope Francis for taking the Catholic Church into new areas of social and economic teaching and departing from the teaching of his predecessors. These claims are part of an ongoing narrative being spread in sections of the media and in social commentary. Confronting the matters raised in the editorial is a means of setting the public record straight.

The response to the editorial in this paper falls into several section: an outline of the nature and purpose of Catholic social teaching; a review of Catholic social teaching on economics and markets; an outline of what Laudato Si’ says on economic matters; a response to the editorial’s use of quotations from the encyclical; and a response to the various criticisms made in the editorial.

“This paper demonstrates these kinds of criticisms of the economics of Laudato Si’ are without foundation and that what Pope Francis has said on economic issues is sound and is perfectly consistent with earlier Catholic social teaching on economic issues, including the operation and regulation of markets. The criticisms of Pope Francis and the encyclical by The Weekend Australian are unjustified and grossly unfair,” Lawrence concludes.

Meanwhile, Parramatta YCW are taking action as part of Laudato Si’ Week, writes youth engagement officer, Thomas Magri in Catholic Outlook.

“We are taking action with the introduction of a range of climate justice projects including vegan cooking classes, environmental documentary reviews, social inquiries and reviews and engaging our Facebook community to keep everyone updated.

“This project began when we realised that a lot of the YCW members held climate justice quite close to their hearts and are passionate about this issue. They felt that if they did not take action now, that future generations will not be able to live the same quality of life that we do now.

“Soon after this, we put together a climate justice coordination team which was made up of three people. As the call to ‘care for our common home’ talks about working in unity with everyone, we are all equal on this earth so let’s work towards a community where we are working towards a common good.

‘The community reacted strongly to our projects with our vegan cooking classes selling out after only a few days of advertisement. Once completed, it left everyone who attended eager and passionate to be more involved and to start taking action in their personal lives.

Parramatta YCW is in the process of planning sustainability classes which will be paired up with running a community garden. The classes will teach practical skills which would allow people to take personal action in their own lives at home to reduce their carbon footprint.


Brian Lawrence, The Economics of Laudato Si’: No surprises here (Australian Catholic Council for Employment Relations)

Thomas Magri, Climate justice close to hearts of Parramatta Young Christian Workers (Catholic Outlook)


Parramatta YCW