Cardinal describes Laudato Si’ implementation in his diocese: copies for all, workshops by lay people in parishes, emphasis on the common good

November 5, 2015

Archbishop Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, spoke about Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical on the planet and the poor at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington Nov. 2.  He commented on steps they are taking to support implementation of Laudato Si’ in his country.

In particular, there is new discussion and dialogue on the importance of the common good.  Cardinal Rodriguez said the encyclical places a heavy emphasis on the notion of common good and the understanding that elements of the environment are “global common goods” belonging to and shared by all.  During his formal presentation, Rodríguez spoke of politics as not only science but also service, saying politicians “must look past the next election, to the common good and to the future.”20151103T1046-170 [rodriguez gu]

The statement on October 26 by the heads of six continental Catholic bishops’ conferences also reiterates this theme.  The heads of the conferences in the United States and Canada and Catholic patriarchs of the Orient, all joined an appeal, released in Rome, to the negotiators who will be meeting in Paris. “We join the Holy Father in pleading for a major breakthrough in Paris, for a comprehensive and transformational agreement supported by all based on principles of solidarity, justice and participation,” said the appeal.  Archbishop Rodriguez said he believes there will be a breakthrough because there must; without one some countries will not have a future.

Cardinal Rodriguez explained how important he thought it was that the encyclical “be known to the people of God.” He said in Honduras, the encyclical was printed in full in all the diocesan newspapers “so that even the poorest” had access to the document.

Importantly, Cardinal Rodriguez also said that the parishes also held workshops conducted by lay Delegates of the Word to advance understanding of Laudato Si’.