Center for Interfaith Cooperation

Hoosiers of Many Faiths in Community

CIC hosts first discussion of Laudato Si

CIC partnered with graduate students from SPEA to hostone of the first discussions of what Pope Francis’ encyclical on environmentalism, ‘Laudato Si,’ means for Indiana environmental policy, and more than 70 Hoosiers were part of it. Jesse Kharbanda, head of the Hoosier Environmental Council; and Andy Pike, head of St. Thomas Aquinas Church and School’s nationally renowned Creation Care Ministry, led the conversation. It was part of the series Civilizing Public Conversations @ The Interchurch Center, meeting in the dining Room of the Indiana Interchurch Center Monday evenings from 7:00-8:30 pm through August 10.

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Jesse and Andy were asked: “What drew you to environmental policy?” Andy shared his story for environmental interest: “God is in creation & we are part of it, not separate.” Jesse also brings his Sikh background: “The celebration of nature permeates scripture. The ultimate human is a fighter for the least.”

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Andy Pike: the earth’s resources are a gift, and we are expected to use them for the benefit of ALL human kind. “The root of our earth’s environmental problems are moral.” Pope Francis’ encyclical gives those in “creation care” a formal moral authority to do their work.

Says Jesse: We can look at IN environmental issues with statistics or the people who have to live with it every day. We can only hope such a morally compelling document from such a morally compelling individual will light a fire in people’s heart.

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Both agreed: Now is the time to learn about your legislator and engage them in discussing your broad goals. Political will, public will, and corporate will must work together to address environmental issues.

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Thanks to Jessica Davis for providing the tweets and photos.

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