EU Bishops, Vatican official agree with politicians, economist on need for 'inclusive and sustainable' recovery after COVID-19

EU Bishops hold dialogue on need for “inclusive and sustainable” recovery after COVID-19

(Source: MJ/COMECE)

Five years after the publication of Pope Francis’ encyclical letter on the “care for our common home”, representatives of EU Bishops’ Conferences, as well as Catholic organisations and movements, held in Brussels the Third European Laudato Si’ Reflection Day on Thursday 28 May 2020.

Leading economist Mariana Mazzucato, the Secretary of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development of the Vatican Monsignor, Bruno-Marie Duffé, and members of the European Parliament Patrizia Toia (S&D) and Lukas Mandl (EPP) took part in a compelling and timely discussion.

Due to the current restrictions, the gathering took the form of a webinar with more than 400 participants from different countries who actively participated in the exchange. The webinar was also part of the wider Laudato Si’ Week” celebrations to mark the fifth anniversary of Laudato Si’.


Greeting from Monsignor Duffé

In these exceptional times, and in the aftermath of the announcement by the European Commission of a proposal on the COVID-19 post-pandemic recovery plan (see the COMECE contribution), the webinar provoked an exchange on the urgent need to address the current health crisis and build plans for a just and sustainable recovery reflecting on some key questions.

Will Europe manage to implement the shifts needed in its economic system? Can we recover in Europe without hurting the rest of the planet? How do we heal all together leaving no one behind?   

Among the many inspiring points raised by the speakers was the issue of public investments. Prof Mazzucato said:

“Times of crisis need not only public investment but a direction for that investment. And that direction today must be both inclusive and sustainable”.

She also highlighted the issue of participation, and of bringing all key actors ex-ante together to discuss the recovery by saying:

“We will need all voices at the table: unions, youth – to design the mission for a just transition”.

Monsignor Duffé also referred to the key point of common and individual responsibility to tackle the crisis:

“Reading again Laudato Si’, we realise that everyone has a part of the responsibility. Instead, many actors are denying it”.

Mgr Duffé also said: “We experience our vulnerability, physical but also economic and of our public politics. […] We have to think about the world after the pandemic: what could this world be?”

Related:  German priest advocate for migrant workers declares: "As a Church we have to stand up for those with no lobby"

Both Lukas Mandl and Patrizia Toia, coming from different political groups, stressed in their concluding remarks the importance to keep supporting EU solidarity and long-term efforts – such as the European Green Deal – even and especially in times of crises, stressing its correlation not only to the environment but also to social issues.

Through this webinar again the Laudato Si’ messages proved to be hugely relevant in this time of crisis and able to orient the political debate towards increased environmental and social justice.

Organisers of the event

European Laudato Si’ Alliance (ELSiA) is a group of Catholic organisations that are joining forces in Europe to promote climate and social justice, highly inspired by the Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ of Pope Francis.

Related:  US Catholic reform groups stand in solidarity with Irish priest subject to "coercive and abusive... threats and bullying" from Vatican

This alliance brings together: COMECE – Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the EU; JESC – Jesuit European Social Centre; CIDSE – International family of Catholic social justice organisations; GCCM – Global Catholic Climate Movement; Justice and Peace Europe; and CCEE – Council of Bishops’ Conferences of Europe (observer member).


Full video of the Laudato Si’ Reflection Day webinar

Next on Novena:

EU Bishops criticise “self-centric” actions of member states during COVID-19, urge adoption of new rescue fund

Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church head says coronavirus recovery in Europe “impossible” without more solidarity

New Caritas Europa president, on COVID-19 social recovery: “We can’t change everything. But we can change a lot if we want to”

EU Bishops president, on COVID-19 recovery: “We need European empathy. It is not Italians, Spaniards or French people who are suffering, but our brothers and sisters”

Vatican dicastery reminds world on COVID-19: “A truly healthy recovery means seeing that ‘everything is connected’”

Related

Share this:

The following two tabs change content below.
Avatar

Mada Jurado

Reporter and community manager at Novena
Progressive Catholic journalist, author and educator. Working on social justice, equality and Church renewal.
Related:  Shaming anti-maskers doesn't work. Here's a better way to persuade on COVID-19, with empathy