Ed. – Novena is delighted to welcome as a new contributor Angele Bucyte, a European economist and professor who has worked for a number of universities and public institutions such as the European Commission and the European Parliament in Brussels. Angele is a practicing Catholic who collaborates closely with the religious communities in Brussels. including COMECE, the Jesuit European Social Centre and the Chapel for Europe. Angele has experience in journalism and in professional translations. She is presently researching the influence of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato si’ on global and European climate change movements. Angele will write for Novena about the relationship of Catholic communities with EU institutions, the Church’s influence upon EU policies, Church-State dialogue on Article 17 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, and related issues.
Everyone agrees that without involvement of civil society, the green transition would be impossible, as it would be as well without grassroots movements, without change in consumption habits and without touching the hearts of the people.
No shortage of political texts and speeches have been written, but what is little done is research on the influence of the most powerful spiritual text ever, which aims at speaking to the hearts of the people – the encyclical of Pope Francis Laudato si’, issued in May 2015.
The article aims at researching the influence of Laudato si’ upon climate change movements and policies in the European Union and globally.
The hypothesis of the research states that Laudato si’ is not an ordinary text, and if there is a magnifying influence of the encyclical, this is through the consciousness of the people, and as such it should pave the way for bottom-up and top-down policy solutions, in particular those related to climate change mitigation.
To prove this hypothesis, we have used the variety of methods, quantitative and qualitative, designed especially for this research. The results are rather of a pilot nature, which should be further detailed in extended studies.
The results of the research have proven the hypothesis.
The influence of Laudato si’ is significant and far reaching. The encyclical has influenced a number of policy documents, made an impact upon civil society, paved the way towards behavioural changes, etc.
The article has a few chapters.
Chapter 1 focuses on the publication of Laudato si’, its basic statements and its influence on policy makers. The encyclical has been widely and positively accepted.
Chapter 2 presents the data and methods used in the research. These include a survey with a questionnaire of more than 40 questions, as well as the text analytics with sensitivity analysis and the interviews to interpret the results of the research.
Chapter 3 deals with analysis of the results of the survey, which demonstrates its influence of Laudato si’ upon people and the policy makers, its influence upon climate change movements, also the relationship of the encyclical with economics, in particular the idea of capitalism.
Chapter 4 presents the results of the text analytics, and the application of the sensitivity analysis. The text of Laudato si’ is compared to two other texts of the same profile, of the UN and of Greenpeace.
In conclusion, the text of Laudato si’ has an everlasting impact, which will never fade.
(Bucyte’s text has been lightly edited for English expression)