chapter  12
16 Pages

Laudato Si and the ecological crisis

ByRalph Okechukwu Madu

This chapter is about the crisis facing our common home, about how the capacity of this home to be truly a home to humanity and other creatures is being jeopardised. A major thrust in the debate would be the unravelling of the matter by Pope Francis in his recent Encyclical: Laudato Si, which we shall elaborate on, and make references to, across all the sections of this work (PF, 2015).

But in order to give a fair treatment to the matter, we shall dedicate a section of the chapter to trying to get a proper understanding of this deeply existential crisis. “The fact that the ecological crisis is only getting worse even after decades of study, diagnosis and mitigation efforts means that we have not sufficiently understood the malaise in the first place” (Kureethadam, 2014, pp. 7–8). Since the ecological crisis is not merely a physical problem but has a human face, the morality of the human lifestyle deserves some consideration along the lines of Laudato Si. As this shall necessarily raise the issue of eco-justice and human rights, this chapter shall discuss, in a rather cursory manner, the impact of the ecological crisis on the poor, women, children, the aged, the infirm, minorities, developing states, future generations etc. as well as “the structural forms of poverty that exist throughout the world” (Statement of Holy See Delegation to the UN Conference, June, 4, 1992 [SHSDU]). Finally, the effects of the eco-crisis on the poor and struggling people of Africa, especially Nigeria, shall be highlighted.