The Catholic News Service publication “Origins,” which is delivered to Catholic bishops, clergy, and diocesan staff across the country, recently gave front page attention to the full text of Cardinal Peter Turkson’s November 2 address at The Ohio State University (OSU). This prominent placement has provided a broad, national reading for the speech that Turkson delivered to a live audience of nearly 1,500 at Mershon Auditorium and several hundred other live-stream viewers across Ohio. The remarks published in Origins also include some expanded text beyond what Cardinal Turkson was able to present in his evening program at OSU, which can inform further dialogue and response at OSU and beyond.
In these remarks, Turkson highlights the role of the encyclical, Laudato Si’, in calling attention to the great environmental challenges of our time, sparking individual and political commitment to address climate change and other challenges, and inspiring an “ecological conversion” towards an “integral ecology” that joins natural, social, and spiritual dimensions to effect positive change. Within this integral framework, Turkson highlights several issues that receive particular attention in Laudato Si’, including: the relation between the poor and the planet, the interconnection of everything, a critique of the new “technocratic paradigm,” the value of all creatures and the importance of humans to ecology, the need for “forthright and honest debates,” the serious responsibility of international and local policy, the “throwaway culture,” the need for new lifestyles, and an “invitation to search for other ways of understanding economy and progress.”
The full speech closes with a short overview of the six chapters of Laudato Si’ and looks forward to the hope that the encyclical will inspire real dialogue and meaningful political action at the COP-21 negotiations in Paris that began today.
Full text of the speech is found here: Origins Nov 12 2016 OSU Cardinal TurksonPP1-5