1. As drought, bushfires, floods, and extreme weather become
more common in Australia, we realise the urgency of
responding to our baptismal calling of taking up Gods
mission of love for the whole of creation.

2. Throughout the Scriptures we learn of Gods love for
creation, from the affirmation of the goodness of creation
in Genesis (Genesis 1:24) to the Book of Revelations
vision of a creation made new (Revelation 21:5). All life
and all that sustains it comes from God the Creator as
gift, and so we are committed to care for our Common
Home, and to cherish and promote the dignity of human
life from conception to natural death. Local and
universal Catholic Social Teaching, too, has helped us
to reflect on how we might live in right relationship
with the Creator, one another, and all of creation.

3. Pope Francis landmark Encyclical Letter Laudato Si (2015)
powerfully pointed out that we do not stand outside
creation but are joined in a splendid universal
communion with other creatures and are called to care
for the common home which we share with them (n. 220).
In their Social Justice Statement 202122, Cry of the Earth,
Cry of the Poor, the Australian Bishops also affirm that we
need an integral approach to economic, social and
ecological issues an integral ecology if we are to
address the interlocking crises of our times.

4. Laudato Si reiterates Pope Saint John Paul IIs call to
ecological conversion and encourages the Church
especially to undertake ecological education and to foster
ecological spirituality (General Audience, 17 January 2001;
Laudato Si Chapter 6). The call to ecological conversion is
part of the call to defend human life from conception to
natural death, especially those who are most vulnerable,
and to care for all forms of life on Earth, because systems
of life and love are deeply interconnected (John Paul II,
Evangelium Vitae, 25 March 1995, n. 93). Responding to
this call requires new ways of seeing the world, thinking,
and behaving (John Paul II, Peace with God the Creator,
Peace with all of Creation, World Day of Peace Message
1990, n. 13; Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor). Ecological
conversion entails turning from human dominance to
belonging to the community of life and to interdependence
with all other creatures, awe in the beauty of creation
and being nourished by a sense of Gods presence
(Laudato Si n. 223).

5. Ecological conversion is both personal and communal,
and therefore we must act to care for creation in ways
that are both personal and communal. Such action will be
informed by Scripture, our theological tradition,
Catholic Social Teaching, human knowledge and
scientific insight. In responding to these issues, we
acknowledge the unique place of the wisdom of the
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, who were
caring for country before Abraham set out for the
promised land, and who continue to do so today” (Cry of
the Earth, Cry of the Poor). As part of the Oceania Region,
we have a particular responsibility to act in solidarity with
the peoples of the region to ensure that their voices are
heard and attended to in discussions and initiatives in the
Church and the international community.

6. The Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human
Developments Laudato Si Action Platform provides a
unique global vehicle for communal action. In Cry of the
Earth, Cry of the Poor, the Bishops Conference committed
itself to joining the Platform and developing a Laudato
Si Action Plan. Individuals and families, parishes,
dioceses and eparchies, educational institutions,
healthcare and healing organisations, businesses and the
economic sector, organisations and groups, along with
religious institutes can all participate either by developing
their own Laudato Si Action Plans or by taking part in an
established Action Plan.

7. THEREFORE, this Plenary Council:

a. recognises the sacred duty to care for and protect the
Earth as a common home for all Gods creatures,
including the generations to come;

b. encourages all Catholic people, families, parishes,
dioceses, eparchies, religious institutes, educational
institutions, and other Catholic organisations to accept
Pope Francis invitation to join the Laudato Si Action
Platform and either develop Laudato Si Action Plans, or
participate in existing Laudato Si Action Plans, as a
vehicle for their ecological conversion; and

c. promotes initiatives in Church and society which
promote and defend human life from conception to
natural death, especially those who are most vulnerable.


The Fifth Plenary Council decrees:

Article 1

That, witnessing to their communal ecological conversion and
the urgent need for action, by 2024, each Catholic parish,
diocese, eparchy, educational institution or organisation
commits to joining the Laudato Si Platform; and by 2030
either develops its own or participates in an established
Laudato Si Action Plan which includes the following elements:

a. a public commitment;

b. a governance model, processes and procedures;

c. a mechanism for listening to the ecological
wisdom of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples, developed in partnership with Aboriginal
Catholic Ministry and diocesan justice, ecology and
peace bodies where these exist;

d. regular reporting on progress towards and
accountability for defined goals and objectives;

e. coconstruction of those goals and objectives with the
people they are meant to support and serve.

The Eastern Catholic Churches in Australia will interpret the
decrees of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia in
accordance with the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches
and the traditions of each church sui iuris.

In accordance with canon 446 of the Code of Canon Law, this
decree is not to be promulgated until it has been reviewed by the
Apostolic See. It will be promulgated in Australasian Catholic
Record and the website of the Australian Catholic Bishops
Conference in accordance with its usual practice. The decrees
will oblige six months after promulgation.

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