Signs of the Times #43: The Ecological Crisis and How We Can Respond

"The cry of the Earth, is the cry of the poor," taken from Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si, demonstrates the need to care for our common home, the Earth. Emmanuel Katongole is a Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Kampala in Uganda and a professor of theology and peace studies at Notre Dame. He has written and spoken extensively on politics and violence in Sub-Saharan Africa and on the political theology of peace and reconciliation. Along with two other priests, he began discussing the problems of deforestation, poverty, and land depletion in rural Uganda. After researching successful agricultural training models and consulting with ecological and farming leaders, they bought a 95-acre plot of land in Luweero, Uganda, using their own funds to plant a forest and set up a model sustainable farm called the Bethany Land Institute. He shares their aim "to enact some of these principles of Laudato Si in a context like Africa, in a place like Uganda, and see how we can address the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor in a way that address the challenges of ecology, food insecurity, and poverty in the rural communities."

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