Phantom Words from Laudato Si’

Tphantomhere have been a lot of chaos in the air lately.

  • Our political situation is in turmoil
  • The earth seems to be groaning in travail, with extreme weather
  • I’m dealing with aging parents and family challenges
  • My community is trying to navigate diverse perspectives on some major issues.

While weathering all the challenges of this season of my life, I’m also working on a new book further exploring the future of religious life. It will delve into several areas of religious life, beyond those I explored in “Religious Life at the Crossroads” which is already over 5 years old.

The part I’m currently writing is on Laudato Si’. The document brings me in many directions. It came out after my last book and it represents the coalescing of many developments in social and environmental justice. I also find it to be something of a parable of religious life and of the challenges we are facing at this stage of our journey. so it ties to some of the chaos in my own life. And finally, I think there are some gender issues with the document that should be addressed, namely the lack of women’s voices and women’s issues in the document. Laudato Si’ is probably unique in this regard. Many are seeing that justice and environmentalism are inherently gender issues. Yet this perspective is absent from the document. So I’m taking the opportunity to spell out what might have been. I’m writing the unwritten lines; I’m sure the Pope will be pleased!