The Catholic University of America

Oct. 14, 2015

Conference to Explore Protecting ‘Our Common Home’


Laudato Sí Conference Preview from CUA Video on Vimeo.

The Catholic University of America, in conjunction with the Committee on Doctrine of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, will host a daylong conference examining Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’s recent encyclical on the environment.

The conference, “Laudato Si’and the Protection of ‘Our Common Home’: Faith and Science in Conversation,” will take place in Heritage Hall of Father O’Connell Hall on Monday, Oct. 26, from 8:45 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The conference will include lectures by Catholic University faculty members from the fields of theology, business and economics, architecture, and philosophy, as well as invited experts on environmental science and domestic social policy. Topics discussed will include Catholic social teaching, the current scientific understanding of climate change, human responsibility for the natural world, and solidarity within the human community.

Lucia A. Silecchia, professor of law and vice provost for policy, will serve as moderator for the morning sessions of the conference. She believes the conference is an opportunity to explore the many facets of the Pope’s encyclical.

“People often think of Laudato Si’ as a very narrow environmental teaching, but, in fact, it’s very broad. It talks about economic life, political life, business, science, family life, spirituality, and the moral life,” Silecchia said. “We have experts in many different fields talking about this encyclical through various lenses. In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis invited dialogue as we consider our obligations to Creator, to each other and our ‘common home.’ This conference is one response to that invitation, and a great opportunity to get people together to think about these important issues.”

Even though the encyclical was released in June, Silecchia believes there is a renewed interest in Laudato Si’ since the papal visit in September. During the visit, Pope Francis spoke often about solidarity and the need for environmental protection.

“We’re excited about this and we’re happy to be collaborating with the USCCB,” she said. “We hope this will be a chance for people with different perspectives to get together and thoughtfully delve into what this encyclical means beyond the quick sound bites.”

This conference is free and open to the public. For more information or to R.s.v.p., visit

Media who are interested in covering the conference should contact the Office of Public Affairs at or 202-319-6500.




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