Impact of Pope Francis' Ecological Letter "Laudato Si'"



The European Laudato Si' Alliance (ELSiA*) launched a survey in late 2023 to assess the impact of Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si' on ecological efforts by Catholic groups across Europe. Led by St Mary's University, a consortium of five universities analysed responses from more than 283 Catholic organisations (parishes, charities, etc.) in 20 European countries. The survey, available in nine languages, provides valuable data on how these organisations are addressing environmental challenges and is supported by the Laudato Si action platform.

The survey produced several important findings:
Laudato Si' had a real impact: Pope Francis' encyclical sparked major changes (36%) across European Catholic organisations that responded (95% influenced).
Ecology is here to stay: Nearly half of these organisations plan to stay committed or increase their focus on "integral ecology."
A community focus and a more synodal approach: Laudato Si' initiatives are shifting towards community involvement (60% participatory).
Encouraging collaboration: A strong majority works with both faith-based (82%) and non-faith-based groups 81%) on ecological issues.
Laudato Si’ encourages grassroots involvement: Initiatives are very often driven by volunteers (93% rely on them, 37% entirely).
Funding challenges exist: Limited resources remain an obstacle (38% allocate less than 5% to environmental initiatives).

To address this, the report recommends increased support for Catholic organisations. This includes providing them with more time and resources, encouraging discussion on ecology and equipping them with practical tools for effective environmental action. The report also highlights successful ecological projects across Europe as models for