The Theme of Communion in <i>Laudato Si'</i> and Its Implications for Ecclesiology

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Robin Ryan, CP

Abstract

This article explores the theme of communion in the encyclical Laudato Si’ and in other writings and addresses of Pope Francis. It depicts the connections between Francis’s appeal to this theme in his ecological theology and his employment of it in his descriptions of the church. It describes the way in which communion is foundational for Francis’s theological anthropology, ecological theology, and ecclesiology. The author also adduces recent critiques of communio ecclesiology, especially that of Australian theologian Neil Ormerod. He explores whether the ecclesiology of Pope Francis meets the concerns of these critiques. The article concludes with an affirmation of the significance of communion for contemporary ecclesiology, especially in light of two current pastoral concerns.

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Author Biography

Robin Ryan, CP, Catholic Theological Union

Associate Professor of Systematic Theology