Abstract: Pope Francis’ 2015 groundbreaking encyclical Laudato Si’ has called for a radical rethinking of the Catholic Church’s theology and ecclesiology. Critics have pointed out that the ecological crisis is rooted in the anthropocentric mindset derived from the grave misreading of the dominion mandate in the Book of Genesis promoted by the Church. The Church then does not only need a thorough review of her pastoral relationship with nature but also to develop a theological language that does away with her anthropocentric view if she really wants to pursue her ecological agenda.
This non-anthropocentric approach hopes to recover and promote the indigenous spirituality, providing a model for environmental consciousness and an ecologically-sound way of life. The recovery necessitates decolonizing the indigenous spirituality dismissed by Christian colonizers as pagan. The Pope’s call to do integral ecology bears more weight due to his invitation to engage in dialogue with the indigenous peoples. This is an essential step toward this decolonization process. The actions in the past of the Church, considered in history as a colonizing agent, have had direct implications on the indigenous peoples’ spirituality and environment.
The recovery of this spirituality involves decolonizing the religious convictions forced upon them. Decolonization can start with the Church acknowledging her role in colonization which has continued until this day. There can never be a decolonization or dialogue unless the Church critically assesses this role.