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CBCP: Let’s act on climate change now

Filed under: Top Story |

The CBCP plenary assembly gathers twice a year, in January and in July. (Photo: CBCPNews)

MANILA, July 21, 2015— It is time the country started translating words on combating climate change into action, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said.

CBCP president Archbishop Socrates Villegas, in a statement on Monday, said this include actions by everyone: citizens, governments, and international organizations.

“Advocacy of Church communities in behalf of the common good should influence policy makers and translate itself into community action as well,” Villegas said.

Paris summit

“Climate change has brought about suffering for nations, communities and peoples,” he said. “ When they who are in need cry out, it is not an option to respond. It is an obligation.”

The CBCP called for action ahead of a Paris summit in December.

Echoing Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si (Praised Be), the bishops said the people must transform words into action, keeping the poor and hungry at the center of the efforts.

And since climate change is also an issue of “social justice,” the bishops said the notion of the common good must extend to future generations.

‘All persons of good will’

Villegas said there is no doubt that world leaders can tackle climate change, for example, but that is not enough.

“All persons of goodwill must train their eyes on Paris, and by collective and communitarian action, make the issues that will be there discussed, the issues and concerns of all, for in truth, caring about climate change and its deleterious and devastating effects on all, but especially on impoverished and struggling nations and communities, is our way of attending to the needs of the least of our brothers and sisters; it is how, today, we must wash each others’ feet,” he said.

As part of their pastoral formation on the climate change issues, the bishops committed themselves to organize symposia and conferences that will be taken up in Paris.

Replace consumption with sacrifice

Villegas added that meaningful participation and debate are premised on sound information and adequate knowledge. “But more direct and immediate action can and should also be taken,” he said.

Meanwhile, Caritas Internationalis president and Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle has earlier called on the faithful to undertake a mission to save the planet.

In a letter to Caritas confederation on Laudato Si, he said the Pope “reminds us to replace consumption with a sense of sacrifice, greed with generosity and wastefulness with a spirit of sharing.”

“We must ‘give, and not simply give up’. We are called to free ourselves from all that is heavy and negative and wasteful and to enter into dialogue with our global family,” he said. (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews)

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