Cardinal Tagle: ‘Lent time to reflect on sins against nature’
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle
MANILA – As the Lenten season begins today, Feb. 14, a prelate stressed the need to recognize one’s sins against the environment as sins that need to be brought before God.
“It will be Lent again, there will be a lot of people going to Confession again. How many will actually confess, ‘I threw trash just any where I please’? Do we even look at that act as something against our faith?”, said Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, D.D during his keynote message for the Ecclesiastical Province of Manila’s Laudato Si conference held at the De La Salle University on Feb. 2.
Speaking before more than 1,000 delegates from the suffragan dioceses of Manila, the prelate focused on a Laudato Si’s theme, “the interconnectedness of all.”
Not an extra-curricular activity
“Sometimes we see our behavior, our actions that affect ecology as something not linked to our faith, that it’s not linked to our discipleship – our following of Christ. It’s as if ecological concern is an extra-curricular activity,” he stressed.
The Caritas Internationalis president explained that when Laudato Si speaks of the interconnectedness of all created things, it pertains to “the worth of every creature” and means that “the foundational source of all connectedness is our faith vision.”
“If we go to the Book of Genesis, interpreted by Laudato Si, leading to the New Testament, everything is related to one another,” he said, “What are our fundamental relationships? Our relationship with God, our relationship with people – other people, our relationship with the earth – the world of creation, and – I want to add – our relationship with ourselves.”
He suggested how the faithful should start repenting of the habit of buying unnecessary things they want to have simply for bragging rights. He said this is the reason “why Laudato Si invites specially Christians to recover this interconnectedness of relationships”.
Relationship with God, relationship with others
According to the prelate, the relationship with God cannot be separated from one’s relationship with others. “My relationship to God and other people is connected to my relationship with the earth. And my relationship with them also determines the way I relate to myself,” stressed Tagle.
This all-encompassing relationship with God, he said, is the reason for caring for creation. “So this relationship with God is important. I am not the owner and so I humbly take care of God’s creation knowing that I have been created with intelligence, with responsibility, with self-knowledge so that I could be a trustworthy caretaker, custodian, or steward…,” concluded Tagle.
The Ecclesiastical Province of Manila’s Laudato Si Conference focused on the theme “Ugnayang-Buhay Para Kay Inang Kalikasan!” (The Connectedness of Life For Mother Nature). Coming from 12 dioceses, delegates included church volunteers and ministers. The conference also expounded on various themes of Laudato Si through various tracks given by resource persons ranging from bishops to environmental advocates and experts. CBCPNews