Only ‘ecological conversion’ can address climate crisis — bishop

Only ‘ecological conversion’ can address climate crisis — bishop

By CBCP News

September 1, 2020

Manila, Philippines

Unless there is a true ecological conversion, the attempt to pursue the concern for the environment is bound to fail, a church official said.

Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan, Acting President of the Philippine bishops’ conference, said only ecological conversion can address the ecological crisis the world is facing.

Taking cue from the coronavirus pandemic, he said that “not only has it awakened us of our vulnerabilities, it also made us realize how helpless we can be despite all the scientific and technological advances that we think we have achieved”.

“There is no way we can face the future with hope in the face of a climate emergency unless we respond with humility to the urgent call for ecological conversion,” David said.

The bishop made the statement in his message for this year’s “Season of Creation (SOC)”, an annual celebration and action observed by 2.2 billion Christians worldwide.

Over 70 church and civil organizations on Tuesday kicked off the Philippine celebration, which urges people of all faiths to “respond to the call to care for earth, our common home”.

Fr. John Leydon, chairperson of Global Catholic Climate Movement – Pilipinas, said the 40-day campaign is an important period in the Church’s calendar from the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation on Sept. 1 to the first week of October.

“During this time, we are asked to focus on God as our Creator and we as creatures in communion with all that was brought into being by the work of His hands,” Fr. Leydon said.

With the theme “Jubilee for the Earth,” the SOC activities are led by the GCCM – Pilipinas and its partners, and backed by the CBCP.

From Sept. 1 to Oct. 11, GCCM Pilipinas will be providing liturgical resources and platforms to highlight ecological struggles in different communities around the country and the initiatives being made to address them.

The resources are made available to the general public through the groups’ social media platforms.

The online activities lined up include a Virtual Walk for Creation which features communities and sites battling ecological issues and daily reflections.

GCCM will also organize a series of webinars on issues such as Kaliwa Dam, mining, reclamation, financing of coal, promotion and defense of indigenous peoples and environmental defenders’ rights, the advancement of renewable energy, and the Rights of Nature campaign.

The group said this Season of Creation is an opportunity to continue the process of ecological conversion, with the hope of empowering Christians and people of different faiths to commit decisively to care for our common home.

Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of San Carlos, Vice Chairman of the National Secretariat for Social Action, said the pandemic stresses the necessity of having collective concern for health and environment.

“This pandemic is a wake up call, a warning shot to everybody to care for one’s health, and equally with the environment because they are very much interrelated,” Alminaza told Radio Veritas.

“I hope we learn from this pandemic to really care for the environment and for the Season of Creation to create an impact collectively in the country, in the community, in our own family,” he added.

Bishop Jose Romeo Lazo of Jaro also appealed to people “to allow our common home to rest from our throw-away culture, our addiction to consumption, to unlimited economic growth, and to the dirty and deadly fossil fuels”.

“Let us open ourselves to the new normal of interconnectedness and interrelatedness. We are in this together,” he said.

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