MANILA, July 13, 2015—Inspired by the encyclical “Laudato Si’,” the Catholic Church in the Philippines, led by Manila Archbishop Luís Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, spearheaded the Catholic Climate Petition campaign recently, and called on all Filipinos to take action now for the sake of what Pope Francis describes as “our common home.”
75 parishes and counting
“A first round of 75 parishes have already received the campaign materials and will start collecting signatures in Sunday masses,” said Lou Arsenio, coordinator of the Archdiocese of Manila (RCAM)’s Ministry on Ecology, as well as of the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) in the Philippines, in a press release, noting that the launch was just the first step towards a massive mobilization of the Philippine Church backed by her leaders.
The first petition events are currently ongoing, and are addressed to diocesan leaders from the regions of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
Meanwhile, on July 10, the Permanent Councils of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) hosted a presentation of the petition campaign, which is expected to be followed by a series of GCCM events throughout the country.
Leaders of the Church in the country have responded to the Holy Father’s latest encyclical by supporting the petition which aims to collect at least one million signatures to convince world leaders who will be present at a climate summit in Paris, France in late November about the pressing issue of environmental degradation.
The Catholic Climate Petition is a global campaign led by the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM), a coalition of over 140 Catholic organizations from all continents working for climate action.
Pope Francis endorsed the petition campaign in May when he met with representatives of the movement at the Vatican.
In an earlier CBCP News post, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick S. Pabillo pointed out the environment is an issue that should concern not only scientists and specialists, given that its conservation or destruction has implications that can directly affect the future of all, especially the poor.
“Does the Church have a right to teach on environmental issues? Yes! Our Father in heaven created nature … and He created it good. And since we are all children of God, it is only our duty to care for all that our Father had created,” he explained.
He said caring for the environment is one of the many ways the faithful can concretely express charity to their neighbors, particularly the “poorest of the poor,” whom he laments are the ones often most affected by flash floods, landslides, and other hazards like the greed of policy-makers and industrialists bring about “in the name of progress.”
Pabillo further bemoaned that many capitalists, particularly those involved in irresponsible mining, see the environment and its resources merely as something to be exploited for profit. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)