MANILA, June 19, 2015—A member of the Philippine episcopate maintains the environment is an issue that should concern not only scientists and other experts, stressing its conservation or destruction has implications that can directly affect the future of all, especially the poor.
Care for creation
“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,” shared Manila Bishop Broderick S. Pabillo, who was at the Malate Church on Thursday, June 18, to brief the public on the expected contents of Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, “Laudato si’” (Praised be), moments before its release.
The prelate, who also chairs the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)’s Permanent Committee on Public Affairs (PCPA), explained that caring for the environment is one of the many ways the faithful can concretely express charity for their neighbors, particularly the “poorest of the poor,” whom he laments are the ones often most devastated by flash floods, landslides, and other like hazards the greed of policy-makers and industrialists bring about “in the name of progress.”
Pabillo bemoaned that many capitalists, particularly those involved in irresponsible mining, see the environment and its resources merely as something to be exploited for profit.
Moreover, the Salesian bishop rejoiced at the timeliness of “Laudato Si’,” urging all, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, to study and reflect on the important points the Holy Father raises.
Living it out
“I invite everyone of you to study this encyclical, to discuss it in our parishes, at home, and in our schools, and to see how we can best live out its proposals,” Pabillo said.
Unlike past encyclicals which were addressed specifically to Catholic bishops, he stated that in “Laudato Si’” Pope Francis communicates to all people of goodwill. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)