DAVAO City, Aug. 8, 2015—Inspired by Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’, the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) has jumpstarted its grassroots campaign in the various episcopal sees of Mindanao from Aug. 4 to 7 in a bid to raise awareness among the faithful on the need for climate action in the light of Catholic social teachings.
“Mindanao suffered much from the abuse of the environment, Many Church people, priests, religious, and lay leaders offered their lives in defense of the forests and the island’s rich resources. But until today, profit is still valued over people. Rather, it should be people over profit,” emphasized Fray Tagoy Jakosalem, OAR, who facilitated the Laudato Si’ workshop for the participants from the Archdiocese of Davao and Cotabato, and the Dioceses of Tagum, Kidapawan and Digos
Focusing on the grassroots, the Recollect brother explained that in order to mobilize the climate petition, the group aims to collect as many as ten million signatures ahead of the COP21 climate conference to be held Paris this December, by empowering the local church through community conversations on the care for creation.
“We aim to reach the ten million signatures along with grassroots environmental education, and with the mandate of CBCP [Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines] for ecological transformation” said Lou Arsenio, GCCCM organizer and co-founder from the Archdiocese of Manila (RCAM)’s Ministry on Ecology.
Social action directors, staffers, ecology desk campaigners, IP community organizers, and religious representatives from different congregations were all out in support for the campaign, vowing to help GCCM generate the target number of signatures, and to relay the message of Laudato Si’ to as many church communities as possible.
“We intend to reach the hearts of our people to care for our future,” said Rodne Galicha, country manager of The Climate Reality Project (TCRP), which teams up with GCCM in delivering the campaign to communities.
At the end of the workshops, the participants came out with grassroots reflections on the encyclical of Pope Francis on the questions: “What have we done that contributed to the destruction of creation? What have we committed wrong? What have we done right? What do we need to do?” (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)