PH religious to establish climate change desk

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Convinced that it is an issue no one can afford to ignore, AMRSP executive secretary Fr. Dexter Toledo, OFM, underlines the need for collective response on climate change. (Photo: Raymond A. Sebastián)

MANILA, August 4, 2015— All religious congregations in the country are expected to create a climate change desk to promote a collective response to the environmental issue.

The Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP) urged its member congregations to set up such a desk to promote a cause for “climate justice” and to give formation on the landmark document.

Franciscan Fr. Dexter Toledo, ARMSP executive secretary, said climate change will be among their “priorities“ as they embrace Pope Francis’ Laudato Si encyclical.

Ecology networks, stakeholders

“This will be part of the whole campaign of the AMRSP’s justice, peace, and integrity of creation commission,” Toledo said.

The commitment to establish such a desk was the outcome of the recent AMRSP convention held in Cebu City.

In a statement, the AMRSP said the desks will work with ecology networks and stakeholders like the Global Catholic Climate Movement and groups with similar initiatives.

The organization also vowed to offer the faithful “sustained and continuing” pastoral formation on the Pope’s encyclical.

FABC climate change desk

The goal, they said, is to achieve “a collective understanding and eco-spirituality that is contextualized in our congregational charisms and advocacies on the environment, disaster and risk-management, good governance, anti-corruption and peace building.”

Dominican Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, former rector of the University of Santo Tomas, said that the Philippines has over 12, 000 nuns and about 7, 335 priests wherein roughly 2, 298 of them are from the religious who are working in 86 archdioceses and dioceses.

The Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) is currently pushing for the creation of a climate change desk in every episcopal conference in Asia.

Last month, the FABC held a conference on climate change in Manila that was highlighted by a discussion on Laudato Si and was attended by groups involved in the mitigation and adaptation of change measures. (Luke Godoy/CBCPNews)

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