‘We need the millennials,’ CBCP says on saving environment

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CBCP president Archbishop Socrates Villegas (center) (Photo: CBCP News)

MANILA, August 28, 2015— Reflecting on the lessons of Saint Augustine, son of Saint Monica , CBCP President Archbishop Socrates Villegas expressed the need to reach out to the millennial generation, most especially in helping taking care of the environment.

The urgent push to reach out to the younger generation was spurred by Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si, and the recent declaration of Sept. 1 as the World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation.

“We need the millennials. The home that God entrusted to us is dying and it’s obvious with the climate change and irresponsibility we’ve tolerated for too long,” Villegas said.

“We need their help because times are changing fast and it is them who are at the forefront of it. They bear the responsibility of understanding and evolving not just with the environment but with the faith as the times do,” he said.

Villegas further explained that millennials have the power to communicate effectively and instantly compared to the older generations.

“We hope that by reaching out to them, they can help us reach out to more people. They do that so naturally and so effortlessly already. The same way the Word of God is something we’re naturally drawn to, we hope that they share the same message of caring for our only home,” he added.

Following the Pope’s example

In the recent green encyclical, Pope Francis expressed the pressing need to care about the earth more than ever. The ecological crisis, he said, is a summons “to a profound spiritual conversion” and to a way of life that clearly shows they are believers.

The Pope added that the annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation will be a time for individuals and communities to “reaffirm their personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which he has entrusted to our care, and to implore his help for the protection of creation as well as his pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live.”

“The Pope has taken a concrete lead for caring for our Mother Earth and we shouldn’t let his visit here earlier this year go to waste. As the governing body of Catholic religion and faith in the country, we are dedicated to following his example. We are, after all, not masters of the earth but stewards of it.” Villegas said. (CBCP News)

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