Church groups draft Laudato Si’ implementation strategies

Church groups met in Manila to come up with “concrete ecological actions” that will address what they described as a “climate emergency.”

Sep 14, 2019

By Mark Saludes
Church groups met in Manila to come up with “concrete ecological actions” that will address what they described as a “climate emergency.”

The Sept 3-5 meeting was aimed at having a “closer look” at Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’, and a pastoral letter issued by the country’s Catholic bishops in July that called for “ecological conversion,” organisers said.

"We want to know our best practices in environmental protection or the things that we are not doing yet," Bishop Valentin Dimoc of Bontoc-Lagawe said.


In the July 16 pastoral letter, the bishops instructed dioceses across the country to make caring for the environment a special concern.

The letter titled "An Urgent Call for Ecological Conversion: Hope in the Face of Climate Emergency" said saving "our common home" is not only a Christian duty but a "moral imperative."

The bishops urged church institutions "to discern the issues and actively care for the earth at personal, communitarian, and institutional levels."

Father Edwin Gariguez, executive secretary of the social action arm of the bishops' conference, stressed the need for a plan "that will translate the exhortation into specific programs and actions."

This week's meeting will also tackle ways to work with other groups to pursue a "common agenda to protect the fragile ecosystem."

Yolanda Esguerra, national coordinator of the Philippine-Misereor Partnership Inc., said the Church "can still do something to combat the impact of climate change."

She said various groups have to pool their resources in a direction "where we can save our common home."

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said it is important to "organize and mobilize" local communities, especially those that are most vulnerable to the impact of climate change.

Archbishop Rolando Tirona, head of Caritas Philippines, said environmental protection has always been an "integral part of our pastoral ministry."

"Now we need to move fast forward and take concrete action to save [the environment] from destruction," he said.--
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