Cardinal Bo calls for ecological justice

Myanmar’s Cardinal Charles Maung Bo has called for ecological justice as Pope Francis plans to publish a second Laudato Sì’ next month.

Sep 15, 2023

Women carry drinking water near Naypyitaw, Myanmar. (CNS file photo/EPA/Hein Htet)

NAYPYIDAW: Myanmar’s Cardinal Charles Maung Bo has called for ecological justice as Pope Francis plans to publish a second Laudato Sì’ next month.

“This ecological injustice has robbed food from the plates of millions of children in poor countries and snatched water from their thirsty mouths,” Cardinal Bo, president of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conference, said on September 1 to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. This year’s theme is Let Justice and Peace Flow.

He said, “Farmers have lost their seeds and forests have lost their topsoil. Poor countries are strangled with an existential crisis.”

The 74-year-old cardinal slammed the rich nations who plunder resources from the third world, and termed it ‘incremental genocide’.

“This is a horrendous injustice.”

Stop inflicting mortal wounds on Mother Earth. She is the only mother gifted by a generous and all-loving God, Bo said.

Prophet Amos called for a world where justice and peace flow like a river. The modern Amos, Pope Francis, knocked on the doors of all nations with his path-breaking encyclical, Laudato Si’, in June 2015, the Myanmar cardinal noted.

On Aug 30, speaking at the end of his general audience, Pope Francis said he plans “to publish a second Laudato Sì’,” on Oct 4, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi.

Covering current issues, the second part will be an exhortation, which will take the number of exhortations by Pope Francis to six.

In May 2020, more than 40 faith groups, more than half of them Catholic, decided to divest from fossil fuel firms, following the papal call on ecology.

The Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), popularly known as the Vatican Bank, has said it does not invest in fossil fuels, Reuters reported in June 2020.

At the meeting of the International Association of Penal Law on Nov 15, 2019, the Pope proposed that “sins against ecology” be added to the teachings of the Catholic Church and declared “ecocide” as a fifth category of crimes against peace.

“Wounding and killing her [nature] is a matricide,” a crime of catastrophic proposition, the cardinal said.

“The time for action is now. There is no tomorrow for children” in ecologically sensitive countries, he stressed.

“Never in history have so many millions suffered for the egoistic enjoyment of a few.”

The cardinal quoted the Pope’s 225-page encyclical that called the environmental crisis a social evil.

“Let environmental justice and peace flow like a river” as the modern Amos wants it, Cardinal Bo demanded, referring to the Church’s crusade against the current ecological crisis under Pope Francis.--

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