Environmentalists urged Filipinos from all walks of life to stand for Mother Earth amid the unfolding climate and environmental crisis by partaking in the “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation” next Tuesday.
Pope Francis recently declared the annual observance of the “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation” on September 1, corresponding to the “Day for the Protection of the Environment” of the Orthodox Church.
According to the “green pope,” the yearly celebration “will offer individual believers and communities a fitting opportunity 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.”
“We are one with the Catholic Church in promoting awareness and action for environmental sustainability, which is threatened by irresponsible human behaviors, including the depletion of natural resources, inane materialism, throw-away culture and polluting practices,” said Sonia Mendoza, President of the EcoWaste Coalition, an environmental network espousing clean production and zero waste.
“We congratulate the Church for this latest ‘green’ initiative following the historic release of Laudato Si, which we hope will evolve into an ecumenical platform for global, national and local efforts leading to ‘ecological conversion’ within the church and society,” she added.
Environmental and spiritual leaders from other faith groups also welcomed the reiteration of the papal plea for “ecological conversion” during the “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.”
Rene Pineda, an evangelical Christian, said: “Our common faith in the Creator of heaven and earth interconnects all forms of lives, spirits and things. As we continue to sin, disrespect and desecrate all that is created, we displease God. But as our God loves us eternally, please pray for the forgiveness of our sins and renewal of vow to respect, protect and conserve all that He has created.” Pineda is President of the Partnership for Clean Air, a multi-sector network promoting better air quality management in the country.
Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) priest Fr. Jun Silvestre, stated: “The climate crisis affects us all, especially the poor. We need to act together to push for ecological solutions, starting with simple things that we can do to lessen our impact on the environment.” Silvestre is from the IFI Parish of La Purisima Concepcion in Malabon City.
The EcoWaste Coalition likewise commended the effort of the Redemptorists, together with the devotees, to turn the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Baclaran into a “green” zone.
Aside from declaring the church compound as a non-smoking area, Baclaran Church has put up large receptacles for the recycling of plastic bottles and other recyclable discards and has embarked on vegetable gardening as well.
Baclaran Church is also planning to tap solar power as clean, safe and renewable source of energy.