Philippine bishops back call for action for ‘healthy planet and healthy people’

August 25, 2021

Pro-environment groups join the protest action during the last State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo Duterte on July 26. (Photo by Gerimara Manuel)

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has added its support to a petition urging global leaders to take action and support a “healthy planet and healthy people.”

Launched in May this year by Laudato Si Movement, the petition will be delivered to world leaders at two different UN meetings — the UN Biodiversity Conference in October and the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November.

The petition specifically tells global leaders how they should care for “our common home”.

Among the calls is for them to “explicitly recognize human-induced climate change and biodiversity as part of one and the same crisis”.

It also wants them to “acknowledge the need for ambitious, integrated, and transformative action that responds to both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor”.

World leaders are also urged to “urgently affirm the Parish Agreement to limit warming to 1.5 degrees celsius, and to a new biodiversity global goal of 50% conservation of lands and waters, and restoration and sustainable management of all the rest of land and water bodies to ensure no more biodiversity loss”.

In a pastoral message released Aug. 23, the CBCP asked Catholics and other institutions to sign the petition that will ask world leaders to establish meaningful agreements to protect the earth.

“Our common home is on the brink of catastrophe. Urgent actions are needed,” said its president, Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao.

“We hope that this Season of Creation would lead us to renew our commitment to action to ensure that all creation will have a safe and healthy home to flourish and participate in renewing the Oikos of God,” he added.

As the Church will celebrate next month the Season of Creation, Valles also asked the faithful to participate in the activities organized by the CBCP National Laudato Si Program.

The annual celebration will start on Sept. 1, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, and ends on Oct. 4, the feast of St. Francis, the patron saint of ecology.

In the Philippines, the Church has extended its Season of Creation by a week to October 10, the Indigenous Peoples Sunday.

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