By Robin Gomes
The Catholic Church in the Philippines is currently in the “Season of Creation”, a month-long campaign to remind the people of the urgent appeal by Pope Francis to all people of goodwill in his encyclical "Laudato sì", to care for "our common home".
The campaign was launched with a Mass by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Archbishop of Manila, on Sunday, 1 September, The “Season of Creation” will last until 4 October, the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi.
Action on "Laudato si"
The campaign is being sponsored by the Philippine branch of the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM), a worldwide campaign to turn Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ encyclical into action for climate justice, through personal ecological conversion, change in lifestyles and calling for bold public policies together with the wider climate movement.
Over five thousand people from different schools, parishes, religious communities, environmental groups, dioceses, environmental supporters and associations attended the launch of the “Season of Creation” and participated in the “Walk for Creation”.
Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan, Vice President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, and Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao also attended the event.
Cardinal Tagle told the faithful that "caring for creation" and "protecting the environment" are issues that are central to the development and future of not only the Philippines but also of the entire planet.
“We have forgotten how to take care of our trees, animals, waters and land. We have become greedy, and disrespected our common home,” he said in his homily.
“And so today we appeal to everyone: let us renew our pledge to respect one another and the web of life,” he said.
Change in relationship with man and creation
The cardinal stressed that there would be nothing to celebrate “if we will not change our relationship with one another and with the ecosystem surrounding us”. “Thus, it is vital that we change the way we live.”
“And it is not yet too late. We have this opportunity every day to celebrate the “Season of Creation” by being respectful, loving, compassionate and selfless,” he said.
Founded in January 2015, the GCCM is a coalition over 400 Catholic member organizations in all continents, numbering nearly 1 million Catholics, with its international Steering Committee and a secretariat based in Boston, US. CGGM was started in the Philippines in 2016.