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Philippine bishops call for ecological conversion amid climate crisis

MANILA (CNS): The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) criticised “the continuing destruction of our common home” and called for “ecological conversion” amid “climate emergency” in a nine-page pastoral letter on the environment, released on July 16.
 
CBCPNews said that the first half of the letter offers a reflection on the state of the environment, while the second half recommends concrete ecological actions.
 
“Given the high rate of poverty in the Philippines, the need to manage the environment is paramount. Poverty and environmental degradation mutually reinforce each other,” CBCPNews reported the letter as saying.
 
The letter outlines the issues facing the country, among them the irresponsible mining, the building of dams and the growing dependence on fossil fuel-based energy, such as coal. Several studies have shown that the Philippines is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change.
 
The letter was released after the bishops’ recent July 6 to 8 plenary assembly in Manila as way of helping put into action Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical, Laudato Si’, on Care for Our Common Home (Sunday Examiner, 14 July).
 
The bishops agreed not to allow the financial resources of Catholic institutions to be invested in favour of coal-fired power plants and mining companies, CBCPNews reported.
 
“Divestment from such investment portfolios must be encouraged,” they stressed.
 
They also announced the creation of an ecology desk in all diocesan social action centres that would make ecology a special concern.
 
“We have the moral imperative to act together decisively in order to save our common home. This is our Christian duty and responsibility,” the bishops said.

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