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How we can save the planet and ourselves

The ongoing burning of the rainforests in Brazil under newly elected president, Jair Bolsonaro, is an indication of the destructive power of a dictatorial leader. He is allowing thousands of hectares of rainforest to be cut down and burnt. Toxic fumes engulf many Brazilian towns. He is changing the forest into grazing lands for beef production. 
 








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Call to action to save burning Amazon rainforest

SAO PAULO (CNS): “Crying out to the world for solidarity,” leaders of CELAM, the Latin American bishops’ council, urged international action to save the Amazon rainforest as massive fires continued to burn.
 
“We urge the governments of the Amazonian countries, especially Brazil and Bolivia, the United Nations and the international community to take serious measures to save the lungs of the world,” said the statement on August 22 by the top officers of the council.
 

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Setting a green example

MANILA (UCAN): According to Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga, in Bataan province, north of the Philippine capital, Manila, the diocese is going green to be more “earth-friendly.”
 
He said that said part of the efforts to care for the environment includes stopping the use of plastic flowers and plastic tarpaulins to decorate churches.
 
“In our cathedral we go green,” the bishop said, adding that parishes are encouraged to use real plants and flowers as decor.
 

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Synod emphasises Church’s mission to defend the vulnerable

VATICAN (CNS): The objective of the upcoming Synod of Bishops for the Amazon is to highlight the need for religious, political and social leaders to come together and defend the dignity of indigenous men, women and children and an ecosystem that is crucial to the environment, said Pedro Cardinal Barreto Jimeno of Huancayo, Peru.
 

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Dam casts shadow of uncertainty in the Philippine mountains

A waxing moon floated in the night sky, giving light to a small group of people huddled outside a hut in a hamlet somewhere in the hinterlands of Luzon Island in the Philippines.
There was excited talk between sips of coffee. A baby was about to be born and the comadrona, or midwife, had just arrived.
 
The sleepy hamlet of Pangotlaon is one of several small settlements that make up the village of Magsaysay in the town of Nakar in Quezon province.
 








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Conservationists call for protecting biodiversity

VATICAN (CNS): “We can learn how to take care of the world. And we must use all our strength to find ways of making the world more human, giving people the possibility to live their lives so that we may share the richness and the resources given to us in a way that could never be possessed or owned by us,” said the final, May 15 statement from the participants at a conference on species protection.
 

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World in need of ecological conversion to advance sustainability

VATICAN (CNS): “For a correct shift toward a sustainable future, we must recognise our errors, sins, faults and failures, which leads to a heartfelt repentance and desire to change; in this way, we will be reconciled with others, with creation and with the Creator,” said Pope Francis at the three-day international conference, Religions and the Sustainable Development Goals: Listening to the cry of the earth and of the poor, on March 8 at the Vatican.
 

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Anti-coal power campaign in central Philippines

MANILA (UCAN): Bishop Gerry Alminaza of San Carlos, Negros Occidental, the central Philippines, has expressed support for a campaign against the building of a coal-fired power plant in the province. He said local Church leaders are giving their full backing for the move, initiated by the Youth for Climate Hope group.
 
“As our youth said, we will stand against this because this is about our future,” the bishop said on Ash Wednesday.
 

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Greening the Christian heart

Brother William Ng OFM
 
The concept of ecological conversion—the idea of creating a global community that both cares for one another and the planet—could very well have come from St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment.
 








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Pushing for strong deal at climate summit

KATOWICE (CNS): “The Church is exerting pressure and showing really significant commitment. We must hope countries match this,” said Rebecca Elliott, communications director of Global Catholic Climate Movement, a coalition of more than 650 Catholic organisations, as Catholic representatives worked to keep negotiations on track for a comprehensive deal to address global warming as the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations (UN) Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) entered its second and final week in Katowice, Poland.
 

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