Bengaluru: Pope Francis’ second encyclical ‘Laudato Si (Praise Be to You) was tabled for discussion for an action-plan in Bangalore Archdiocese August 5.
Priests, Religious and laity representing various organizations and institutions in the Archdiocese went through an almost 5-hour marathon of discussions, interventions and talks and consultations on how to implement the Pope’s call to address climate and environmental change.
Archbishop Bernard Moras presided over the Consultation and induced responses from the participants. In his address he noted “All of us are morally bound to implement the Holy Father’s call to protect the environment that is being threatened by heightened consumerism and irresponsible bureaucracy. We must implement pro-active environmental programs in co-ordination with Civic agencies and people of other religious groups too. The onus of saving the environment rests upon every member of society”. We should take the lead and set an example. Archbishop Moras also mentioned that the poor are the worst sufferers from Environmental degradation.
Commenting the Holy Father’s statement “protect the environment to protect yourself” the Prelate quoted US President Obama’s recent statement “We’re the first generation to feel the impact of climate change and the last generation that can do something about it”. He urged participants to promote frugal use of water and electricity and promote more greenery.
A participant during the interventions described the Encyclical as “probably the most powerful encyclical we have received in this century”.
Among the many suggestions and proposals were to involve ‘neighbors’ (people of other religious groups) in our action-plan, release a booklet of guidelines for all institutions, seminars, promote rain-water harvesting, avoid use of plastic in our Church and Institution programs, avoid ‘junk’ in our canteens, encourage planting of saplings in our institution premises, involve as many school and college children to actively collaborate in the activities, create awareness on proper garbage segregation and disposal and use the pulpit to talk on environmental issues in relation to the scriptures and Scriptures and to encourage writers to writer and translate articles for publication. Discussions on the seminary level and in nunneries was also suggested.
The key speakers of the day were Environmentalist Ishwara Prasad and Fr. Christopher Vimal Raj of the Archdiocese.