4 Sep, 2015
Vatican City, AFP, September 3, 2015 – Pope Francis has called on the rich and powerful to take care of Earth as he launched a day of global prayer ahead of key meetings on climate change.
The pontiff, speaking at St. Peter’s Basilica, asked God to enlighten “those who hold power and money so that they avoid the sin of indifference… and take care of the world we inhabit.”
His comments came in the first celebration of “World Day for Prayer for the Care of Creation,” which the pontiff created to boost support for the environment.
Francis has become a leading defender of green causes, particularly in the fight against climate change, and is due to address the UN Special Summit on Sustainable Development this month in New York.
UN members will gather in Paris from November 30 to December 11 in a bid for a deal to cap heat-trapping carbon emissions, the driver of man-made climate change.
The goal is to limit the temperature rise by two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial levels, but the negotiations have proved long and hard.
In the Philippines, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle called for ecological conversion, saying one way to do this is by changing one’s lifestyle.
Tagle lamented the throw-away culture in the society which contributes to the destruction of the environment.
“We should look at what the Holy Father said the throwaway culture. One ecologist said the more we grow, the more we throw,” said Tagle in his homily during yesterday’s opening of the Season of Creation of the Archdiocese of Manila which coincides with the observance of the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.
“When one already has too many shoes, too many are also thrown,” he added.
Tagle also urged the faithful to show their concern for the environment by turning off the lights when it is not being used and being contented with what we have.
He asked everyone to care for Mother Earth as we are only stewards of God’s creation.
“Since God is the creator, He is the owner of everything. We are humble creatures. We are not owners. We are stewards,” said Tagle.