Catholic movement awaits second papal document on environment

August 31, 2023 - 12:43 PM
From left, Mr. Robert Samson of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Ecumenical Affairs, Rev. Irma Balaba of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines, Atty. Maya Quirino of the Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center and Bro. John Din of Laudato Si Movement Pilipinas after a press briefing on Aug. 29 for this year’s Season of Creation. (CBCP News)

A Catholic movement has welcomed Pope Francis’ upcoming document aimed at protecting the environment.

The Laudato Si’ Movement Pilipinas said what is needed are “concrete actions” to address most pressing environmental issues, which they hope will be tackled in the second part of the Laudato sì encyclical.

“Laudato Si’ is very general in its orientation… so people are asking for concrete actions, and I presume that’s what will come out in the second part,” said Bro. John Din, LSMP national coordinator.

Ahead of the ecumenical celebrations of the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation on Sept. 1, Pope Francis earlier said he was writing a follow-up document to his Laudato sì encyclical released in 2015.

Speaking to a delegation of lawyers from member countries of the Council of Europe on Aug. 21 in the Vatican, he said the new document will focus on “current issues” affecting people across the world.

In Manila, this year’s commemoration of the Season of Creation was launched on Aug. 29 by three networks: the CBCP Episcopal on Ecumenical Affairs (ECEA), the Philippine Council for Evangelical Churches and the National Council of Churches in the Philippines.

At a press briefing, activities for the month-long observance were announced, including the Weekly Walk for (and with) Creation.

Other initiatives, organizers said, aim to highlight environmental concerns, sites of struggle, and sites of care, such as oil spills, Manila Bay reclamation, seabed quarrying, and the proposed Kaliwa Dam.

“Today, all together, we are collaborating as one family as inhabitants of creation–of the whole world–to work together to save our planet,” said Robert Samson of the CBCP ECEA.