MANILA, Philippines – Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle reminded everyone on Sunday, September 1, to take care of Earth as he led the celebration of the Catholic Church's "season of creation."
At the Walk for Creation event in Quezon City, Tagle noted that the Earth "withered, paled and, is now dying because of our doing – wrong doing."
"We have forgotten how to take care of our trees, animals, waters and land. We have become greedy, and disrespected our common home," Tagle continued.
He added, "There would be nothing to celebrate if we will not change our relationship with one another and with the ecosystem surrounding us."
Tagle then appealed to everyone, "Let us renew our pledge to respect one another and the web of life."
He argued that it is not yet too late to begin. "The earth is the source of the air we breathe, the food we eat, and things that make our lives comfortable. Thus, it is vital that we change the way we live. And it is not yet too late. We have this opportunity every day to celebrate the Season of Creation by being respectful, loving, compassionate and selfless."
Pope Francis in 2015 designated September 1 as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, and invited dioceses worldwide to celebrate the "season of creation." On Sunday, people from various schools, parishes, religious communities, and civil society organizations took part in the third Walk for Creation event at Liwasang Aurora in Quezon City Circle.
In a statement, Father John Leydon, Global Catholic Climate Movement-Pilipinas chairperson, said that the Church "is coming to a deeper awareness of who we are supposed to be in this situation."
"We are being called to worship God as our Creator. The Season of Creation is a special time we set aside for worship, and to open ourselves to listen to His voice, heard in the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor," Leydon said.
Father Edwin Gariguez of NASSA-Caritas Philippines added that we "cannot just be bystanders anymore" and that all sectors should treat the climate emergency seriously and with urgency.
"If we want to be called sons and daughters of God, then by all means we have to start caring for one another, and for our common home." – Michael Bueza/Rappler.com