At the beginning of 2015, Pope Francis visited the Philippines. On the day he arrived, the Global Catholic Climate Movement was launched, backed by several Franciscan organizations and Manila’s Archbishop, Cardinal Chito Tagle, who hosted Pope Francis during his stay and took him to visit Tacloban, which had been devastated by a hurricane.
2015 turned out to be a crucial year in growing awareness of the environmental crisis. It was the year when Pope Francis wrote his remarkable Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ and world leaders met and signed the Paris Climate Agreement, when members of GCCM presented a petition to plead for the Agreement to aim at limiting global temperature increase to 1.5%, rather than 2%. The Agreement eventually did opt for a 1.5% limit, but the problem has been keeping nations to their promises. Five years after the movement started so ambitiously in Manila, it has changed its name and is now known as the Laudato Si’ Movement. You can visit their site and learn more by clicking here.
It has grown into a real worldwide movement, and shows how many Catholics (and other people) are genuinely worried about what we in so-called developed nations have done and continue to do to damage our common home.
We have many Filipinos and Filipinas in our parish, so are they willing and able to lead us in showing our care for God’s creation and for the poor of the earth? Their fellow-Catholics ‘back home’ have made a huge difference, but there is no need to leave it up to them. It would be wonderful if we could find ways to prove how much we want to care for our common home and for our poorest sisters and brothers around the world. If you have any ideas how we could do this as a parish, share them with Sister Maria or Father Peter.
Laudato Si´Encyclical, 2015 (read online, download or buy)
Read also: A Joint Message for the Protection of Creation (1st. September 2021)