Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Laudato sì is "the moral conscience of the Catholic Church on how to behave toward Earth, a living environment for humans, a gift of God who creates life for all people”, said Card. Luis Antonio Tagle, Archbishop of Manila and president of Caritas Internationalis, in a speech in Jakarta to members of the Indonesian Bishops Conference (KWI).
Addressing the bishops of the archipelago, the cardinal encouraged the country's Catholic community to be active in spreading the message of the last encyclical of Pope Francis. Among the most effective means, Tagle pointed to interfaith working groups, whose leaders have a large following among the country's population.
The Archbishop of Manila has cited his experience in the Philippines as an example, where some non-Catholic religious leaders have praised the content of Laudato sì and pledged their support in spreading the Pope’s message to their communities.
Card. Tagle was joined by Maria Ratnaningsih, environmental expert at the University of Indonesia and KWI collaborator in addressing the bishops at the seminar. She recalled the central theme of the papal text, the concept that "the Earth is a gift from God that we must care for (for the sake of future generations) and not possess (for the financial benefits of certain groups)."
The Cardinal went on to say that the encyclical requires everyone to make gestures of friendship toward Earth and pushes those in decision making roles (politicians, lawmakers, businessmen and members of the government) to identify sustainable development that will socially and economically benefit the next generation. "What we decide today - said Tagle - will have effects on future generations and for this reason we are called to spread a moral lifestyle, which invests in human development".
The archbishop of Manila said that the rationale of the document is Ignatian, based on experience (seeing), reflection (Judgment), action and evaluation (celebration). In reference to action, the cardinal encouraged the bishops to take action to reduce violence, selfishness, exploitation and commit themselves to the protection of the weakest.