Thai Bishop: "Laudato sì" renews the value of God's creation
by Weena Kowitwanij
Msgr. Santisukniran, Archbishop of Tharae-Nongsaeng, land of the first Thai martyrs, welcomes the encyclical that "listens to the cries of suffering people." The prelate condemns the use of pesticides and poisons that "destroy everything". He invites people to pray to the Virgin to teach to them to make good use of creation and to live in a brotherly manner.

Bangkok (AsiaNews) - "Like Moses, Pope Francis has heard the cries of the people suffering due to drought, floods, heat waves, rising seas, lack of food ... and published this encyclical with perfect timing" says Mgr. Louis Chamniern Santisukniran, archbishop of Tharae-Nongsaeng (in the province of Sakon Nakhon, in the northeast of Thailand) and President of the Thai Bishops' Conference in a message.

Of course the Pope alone "cannot save human lives and the world", adds the prelate, however, with the publication of "Laudato sì" he has brought to light the importance of God's creation "lacerated for too many years" and raised " the discussion on the topic ".

The prelate recalls the basics of Christianity, in which God calls his people to obey the commandments. "And the most important of these commandments - he adds - asks us to love God with all our heart and our brothers as He loves them. We must love all Creation [divine], which also includes animals and nature. If we destroy the nature that belongs to God, we are a source of offense in His eyes. "

In his remarks, Msgr. Louis recalls that "humans are greedy and selfish" by nature and do not feel responsible for the bad deeds they have committed, at least until they are discovered. However, he adds, sooner or later they have consequences and neither modern technology  nor the idea of ​​going to live on other planets are the right solution for the future of humanity. "These - he warns - are foolish ideas."

The prelate then recalls the problems that most closely affect the Third World countries and the emerging realities, such as "the pervasive use of pesticides" that "destroy everything" and the poisons that kill "insects, birds, amphibians". As if people were to choose, he adds, whether to die of starvation or for pesticides. He then recalls the problems facing industries, whose actions on the environment may become a boomerang that turn against them.

The prelate concludes his reflections inviting the faithful to "pray to the Virgin Mary" to teach us "to properly use the real fruit of God's creation" and ask for help "to live fraternally with each other".

Msgr. Louis Chamniern Santisukniran is archbishop of Tharae-Nongsaeng, a territory that covers the provinces of Sakon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom, Kalasin and Mukdahan. Among these Sakon Nakhon, where the curia is situated, stands out as the province that is home to the first seven martyrs of the Thai Church. They were killed by the police, because they would not renounce their Catholic faith; they were proclaimed blessed on October 22, 1989 by the then Pope - and today saint - John Paul II.

Today the majority of people in Thailand, about 95%, profess Buddhism, around 3% are Muslim, 0.5% Christian (Protestants and Catholics are more or less the same percentage), along with other groups and minor faiths.

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