Mgr Francis urges Catholics to reduce, reuse, and recycle through “personal, family and community participation in ecological integrity”. He calls on people to become "disciples of hope" in a situation that does not have none.
Penang (AsiaNews) – Mgr Sebastian Francis, bishop of Penang and president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei (BCMSB), yesterday issued a pastoral letter for Advent at the start of the new liturgical year.
In it, he writes that “We are all accountable for the situation the world is in and the future that will unfold. Let us not leave devastation as our legacy.”
"Advent is a time of waiting for the final return of the Lord, who is our Hope and Salvation. And it seems that the world has never needed such hope and salvation as urgently as today," Mgr Francis says with reference to the global climate crisis and its devastating effects.
"Dangerous climate change is already happening; but we can avoid catastrophic climate change by personal, family and community participation in ecological integrity,” he adds.
Quoting from the encyclical Laudato Sì, the BCMSB president tells the faithful that "The Word of God clearly reminds us that we are responsible for caring for the rest of creation as stewards and not as owners."
The bishop urges Catholics to accept Pope Francis’s call for "ecological conversion" and to change their lifestyle. "This means that true transformation of the world must come from within each one of us, not from without.”
For this to happen, “We must choose sacrifice over want, sharing over greed, and serving the common good of all creation over convenience. Only then can we truly be disciples of hope in a seemingly hopeless situation."
Hence, “I call upon each and every one of you to be one in mind, spirit and action in this important mission,” Mgr Francis writes.
“Be true ecological citizens and disciples of hope. Love and pray constantly for all creation. Stop polluting, reduce the excessive consumption of unnecessary disposable materials such as paper plates, plastic cutlery sets, tissue papers and plastic bags, conserve water, save electricity and plant more trees.”
In other words, “REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE. Do all you can to build a just, resilient and ecological world from your homes to your communities, parishes and organisations.
“Remember who you are: God’s own children”.