Some 2,000 people gathered for a ‘Walk for Creation’ in Manila. People must care for “creation as part of holiness”. For the archdiocese, the event marked the start of the ‘Time of Creation’. “Let us protect God’s creation, and His creation will likewise protect us,” said Mgr Socrates Villegas.
Manila (AsiaNews) – Card Luis Antonio Gokim Tagle, archbishop of Manila, issued a message the participants of the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation instituted by Pope Francis for every 1st September (Orthodox commemoration of God’s creation). In it he said that all people of goodwill need to pray for and with Creation, encourage each other to live simple lifestyles and care for and protect the earth.
The Global Catholic Climate Movement-Pilipinas (GCCM) organised a ‘Walk for Creation’ together with Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and various Catholic associations and institutions. The gathering was held at Manila’s Luneta Park, and attracted some 2,000 people.
For the archdiocese, the meeting also marked the beginning of the ‘Time of Creation’, a month of observance proposed by the Third European Ecumenical Assembly (Sibiu, 2007) that will end on 4 October, feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi.
The annual event includes a series of initiatives promoting environmental protection in parishes and communities.
At the start of the meeting, Card Tagle stressed that human beings are inseparable from the environment. He reiterated that many environmental crises the world faces today could be avoided if people were aware of the consequences of their actions.
Faced with the "misuse of creation," the archbishop emphasised that Christians are called to holiness in taking care of all living things.
“I think part of our mission today and in the coming years is to include more consciously the caring of creation as part of holiness,” Tagle said in his homily.
The CBCP urged everyone to protect the environment, which is also linked to alleviating the suffering of the poor.
“Let us take care of the earth not only because it would benefit our environment but also us. What we do to our environment, we do to our least brothers and sisters, and to God,” said Archbishop Socrates Villegas, CBCP president. “Let us protect God’s creation, and His creation will likewise protect us,” he added.
“Our aim is to promote 1st September as an important opportunity for prayer, reflection, conversion, and adoption of appropriate lifestyles, as Pope Francis said in response to the environmental crisis that afflicts us,” Father John Leyton, of GCCM Philippines, told AsiaNews.
“It is our hope that this initiative will bring unity, inspiration, and renew the commitment of people to respond to the cry of pain of the earth and the poor."