Dhaka (AsiaNews) – Mgr Patrick D'Rozario, archbishop of Dhaka, organised a debate on Pope Francis’ Laudato si’ encyclical in order to promote the pope’s teachings and put them into practice.
Held last Saturday in the auditorium of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Bangladesh, the event brought together some 80 educators, teachers, activists, religious and environmentalists.
“According to Catholic tradition, the Holy Father expresses the thoughts and concerns of the Church on major issues by means of encyclicals,” said the archbishop in his opening address. “Following this tradition, Pope Francis published his latest encyclical on the care of our common home ".
The document “reflects two major issues,” said Mgr D'Rozario. “First, nature cannot be considered as something separate from ourselves. Hence, we need a holistic view of ecology. Second, ecological changes have become an important global issue."
Indeed, for Sanjeeb Drong, a Catholic tribal leader, "We must take care of our culture and hold on to it, for it teaches love and respect for the environment, for the river and the forest, as our mother."
At the same time, "We must establish a relationship of brotherhood among people of all religions, including indigenous peoples and ordinary folks,” Sanjeeb added. “This way we can implement the pope's encyclical."
According to Fr Topan D'Rozario, an associate professor in the Department of Religion at the University of Dhaka, every religion teaches love for the land.
Therefore, everyone must "sincerely take care of God's creation, and keep in mind that none of us is God, but only His creatures, the best of God’s creations who must take care of the earth."
"We can heed the pope’s by teaching everyone to love the environment from the point of view of his or her religion,” the priest added.
"We intend to practice in our lives the teachings of the Pope and to communicate them to others,” another participant told AsiaNews.
For this reason, every Catholic diocese in the country organised seminars to discuss Laudato si’ to help the faithful understand it and practice it.
Bangladesh is divided into six Catholic dioceses. Only 0.4 per cent of the population (156 million) is Catholic.