Manila (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ has been translated into Tagalog (Filipino). Translated from the Spanish by Leo R. Ocampo, the landmark document on the care of the environment and its creatures was published by Claretian Communications, and released at the recent Manila International Book Fair.
When the papal letter was originally released, Catholic bishops called on Filipinos, Christians, and non-Christians alike, to study and reflect on the various points of the encyclical. Our Lady of Angels parish in Atimonan (Quezon province), was among the first to respond.
The local church decided to raise for environmental awareness by installing solar panels on the roof of its building. In switching to clean energy, the parish not only took advantage of the sun but also cut its energy bills.
For Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, whilst the document does not presume to settle scientific questions, “it offers a pastoral analysis and appeal nurtured by the Bible, Catholic social teachings, the pronouncements of Popes, and a reading of the current ecological conditions we are facing.”
Similarly, Archbishop Socrates Villegas, who is the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, pointed out that “Laudato Si teaches us that the core of the matter of climate change is justice.”
Fr Emmanuel Villareal, parish priest in Our Lady of the Angels, Atimonan, said that environmental conversion was welcome news.
“By making a small step towards becoming a ‘green church,’ we are providing our people a strong message that switching to renewables is possible and we, starting with our communities, can do it now”, the clergyman said.
The church’s new 5 KW grid type system will meet almost half of its daytime electricity needs. This will roughly save 12,000 pesos (US$ 255) from its monthly bill.
But for Our Lady of Angels Parish, this is not enough. The Parish is in fact leading a fight against the construction of a 1,200mw coal-fired power plant near Villa Ibaba, in Atimonan, which is in the Diocese of Lucena.
What is more, Caritas Philippines said that it fully supports the parish, which is in the Diocese of Lucena.