09/01/2018, 11.24
INDIA
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Mumbai diocese goes 'green' against climate change

by Nirmala Carvalho

The initiative is launched for today's World  Day for the Protection of Creation. The project was born as a response to Pope Francis 'encyclical "Laudato si'". At the head of the operations there will be Msgr. Allwyn D'Silva, Secretary of the Office for Climate Change of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - Climate change "is already underway. There is no doubt about this. There is no need to convince us that climate change exists. We have been victims for a long time” Msgr. Allwyn D'Silva, of the archdiocese of Mumbai and secretary of the Office for Climate Change of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (Fabc) tells AsiaNews.

He was chosen by Card. Oswald Gracias, President of the Indian Bishops' Conference, of the FABC and Archbishop of the Indian metropolis, to pilot the turning point of the archdiocese in the coming years: becoming "green", that is, respectful of the environment.

The initiative was launched by the Cardinal last August 15 and is implemented starting today, September 1, in conjunction with the World Day for the Protection of Creation. In presenting the project, Card. Gracias writes: "The Church, alarmed by the signs of our time, recognizes that the ecological crisis is the greatest challenge in today's world. Responding to this crisis is an integral part of the Church's mission. Both for the respect of God's creation and for the concerns raised for those affected by its devastation, the environmental crisis is the moral issue of Catholics today ".

The project was born as a response to Pope Francis 'encyclical "Laudato si'". The Cardinal admits that the effects of change will only be seen in the long run. He later adds that it "must include an approach that combines spirituality and education with awareness". Finally, he invites everyone to take care "of our common home. May our hearts be open to contemplation of the gift of creation ".

Msgr. D'Silva reports that "the decade of 2008-2017 was the hottest in history in India. This, coupled with poor management of water reserves, led to droughts and water shortages ". The bishop reports that the same "World Bank has recently identified climate change as the greatest threat to the potential growth of the Indian economy and has predicted a decrease in living standards for almost half of the inhabitants, due to changes in temperatures and in precipitation. The Indian people deserve much more than this anguished future".

In addition to the damage, he adds, "to add insult to injury, the main cause of climate change - that is the combustion of fossil fuels like coal - causes a myriad of other problems that cause enormous suffering to the Indians. Last but not least, air pollution. Ironically, in many parts of India each and every breath is equivalent to a step towards death. In 2018, about 1.8 million inhabitants died from air pollution ". "To close our eyes to this reality means to avoid the gaze of our conscience".

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