02/28/2017, 12.28
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A carbon fast for Lent in the Archdiocese of Mumbai

by Nirmala Carvalho

For two years the local Church proposes initiatives to reduce global warming. Auxiliary Bishop: "The Carbon fast is becoming popular and is also practiced after Lent". Pope Francis has created "a new beatitude: Blessed are those who protect and take care of our common home."

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - The carbon dioxide fast, that is, the reduction of the use of fuel, electricity and waste of plastic, paper and water, is the proposal of the Archdiocese of Mumbai (Maharashtra) for the period of Lent, which starts tomorrow.

In a statement posted on the Archdiocese website, the local Church says that "fasting challenges people to consider how their everyday actions can have an impact on the environment." So from tomorrow, Ash Wednesday, until April 8, Catholics are invited to "reduce actions that hurt God's creation."

Msgr. Allwyn D'Silva, Auxiliary Bishop and the Office of the Secretary for Climate Change of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC), reports that "for two years, the diocese has been organizing the carbon fast. Also this year we are continuing the initiative that has is becoming very popular, and continues to be practiced after Lent”.

Msgr. D'Silvia, recently appointed and known for his socially and environmentally responsible, continues: "In the account of Creation [the Book of Genesis, ed], we read that God created a beautiful world and saw that what He had done it was very good. Unfortunately we have ruined the world with our actions. "

To make sure that the planet reaches sustainability, the bishops stresses that "everyone can take small steps to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. And then the gestures that we practice during Lent can continue even after, in order to ensure lasting change. "

According to Msgr. D'Silva, "the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states clearly that human activities are the main cause of climate change. So we as a Church, and in response to call of Pope Francis [with the encyclical "Laudato sì '", ed], must defend and protect creation. There is no better time than Lent to implement the carbon fast".

The bishop believes that Pope Francis, in supporting care for the environment, has "created a new beatitude: Blessed are those who protect and take care of our common home." The theme of climate change, he points out, "is rooted in faith, because taking care of creation means to express their love for the Creator. The more interested we are in the care of creation, the more spiritual we become ".

A rethinking of behavior "must take place not only in India but across the world, given the uncertain weather, floods and rising temperatures, which have already caused a lot of damage." From our side, concluded Msgr. D'Silva, "we can start reducing the consumption of fuel, walking, cutting out the use of electrical energy, using less paper, reducing food, water and other waste ".

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