02/01/2022, 15.09
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Philippine bishops to refuse donations from mining industry

In its latest statement, the Bishops' Conference outlines the decision by the Church to divest from companies investing in "destructive" energy. For Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara, Conference vice president, this heeds the “teachings of the Laudato Si’” encyclical by Pope Francis.

Manila (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Philippine bishops have decided to refuse donations from environmentally “destructive" industries, including mining, this according to a “non-acceptance policy” presented in a new pastoral statement on ecology released last Saturday by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) following a two-day plenary assembly.

In their statement, signed by CBCP President Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, the prelates note that “the pause imposed by the pandemic on industrial and economic activity encourages us to reflect on the decades of polluting practices our Common Home has had to suffer at the hands of humanity.”

This is especially important in a climate-vulnerable country like the Philippines, “battered by multiple tropical storms including some declared to be the deadliest in the world from 2013 to 2021.”

The new policy will be implemented in all dioceses, Bishop David explained at a press conference. “Our people need to be very critical, especially our parish priests,” he said. “While we have several needs in our pastoral work, let us not compromise the welfare of our environment.”

This follows the decision two years ago by the Bishops’ Conference to prevent the financial resources of Catholic organisations from being invested in mining projects.

“Financial resources must be used solely for the Common Good, Integrity of Creation, and the Glory of our Creator,” the statement goes on to say.

The bishops also urge banking institutions that fund coal, fossil gas and other "destructive" energy resources to limit and ultimately end their involvement in these activities.

The “Church intends to fully divest its assets from financial institutions and corporations invested in said ecologically-harmful activities by 2025,” the statement adds.

For CBCP Vice President Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara, the Conference’s mission is to take up the challenges set forth in Pope Francis’ call to treat the planet as our common home.

“We are committed to advance the teachings of the Laudato Si’ and be bearers of hope in the face of an ecological crisis, following our Lord Jesus,” the letter says.

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