08/29/2015, 00.00
PHILIPPINES – VATICAN
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Responding to the pope’s call, the Filipino Church will mark World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation with masses, exhibitions, and meetings

The event coincides with the start of Manila’s "Season of Creation". Cardinal Tagle will lead a solemn Mass. Parishes will host meetings, seminars and exhibits on environmental issues. The prelate calls for a million signatures to be presented to climate conference in November.

Manila (AsiaNews/CBCP) – Catholic churches around the Philippines plan to observe the ‘World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation’ on 1 September, thus responding to the call Pope Francis issued at his general audience last Wednesday. In Manila, the occasion will coincide with the opening of the archdiocese’s celebration of the “Season of Creation”.

To mark the occasion, Card Luis Antonio Tagle will lead a solemn mass at 2 pm in the Cathedral of Manila. As he called on everyone to participate fully in the celebration, the prelate also appealed to the faithful to be active in preserving and caring for nature and creation.

The Season of Creation, which the Archdiocese of Manila started in 2013, is a month-long event marked by a series of initiatives designed to promote environmental causes in various parishes and schools.

This year will include ecology exhibits, children’s fora on Laudato si’, ecology quiz bees in schools, and storytelling on the care of creation.

In view of the issue’s significance, Card Tagle also called for support on behalf of a global campaign that aims to gather one million signatures to be presented to world leaders gathering in Paris in late November.

The petition calls on leaders to make a commitment to maintaining the rise in global temperatures below the dangerous threshold of 1.5 degrees centigrade.

The Global Catholic Climate Movement, which launched the campaign in the Philippines in July, represents more than a hundred Catholic organisations working for climate justice across the world.

Catholic concern for environmental issues and ecology is not surprising since the local Church, especially the Archdiocese of Manila, has paid close attention to the issue. In February 2014, parishes in the capital launched an awareness campaign to collect and dispose of electronic waste.

In Luzon, Catholic leaders and NGOs have led the fight to clean up grounds contaminated by mining activities.

Last March, Filipino bishops welcomed the decision to move a large oil facility located in the heart of the capital Manila.

It is important to note that the Church has played a crucial role in natural disasters (earthquakes, typhoons, floods), as evinced by the steps taken by bishops, Caritas and Catholics in the latest case, namely typhoon Yolanda.

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