08/03/2007, 00.00
PHILIPPINES
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Water crisis: Manila prays for rain

by Santosh Digal
Despite the monsoon rains, entire areas of the country are facing the risk of drought. Cardinal Rosales has written an Oratio Imperate that will be recited in all churches of the archdiocese. Among the causes is an ever increasing demand for water for a population in a state of constant growth.

Manila (AsiaNews) – While entire zones of Asia are battling floods that are sowing death and destruction, in Manila, the archbishop has asked the faithful to pray for rain. The Philippines, in fact, is passing through a time of severe drought at a time of the year which, on the contrary, should be characterized by monsoon rains: “It is the time for our rainy season, but the rains have not come,” said Cardinal Gaudencio B. Rosales said in a circular addressed to all parish priests and rectors and chaplains of seminaries and schools. “Experts have warned that we face a water crisis in some areas so we implore the Master of all creation, God our Father, to send us rain.”

From today, which is devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and in the days to come, Cardinal Rosales urged the faithful to recite the Oratio Imperata Ad Petendam Pluviam – the Oratio Imperata is a prayer for a particular request to be said by the faithful at the behest of the Pope or the bishop of a diocese – in all masses in the Archdiocese of Manila.

In the prayer, the cardinal has asked “God the Father, creator of the universe” to send “rain that our country needs so badly at this time”; he also invited the faithful “to share, serve and love more” and to be ever more “servants” of nature and the resources it offers, using it “with a sense of responsibility” and protecting it from “abuses and exploitation”.

The centre of geophysical research of the Philippines has warned that seriously dry spells are being recorded in some parts of the country, particularly Luzon. This is partly due to exponential population growth which necessitates a larger water supply.

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