CBCP head lauds Earth Hour initiative

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THE HEAD of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has called on the faithful to “nurture and care for creation” in line with the annual celebration of Earth Hour, March 25.

“Creation bears the Divine imprint, and they who deface it transgress against God’s sovereignty,” CBCP President and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said in a statement.

Villegas said that the environment continues to be abused amid the depletion of natural resources.

“For too long now, we have dealt with earth as a treasure-trove to be plundered at will, exploited to the hilt. We have been sufficiently warned: there is only so much abuse the environment can take before it pays us back in full,” he said.

Villegas cited Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical, “Laudato Si,” saying the document was meant to bring attention to the Earth’s “magnificence” and the man-made threats that continue to destroy creation.

He lauded the Paris Agreement, to which the Philippines is a signatory, but said that full implementation would need public participation.

“It takes a renewal not only of our commitment to care for the earth, but of our faith to be able to recognize the world we live in as God’s gift,” he said.

Villegas said the observation of Earth Hour should call attention to man’s wasteful acts towards the Earth’s resources and should also serve as a reminder of the spirit of the Lenten season.

“When the darkness engulfs [us], as we switch off our electric gadgets, we will allow the lights of heaven that God placed in the firmament to pierce the veil of self-centeredness and destructiveness,” he said.

The observance of the Earth Hour is a worldwide activity organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature which encourages the public to conserve energy for at least an hour from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

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