By Leslie Ann G. Aquino
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle said those who signed the Laudato Si’ Pledge should take their oath seriously.
The Laudato Si’ Pledge, which was launched here in the Philippines, Saturday, is a worldwide campaign by the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) and its member organizations to raise awareness about the message of Pope Francis’ encyclical letter on ecology and climate change, “Laudato Si.”
Laudato Si is an invitation to everyone to care for our common home.
In the encyclical letter released on June 18, 2015, the pontiff made a forceful call to action to both the Church and all people of good will, to urgently change course in order to avoid ecological disaster.
He said, “It is my hope that this Encyclical Letter…can help us to acknowledge the appeal, immensity and urgency of the challenge we face.”
Cardinal Tagle reminded those who signed the pledge that they should also live out what they promised to do.
“It is not enough to sign and affix your signature. Please take the pledge seriously and live it. Pray for and with creation, live more simply and advocate to protect our common home,” Tagle said in a video message during Saturday’s launching of the Pledge for Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si’ at the La Consolacion College in Manila.
To pray for, and with creation, live more simply, and advocate to protect our common home are the three things that signatories are being encouraged to do when they signed the pledge cards that were distributed in the venue.
In his homily, Father John Leydon, convenor of the GCCM, echoed Tagle’s appeal.
“We will launch our pledge but let it come from the heart. If it doesn’t come from the heart, then it is false,” he said.
Leydon said while many in the country are devout Catholics, many are not aware that they are destroying God’s creation through their lifestyle. “By our lifestyle we are destroying God’s creation,” he said.
That’s why, Leydon said, Laudato Si’ is a call to “conversion.”
“We are all in need of conversion…that leads to change to lifestyle change,” said the priest.
In their website, the GCCM cited ways on how the encyclical can be put into action such as shifting away from fossil fuels and embracing renewable sources of energy, recycling, putting up solar panels, conserving energy, among others.
The goal of the two-year campaign is to encourage 12 million Catholics and 22,000 parishes all over the world to sign and live the Laudato Si Pledge.
“There are 105 million (people) in the Philippines and how many of those could we reach with the teaching of Laudato Si? How many could we get to make a pledge to undertake all that is required by Laudato Si? The number of Catholics in the planet is 1.2 billion, that’s 12 hundred million…If we can influence even one percent to sign the pledge worldwide, that’s 12 million,” he said.
The campaign is led by the NASSA/Caritas Philippines, the social action arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), and the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM)–Pilipinas.