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Philippine bishops: 'climate change action is an issue of social justice'

July 21, 2015

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has issued a statement on climate change in view of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, which will take place in December.

"The social encyclicals of the Church have referred to social justice as that part of justice that guarantees that all social classes and groups are benefited by the resources of earth and of society, and are advantaged equitably from the progress of nations," the bishops said in their July 20 statement. "Concern with the despoliation of the ecosystem and the deleterious disturbance of that delicate balance of everything that constitutes the human environment has brought home the point that social justice must, of necessity, include our responsibility for future generations."

"We can no longer speak of sustainable development apart from intergenerational solidarity," they added. "Once we start to think about the kind of world we are leaving to future generations, we look at things differently; we realize that the world is a gift which we have freely received and must share with others."

The bishops called upon parishes and other communities to "make, as the theme of their collective discernment, situations in the locality that scientists have found to be contributory to deleterious changes in the environment as well as to the disruption of the ecosystem. Mining, incineration and landfills are among the local concerns that immediately come to mind."

"Here, advocacy of Church communities in behalf of the common good should influence policy makers and translate itself into community action as well," they said.

 


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