MANILA — A senior official of the Catholic Church said the mentioning of the statement of Filipino Bishops by Pope Francis during encyclical on the environment titled Laudato Si (Be Praised) last week is a recognition of the prelates efforts in protecting mother earth.
“It is a recognition of the pastoral efforts of Philippine bishop for almost two decades now in the area of ecological stewardship,” said Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) President Archbishop Socrates Villegas.
He said that being cited by the Holy Father during his statement at the Vatican last June 18, was an affirmation about their teachings in caring for the environment.
“It is an affirmation that we in the Philippines are in the right direction in our teaching that creation is a gift that must be cared for,” the Lingayen-Dagupan prelate added.
It was reported that in his 200-page encyclical on the environment message, the Pope cited a pastoral letter of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) published in January 1988 titled “What Is Happening to Our Beautiful Land?”
The Holy Father quoted the CBCP: “Who turned the wonderworld of the seas into underwater cemeteries bereft of color and life?”
According to Villegas this is not the first time that Pope Francis cited the conference, the first one was during Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel).