Cardinal Tagle calls for 'ecological conversion' in the Philippines

Manila archdiocese kicks off season of creation celebration
Cardinal Tagle calls for 'ecological conversion' in the Philippines

Cardinal Tagle delivers his homily during Mass to mark the first World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation in Manila on Sept. 1. (Photo by Roi Lagarde)

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila called for an "ecological conversion" as he led a celebration of the World Day of Prayer for the Care for Creation in Manila on Sept. 1.

"We need ecological conversion," the cardinal said, during Mass in Manila's Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.

Cardinal Tagle said Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato si’ gives an "added impetus to our concern for what is happening to our common home, the Earth".

The Archdiocese of Manila set Sept. 1 as the start of its celebration of the "season of creation," which will end on Oct. 4, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi.

The archdiocese began celebrating the season of creation in 2013, 10 years after the Philippines bishops' conference called for its introduction as an acknowledgment of "creation [as a] priceless gift of the Almighty and Loving Creator, who has made us into his own image and likeness."

"We were ahead ... and we don't only have one day of prayer but actually more than a month of prayer, study, reflection, asking pardon and action to show that we really care for creation," Cardinal Tagle said.

In his homily, the prelate urged Catholics to "also rely on studies" of scientists because "the best science can help us listen carefully to the cries of the Earth".

"We need to also discover the way the economy goes, the way we do business, the labor practices, the exclusion of the poor who become more vulnerable to ecological changes, to climate change," he said.

Cardinal Tagle urged Catholics to "go back to contemplation [and] recover a sense of caring" as he encouraged Church members to confess "ecological sins" that have been committed.

Following the lead of Pope Francis, the cardinal lamented the "throwaway culture" in society that contributes to the destruction of the environment.

Responding to the call of Church leaders to find practical solutions to the ecological crisis, Cardinal Tagle urged the faithful to show their concern for the environment by conserving electricity and "being content with what we have".

"Since God is the creator, He is the owner of everything. We are humble creatures. We are not owners. We are stewards," Cardinal Tagle reminded hundreds of people who attended the celebration. 

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