Indian diocesan priests told to preserve parish lands

Priests should see economics, nature, culture as one integral entity rather than as fragments
Diocesan priests in India have been asked to protect the environment in their parish lands.

There is a need "for a paradigm shift" in the priestly ministry from a mancentric world to a pro-life philosophy, that will encompass all living things, Father Kasi Rayappa, an environmental activist told some 250 priests at the 14th national conference of the National Conference of Diocesan Priests of India in Old Goa that ended April 8.

"It should see economics, nature, culture as one integral entity rather than being seen in fragments," he said.

A major theme for discussion was putting into practice Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato si', that spoke of the need for caring for the environment.

Father Rayappa suggested the establishment of parish "green teams" involved in specific environment-related practices and promotion of environment-related education material in parishes.

The Conference of Diocesan Priests of India began in 2001 under the Conference of Catholic Bishops in India, the national body of Latin-rite bishops in the country. The forum has units in all 131 Latin dioceses and representatives from each diocese attended the national meeting.

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