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Indonesian cardinal blames virus on ecological sin

Nature is getting even over environmental destruction, Cardinal Suharyo says in Easter message

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Indonesian cardinal blames virus on ecological sin

Cardinal Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo celebrates the Pontifical Mass livestreamed on April 12 from Our Lady of the Assumption Cathedral Church in central Jakarta. (Photo courtesy of Susyana Suwadie/Jakarta Cathedral Church) 

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Ecological sin contributed to the Covid-19 outbreak facing humanity, according to Cardinal Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo of Jakarta in his Easter message.

“There are different opinions. One interesting opinion was raised very carefully, and it makes sense in accordance with our logic and faith. This is that the outbreak could be a natural reaction to our collective sin against nature,” Cardinal Suharyo said in a homily during an Easter Sunday Mass livestreamed from Our Lady of the Assumption Cathedral Church in Jakarta on April 12.

The Mass was livestreamed after public Easter services were canceled amid the coronavirus outbreak.

“In the language of faith, the outbreak is caused by ecological sin. It means the outbreak is because human beings have damaged nature’s harmony. This environmental destruction has created an imbalance in nature, and it has a wide impact,” he said, citing global warming, climate, pollution and diseases as examples. 

Cardinal Suharyo said such an imbalance has contributed to an imbalance in the human body, and it has weakened the human immune system. As a result, human beings have become susceptible to the virus. 

“Nature should have its own way to curb this outbreak. However, it cannot be prevented when there is greed and vanity among human beings who have destroyed nature,” he said.

“The outbreak is a natural sign that human beings, instead of protecting nature’s harmony, have been destroying it,” he said, adding that all people have contributed to this ecological sin.

Cardinal Suharyo, however, applauded a sense of solidarity in tackling the coronavirus. “Gratefully, we see a willingness to sacrifice and great solidarity shown in various forms amid the pandemic,” he said.

Cardinal Suharyo concluded his Easter message by calling on Catholics to restore nature as “it is a mother that provides a prosperous life.”

As of April 12, Indonesia had recorded 4,241 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 373 deaths.

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