CBCP head: Science can’t root out indifference to nature
While science provides people with various technologies to cope with climate change, scientists cannot cure indifference toward environmental and ecological concerns, according to the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
“The roots of our indifference to environmental and ecological concerns—which, in the ultimate analysis, are concerns for the good of all—and the sinful dispositions in all of us that make us contributors to the depredation of a world entrusted to our stewardship, these are what scientists cannot teach us. All this, the encyclical promises to address,” Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said in a statement in reaction to the leaked draft of Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment.
Pope Francis is scheduled to issue his much-awaited encyclical on Thursday.
Villegas said the papal encyclical would “remain nothing more than ink on paper until we all allow ourselves to be won over by St. Francis’ exaltation of all of created reality.”
Thus, the CBCP president challenged the Filipino faithful to intensify the fight to protect the environment.
“How do we respond as human persons, and as sons and daughters of God? What should all of this mean for us? If, as scientists seem to allege, we are to blame to a large extent for ruining that delicate balance of our ecology, then how do we make up?” he said.
Villegas also defended the Holy Father’s move to discuss the adverse impact of climate change and the moral imperative for mankind to take action.
“Even before Pope Francis released to the world his encyclical on the environment and on climate change, some thought he was venturing into a field best left to scientists,” he said.
“But a papal encyclical is not teaching on science. To search for scientific explanations to phenomena—that is the province and the competence of science and of scientists, and while the Church takes keen interest in scientific discoveries and studies, it is not a teacher of science,” he added.
Imbalances in the heart
Citing a document from the Second Vatican Council, Villegas linked the imbalances in the world to imbalances in the “heart of man.”
“This is why the Pope’s encyclical on the worrisome and truly pressing environmental and ecological issues should be truly exciting,” he said.
“We are still suffering from the sweltering heat of this summer, and hardly anyone will contest the claim that this was among the hottest of summers we have ever gone through. We are also warned about more erratic weather systems including more violent typhoons.” he added.
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