“Communicating hope and trust in our time.”

- Pope Francis

Don’t let greed ruin environment, says prelate

Environment Secretary Gina Lopez (left), Archbishop Ramon Arguelles (2nd from right) and other rallyists raise their fists during the “Walk for the Environment” outside the Senate building in Manila on Wednesday, March 1, 2017. (ROY LAGARDE)

MANILA—What has selfishness got to do with the destruction of the environment? A lot, a Catholic archbishop said.

In his Ash Wednesday homily, Lipa Archbishop Emeritus Ramon Arguelles said greed and indifference are the source of all the environmental problems the country is facing today.

“Selfishness is the cause of the world’s many problems. Some people just want everything. ‘What’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is still mine,’” Arguelles said.

Along with hundreds of farmers, fishermen, indigenous peoples, and environment activists, the prelate walked from CCP Complex to the Senate building in Manila to call for the “care of creation”.

Outside the Senate, he also presided over a Mass and placed ashes on the bowed heads of the demonstrators to usher in the Lenten season of prayer and penance.

The prayer rally was also held to dramatize their support for Environment Secretary Gina Lopez who has yet to get the nod of the Commission on Appointment (CA) for her Cabinet post,

The archbishop called on the faithful not let greed ruin the environment, and urged the government to draw the line and campaign for responsible access to natural resources.

“Everything God created is good. Now, if you destroy it, you are using God’s creation for the wrong purpose, and that is a sin,”Arguelles said.

The National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace (NASSA) also called on the CA to shrug off the continued opposition of the mining industry to the confirmation of Lopez.

NASSA, the Church’s social action arm, called on President Rodrigo Duterte to stand firm on the appointment of Lopez as DENR secretary, while also appealing to the CA to finally confirm her.

“We call on President Duterte and the CA to serve the interest of the country by ensuring sustainable, integral, and pro-people development over and above the self-serving interest of the oligarchs and business corporations wielding powerful influence in media and politics,” the Nassa said. CBCPNews

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