CBCP calls for unity and action amid the COVID-19 pandemic and climate emergency

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) urged the faithful to take part in addressing the impacts of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and the climate emergency being experienced worldwide.

In its Pastoral Statement on Ecology released after the bishops' 123rd Plenary Assembly, the CBCP mentioned that the proposed measures and policies for addressing the impacts of this crisis should always place social and ecological justice at the forefront.

"As one of the most vulnerable nations in this era of global emergency, the Philippines has the moral imperative of pursuing the most sustainable development pathway possible for the sake of current and future generations, ensuring that the voices of everyone are accounted for," CBCP said.

"The task of ensuring this becomes all the more apparent in the context of an upcoming national election that will shape governance in our country during this critical decade for climate and ecological action," it added.

CBCP expressed concern that while suffering from the impact of the pandemic, climate-vulnerable nations have also experienced intensifying calamities due to the instability of the biosphere. CBC cited the country, for example, was battered by multiple tropical storms including some declared to be the deadliest in the world from 2013 to 2021.

It added that this has occurred even after almost two years of the issuance of its Pastoral Letter on Ecology entitled “An Urgent Call for Ecological Conversion, Hope in the Face of Climate Emergency”.

CBCP said that the Pastoral Letter is a testimony of the Church’s long-standing regard for the care of God’s creation.

"We are committed to advance the teachings of the Laudato Si’ and be bearers of hope in the face of an ecological crisis, following our Lord Jesus, our redeemer. As such, we commit to “integrate the care of creation as our common home in our teaching and practice of Christian discipleship” through concrete ecological actions in caring for our Common Home," CBCP said.

"In 2019, the CBCP Pastoral Letter on Ecology detailed 13 such action points; in 2020, the celebration of the special anniversary year of Pope Francis’s encyclical led to the creation of Laudato Si’ Goals (LSGs) to guide our work towards integral ecology," it added.

CBCP mentioned three reflections that the faithful may use as a guide which are:

  • Ecological Conversion through Stewardship of our Resources - Laudato Si’ Goals: Response to Cry of the Earth and Ecological Economics
  • Laudato Si’ Formation and the National Laudato Si’ Program -Laudato Si’ Goals: Ecological Education, Ecological Spirituality, and Community Resilience and Empowerment
  • Advancement of the Rights of Nature and the Defense of Life - Laudato Si’ Goals: Response to the Cry of the Poor and Adoption of Sustainable Lifestyles