Mumbai: Environment protection and climate change are moving beyond the preserve of academic and activists. Now, the Catholic Church has decided to make people think seriously about green issues.
The Mumbai catholic Archdiocese has taken up environment protection and mitigation of climate change as its theme for the current year. The step is said to be in line with pope Benedict who has been dubbed the “Green pope” by the media for his increasingly vocal concerns about the environment.
Fr Anthony Charanghat, spokes person for the Mmbai archdiocese, confirmed that this year will be dedicated to environmental issues and a formal announcement will be made on Easter Sunday.
“ The Church has a theme every year. The current theme stresses upon the need to relationship. Two years ago, the Mumbai archdiocesan theme was peace,” he said, “ the environment theme will be taken up in churches, schools and various for in the city to ensure that there is in awareness about the issues around environment and climate change.
Charanghat added that the theme reflects the current Vatican thinking. “In one of his speeches, Pope Benedict made it clear that global warming should be tackled and also p0ointed out that poor and developing nations would have to make large efforts to mitigate the problem,” said Charanghat. “The Pope has made it clear that his sympathies lie with the poorer nations which will have to bear the major brunt of climate change.”
Vatican media reports that in January, the pope addressed diplomats from more than 170 nations and denounced the failure of world leaders to agree on a new climate change treaty in Copenhagen in December.
The Pope told diplomats that in order to cultivate peace, one must protect management” of natural resources, particularly in economically disadvantaged nations.
Dozens of Church groups will hold talks and discussions on environment p0rotection and global warming. The issue will also be included in skits in the 140 schools the Church runs in the city.
Sources said the archbishop of Mumbai, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, has also had discussions with Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) over holding a national programme of awareness of awareness for climate change. Cardinal Gracias will also attend an international seminar on global warming.