THE Catholic Church can be expected to run true to form. Early this year, an international coalition of Catholic institutions announced its divestment from fossil fuels.
These include Catholic banks with combined balance sheets of €7.5 billion, Catholic bishops, Caritas Internationalis (a Vatican-affiliated institution), among others.
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle heads Caritas International, a federation of Catholic relief, development, and social service organizations.
This year, Pope Francis said that “civilization requires energy, but energy use must not destroy civilization,” at the end of a two-day conference at the Vatican.
“Energy should also be clean, by a reduction in the systematic use of fossil fuels. Our desire to ensure energy for all must not lead to the undesired effect of a spiral of extreme climate changes due to a catastrophic rise in global temperatures, harsher environments and increased levels of poverty,” he added.
The pontiff said climate change was a challenge of epochal proportions, and that the world needed to come up with an energy mix that combatted pollution, eliminated poverty and promoted social justice.
Can we expect anything else from the position that the Diocese of San Carlos Bishop Gerardo Alminaza? He announced that there will be a gathering of forces of the dioceses of San Carlos, Bacolod, and Kabankalan in Negros Occidental, and Dumaguete in Negros Oriental.
“In principle, the four bishops of Negros are behind of this push for a coal-free island,” he said, adding that he hopes to be able to get the nod of his fellow bishops on the final form of the statement.
The bishops are not talking through their hats—or miters.
Negros Occidental is recognized as the country’s top producer of solar electricity, with a generation capacity of 341.5 megawatts from five solar power firms, including two in San Carlos City.
The National Secretariat for Social Action (Nassa) Caritas Philippines also expressed support mainly through encouraging all other dioceses to back up the said collegial statement.
As a Catholic charismatic and an environmentalist, I wholeheartedly support the position of these pastors. Praise and honor to them who lead the faithful to protect and defend creation. Alleluia!