Monday, September 11, 2023

Manila archdiocese dropping investments in ‘destructive’ firms

Archdiocese of Manila, may bagong coat of arms - VeritasPH

The Archdiocese of Manila has divested all its investments in what it called "destructive businesses."

Manila Archbishop Jose Cardinal Advincula said the archdiocese has decided not to invest in financial companies engaged in activities that affect the environment.

"This is to inform everyone that the Archdiocese of Manila has divested all our investments from coal and other destructive businesses since years ago in response to the calls of Laudato Si and in consonance with our faith and the earlier social teachings of the Church," he said in his message for the Season of Creation 2023 on Tuesday.

The decision is in response to the call of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) after the appeal of Pope Francis in his encyclical, Laudato Si.

The head of the Archdiocese of Manila noted that they support all initiatives that will protect, preserve, nurture and respect God's creation.

"We commit to respond to the goals of Laudato Si, specifically to hear the cry of the poor and the cry of the Earth, reduce the impacts of climate change, promote food safety and security to address hunger, and ensure the protection of the rights to safe and healthy ecology," he said.

Starting in 2003, the CBCP declared every Sept. 1 to Oct. 4 as the Season of Creation, a period for the Catholic faithful to acknowledge the gift of creation from God.

At the same time, Advincula encouraged all parishes under the archdiocese to adopt similar strategies to fight climate change.

"As your Archbishop, I, therefore, enjoin every parish and institution to organize an ecology ministry, participate in and lead Season of Creation events in the parishes and communities, launch concrete and creative actions on the Care for Our Common Home, and make every Sunday of the Season of Creation a parish Laudato Si Sunday," he added.

The cardinal also urged the faithful to help ensure a safe and sustainable future for the next generations.

"I enjoin everyone to be a beacon of hope in the promotion of environmental care, efficient disaster response, and just social transformation," he said.

In its pastoral statement in January last year, the CBCP announced that the Church intends to fully divest its assets from financial institutions and corporations invested in ecologically harmful activities by 2025.