ASIA/LEBANON - After the new waste emergency, Catholic schools aim at environmental education

Thursday, 8 September 2016 oriental churches   environment   education

Beirut (Agenzia Fides) - In Lebanon, starting from the capital, the waste emergency has been going on for over a year, contributing to increasing popular discontent already fueled by the Country's political and institutional instability. Taking this dramatic situation into account, the National Secretariat of Catholic schools has decided to focus the spotlight on environmental education, dedicating a conference held yesterday in Beirut on the topic, offered to all as an opportunity for orientation in view of the beginning of the school year. The conference was opened with Maronite Patriarch, Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai’s speech, who identified the Encyclical "Laudato Sì" dedicated by Pope Francis to the custody of the "common house" as the reference point of common reflection.
The ecological and social encyclical of the Bishop of Rome - said the Patriarch - is rooted in the Word of God read in the company of the Church Fathers, and expresses the biblical outlook on creation, even reading the environmental emergency as a result of the presumption to put man in God’s place. In his opening speech, the Primate of the Maronite Church also re-proposed the category of "integral Ecology" outlined in Laudato Sì to reiterate that the effective affront of environmental emergency cannot be separated from a global critical reflection on developmental systems and their sustainability, inevitably concerning political and economical choices. Referring to the dramatic situation in Lebanon, the Patriarch stressed that national environmental emergencies cannot be addressed without going through a change of collective behavior, particularly with regard to the approach to consumption. And at this level - said the Patriarch - even Catholic schools are called upon to make an important contribution by helping to make students aware that "ecological spirituality" must keep in mind the social consequences of behaviors that cause environmental damage. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 08/09/2016)