EUROPE/ITALY - The 'flying bishop': "The Earth is like a sister and is beautiful like a mother who welcomes us in her arms"

Friday, 15 September 2023

Rome (Agenzia Fides) - "Today, listening to the cry of the poor and the earth, the degradation of nature, of rivers, the growing disappearance of diversity, the unbridled consumption of fossil fuels, the destruction of forests, that increase temperatures and cause droughts, is there still room for praise?". This was stated by Sister Ruth del Pilar Mora, Daughter of Mary Help of Christians, General Councilor of Missions, in the framework of a series of online meetings at the continental level for Salesian missionaries ad gentes and provincial coordinators of the Salesian missions ad gentes, which has had as its theme 'Integral Ecology', and which included the missiological-pastoral presentation "Me and Mother Earth, the Ocean And The Climate" by Msgr. Luciano Capelli, SDB, Bishop of the Diocese of Gizo of the Solomon Islands until June 2023, and the sharing of the FMA of the Islands of Samoa.
"It is necessary to help the most influential to use their conscience. The Church must help make people understand that we must stop behaving like the owners of the Earth's goods, abusing them", said the bishop also known as the 'flying bishop' since he began traveling in a small amphibious ultralight to take care of this diocese located at the ends of the world.
Starting from his personal experience and inviting a strong conversion and a true transformation of the heart, Bishop Capelli exhorted the participants in the meeting to "a strong cultural and educational change, a true paradigm shift that makes something a reality in which we all agree. The Earth is like a sister and is beautiful like a mother who welcomes us into her arms. We can all work together as God's instruments to heal" - he insisted. "It's up to me, it's up to you, it's up to us, it's up to all of us who care about the fate of Creation - Sister Ruth commented in an imperative way. "We must transform our lifestyles, no longer as masters who exploit, but as custodians who care for and are responsible for the future of the Planet". Some 350 FMA sisters from all over the world took part in this online meeting, entire communities were present who chose this opportunity to share their missionary passion, their sense of belonging to the Institute, communion with all the sisters to contemplate together the planet as a homeland and to humanity as people who live in a common house, taking care of nature, which is part of life. Catholics in the diocesan territory of Gizo represent 10 percent of the population, for a total of 15 thousand believers.(AP) (Agenzia Fides,15/9/2023)