MANILA-- The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) urged the faithful to participate in the worldwide and annual celebration of Earth Hour, by turning off essential lights for 60 minutes on March 25.
"We your bishops ask all Catholics in the Philippines -- and wherever they may be -- to join in observance of earth hour. This way, we will also be reminding ourselves of how needlessly wasteful we can be -- of electric energy, water, and other resources that we thoughtlessly believe we have in abundance but of which we are, increasingly, in short supply," said CBCP President Socrates Villegas in a statement.
"When the darkness engulfs as, as we switch off our electric gadgets, we will allow the lights of heaven that God placed in the firmament to pierce through the veil of self-centeredness and destructiveness," he added.
The Lingayen-Dagupan prelate noted that their participation will also connect themselves to the people in other parts of the world who are not fortunate to have access to basic needs.
"We will also unite ourselves to all those who, in different parts of the world, have yet to enjoy the benefits of electricity, steady water supply, and reliable food sources," he said.
Villegas added, "Truly, Earth Hour can be a chance for us to submit ourselves to the discipline of Lent and to the renewal to which the season calls us all."
On the other hand, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle reminded Catholics that as part of being servants of God, it is their duty to protect the environment.
"Minamahal naming mga kapanalig at lahat ng mananampalataya sa Panginoong Hesukristo. May mahalaga pong paanyaya sa ating lahat, bahagi ng ating pagiging mabuting alagad ng Panginoon ay ang wastong paggamit at pangangalaga sa ating kalikasan na biyaya ng Diyos para sa atin kasama ng ating buhay. Sabi nga po sa sinulat ni Pope Francis, Laudato Si, Pagpupuri sayo Panginoon dahil binigyan mo kami ng napakagandang tahanan, ang aming mundo, ang kalikasan," he said in an interview over Church-run Radio Veritas.
The head of the Archdiocese of Manila urged the people to join the annual event by praying the rosary, aside from turning lights off to save energy and to let the world rest for one hour.
"Bukod po sa pagpapatay ng ilaw, tayo po ay inaanyayahan na magdala ng rosaryo kasama po ang Radio Veritas. Kaya po sa loob ng isang oras na yon, makatipid, pagpahingahin ang mundo sa pamamagitan ng pagpatay ng lahat ng kuryente at manalangin, umasa tayo sa Panginoon. Maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat," Tagle added.
For this year, Earth Hour will be held on Saturday from 8:30 to 9:30 pm.
A total of 7,000 organizations, including the Catholic Church, are expected to join the occasion which is now on its 10th year.
Some 125 megawatts of electricity is being saved during the one-hour event.
Source: Philippines News Agency