The archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly of the Syro-Malabar Church has given a call to the faithful to engage in what the archdiocesan hierarchy called ‘carbon fasting’ over the 41 days of Lent during which Catholics traditionally engage in acts of reparation and penance ahead of the the holy week observation and Easter celebrations.
The issues of climate change and consequences for the humanity as a whole have loomed large over our existence, said a spokesman for the archdiocese as it kicked off the Lenten season on Wednesday with Ash Wednesday mass. The programme of environmental action was launched by Sebastian Vaniapurakkal, curia bishop of the archdiocese.
The members of the archdiocese have been given a call to follow a set of ‘Ten Commandments’ ranging from planting more trees to refraining from using or considerably reducing plastic products.
“Reduce wastage of food, use electricity and water sparingly’ and don’t burn plastic products,” are some of the items on the agenda as the Catholic archdiocese provides a new take on the traditional Lenten season of prayer and mortifications of the self. The Ash Wednesday observations include sprinkling of the forehead with ash as a sign of repentance.
Walk or cycle
A spokesman for the Social Service Society said the faithful had been encouraged to walk or cycle to churches that were near them to reduce fossil fuel use. Bishop Vaniapurakkal said everyone must work to ensure that the earth was a place for comfortable living for future generations. It was as important to live in harmony with fellow creatures as prayers, he added. ‘Sahridya’, the social action wing of the archdiocese, has also asked the faithful to spread awareness about more environment-friendly energy sources, including solar power.