02/07/2015 18:55

‘Laudato Si’ in Papua New Guinea

“What kind of world do we want to live in” was the question of focus at the launch of the Encyclical letter by Pope Francis at the St. Joseph Parish Hall, Borokolast week.

The Encyclical letter of Pope Francis Laudato Si, is an address to humanity about the concerns of the environment. It discusses and gives reflections to the world in which we live in, the activities and consequences of our actions.

In the remarks of Archbishop Michael W. Banach, Apostolic Nuncio to PNG and Solomon Islands, he highlighted the importance of the Encyclical letter stating that the letter represent the newest part of a Papal Magisterium on creation and the environment that stretches back through the teachings of Pope Benedict XVI, Saint John Paul II and Blessed Paul VI.

The letter on environment, shed light to many reasons for PNG and Solomon Islands to work together one of which is the most evident and much talked about climate change as said by the Nuncio in his address.

“The Encyclical offers many opportunities for the many groups of PNG and Solomon Islands to come together and unite in a common cause”, he said.

On that note, Ursula Rakova, a Carteret Islander of Autonomous Region of Bougainville, gave a moving testimony of the struggle on the island. Food crops cannot grow anymore because the soil is salty, food and water is scarce and schools have closed down. There are no teachers to teach in the classrooms and students on the other are not able to attend as well.

Rakova said if we continue to do what we are doing, 9.6 billion people will be displaced throughout the world as a result of rising sea level. 

They are struggling and so are our Pacific Island family who are facing the same dilemma due to climate change. Migration stands out as a major social, economic and political concern.

According to the Nuncio, we are facing the consequences of the rich nations.

“Emissions, in wealthier countries, affect people in poorer countries with less capability for adaptation who probably will suffer the severest consequences first”, he said.

He mentioned that regardless of religion, people must think about what kind of the world they wish to leave for their children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren.