Confession goes green in India

Catholics should include sins against the environment when they visit the confessional said the  Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council on Friday.

Father Stephen Alathara, spokesman for the KCBC, said the council had finalized its ecological mission statement, which included the directive about confession, during its annual meeting in Kochi.

“Any exploitation of nature amounts to sins against God,” he said, adding that the directive would be included in a pastoral letter to be circulated among dioceses in February next year.

“The document on ecology aims to promote greater awareness among the faithful on how to follow green spirituality as a Christian,” Alathara said.

However, he also pointed out that the statement does not encourage the worship of nature. “Nature is the gift of God. So we must minimize its exploitation and misuse.”

Green activists welcomed the directive, which includes plans to adopt green architecture for Church educational buildings, promote solar energy and discourage the use of plastics.

“The Church has set a role model for others. Its initiative will have a great impact on our community,” said KE Kunjikrishnan, a Hindu environmental activist.

Charlie Paul, a Catholic youth leader, said the new vision for environmentalism would help develop positive attitudes toward nature for a new generation.


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