Extreme weather – Draw on traditional Melanesian values

As the extreme weather conditions in Papua New Guinea continue, church leaders in Papua New Guinea are asking the Catholic people to come to the aid of those in need.

“This is a time to draw upon our traditional Melanesian values of sharing and hospitality, and particularly on the Christian virtues of charity, honesty and justice,” said Bishop Arnold Orowae President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

“This is not a time for some to benefit from other’s misfortune, but rather an opportunity to demonstrate our resourcefulness and concern for one another.”

“Water flowing in rivers has its source in rain coming from the heavens. It does not belong to anyone.”

“So it is wrong if some people with access to rivers charge money for those people without river access to get water. River water is for the common good.”

“Likewise, now is not a time for some who are relatively unaffected by drought and frost to inflate prices for garden food or seedlings and to make a large profit from those who are less fortunate.”

“Nor is it right to take advantage of people who have to leave their homes to take refuge elsewhere.”

“Any form of profiteering from this tragedy is unjust and unacceptable”

“Now as PNG begins celebrations for our forty years of Independence, this is surely a time to show our resourcefulness and concern for one another.”

“We have helped some needy countries which were affected by natural disasters: Vanuatu, Philippines and Haiti,” said Fr Victor Roche, general Secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference.

“Let us help our own brothers and sisters now. Let us raise funds for drought and frost affected people.”

“Let us have a Sunday collection and give generously to those in need.”

“The frost and drought are natural disasters. It is because of the lack of rain and the experts say it is El Niño effect,” said  Roche.

“It is also a man-made disaster: people in PNG have cut down lots of trees for mines and for export in order to get money.”

“We have also created lots of bush fires.”

“We all have contributed to the frost, drought and El Niño effect,” he said.



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News category: Asia Pacific.

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