Ecospirituality was the focus of The Asia-Oceania Meeting of Religious XVII which concluded March 3 in Yangon, Myanmar.
There were 132 participants from 21 countries attending the meeting.
The conference’s theme was”A Call for Global Ecological Conversion.”
Participants explored the meaning of ecospirituality and the inherent Asian spirituality that celebrates ; “Contemplative consciousness” and “ecological consciousness understood as awareness and sensitivity to the interconnectedness of all beings and things on Earth,”
They said the message of caring for the Earth, countering climate change and helping communities that global warming affects most will continue beyond the five-day Asia Oceania Meeting of Religious, known by its acronym, AMOR.
“We have done something for the whole Catholic church and the church in Myanmar,” said Sr. Margaret Maung.
Sr. Margaret is the president of the Catholic Religious Conference of Myanmar,
She is Sister of Our Lady of the Missions (RNDM) and chairwoman of the 19-member working committee.
“By the presentations and the table sharing and interacting, we came to know each other and the reality of the church, and that we are one with the Earth and the strengths and weaknesses of the environment and climate change.”
At the conference country reports from Bangladesh, India, Korea, New Zealand and others showed the effects of climate change and pollution, as well as specific concerns, such as use of nuclear power in Japan in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Claretian Fr. Samuel Canilang, director of the Institute for Consecrated Life in Asia, also made a presentation.
“Asians don’t need anyone to tell us the environment is sacred,” he said. “It is natural to us.”
Not long ago, Canilang said, Asians may have felt self-conscious focusing such attention on the spirituality of the natural world, lest others accuse them of being pantheistic. But Laudato Si’ is liberating Asians to speak of their relationship with nature, he said.
News category: Pacific.