14 Notes & Comments

posted Jul 14, 2017, 12:07 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 14, 2017, 12:08 AM ]

Moral Obligation to Halt Pollution of the Seas


“If the pollution of the seas, of the oceans and of the rivers is not stopped, we will leave a heavy legacy to the next generation, and we have the moral obligation to protect them, also in regard to the safety of the food present in the waters,” stressed Archbishop Silvano Maria Tomasi, Secretary of the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development and at present the Holy See’s Permanent Observer at the United Nations Office and Specialised Institutions at Geneva, Switzerland, at the conclusion of the conference entitled ‘Oceans: Caring for a Common Heritage’, organised in Rome in July at the University of the Holy Cross by the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development, together with the Embassies of France, Monaco and the Low Countries to the Holy See.

“The objective of the Congress was very simple, that of making the point of the situation to the International Community regarding the health of the oceans; how to prevent the pollution and remedy the so-called acidification of the oceans. What to do so that the three billion people who in some way are connected to the sea and the oceans for their survival, can continue to enjoy the benefits that come from them: be it in what concerns food, be it in what concerns fishing and the various activities connected to the world of water,” explained Archbishop Tomasi in an interview with ZENIT.

The Prelate also warned against the “progressive pollution due to the great quantity of plastic thrown into the seas, the oceans and the rivers, which brings acidity and alters the waters themselves.” 


International Plastic Bag Free Day


The omnipresent plastic bag, despite the dangers it poses, continues to be part of our everyday lives. The world consumes one million plastic shopping bags every minute, and India’s plastic consumption is one of the highest in the world. Plastic bag litter has become an environmental nuisance which, if not treated effectively, can be quite devastating. Currently in India, the problem is that there is only one national level plastic bag ban policy. Many cities and states discourage the use of plastic bags, but the enforcement is in question. That’s one of the prime reasons that our country is suffering from a massive pile-up of plastic bags.

So, why should the citizens stop using plastic bags? How is it harming the planet? On International Plastic Bag Free Day (July 3), we give you top five reasons to quit plastic bags:

1. Plastic Bags generated so far will be around till 3017: Yes, that is true. A single bag of plastic takes around 1000 years to decompose completely. So, that means whatever plastic bags have been produced so far can still be found on the planet in some form. The end result is that they will continue to harm the environment. While recycling is a good option, the fact is that less than one per cent of all bags are being sent to recycling plants. Most of it is just left to become a pollution problem in one way or another.


Post-Convocation challenge


Many of the Catholic leaders attending the July 1-4 gathering in Orlando, Florida, have been to enough retreats or conferences over the years to know that the real challenge comes when they try to put what they heard into practice.

Inspired and a little overwhelmed could describe the follow-up reaction of some delegates from the ‘Convocation of Catholic Leaders: The Joy of the Gospel in America’ who spoke to Catholic News Service near the end of the conference, when they returned home.

“I took 30 pages of handwritten notes, and I’m trying to copy them while I can still read them,” said Deacon Christopher Ast, director of the Office of the Permanent Diaconate for St Louis Archdiocese.

He is also convinced that the archdiocesan delegation of 20 should “get together as a group sooner than later” to figure out “how to roll this out” to parishes and Catholic agencies and service providers.

Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy, a parishioner from St Peter’s Church in Washington and a delegate with the Washington Archdiocese, said she felt she was “still on a high” two days after the Convocation ended.