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Brief History of the Commission
The CCBI established Commission for Ecology during the XXXI Plenary Assembly held from 7 to 14 January 2019, at Joe Animation Centre, Mahabalipuram, Chennai, Tamilnadu. Them members of the Assembly voted in favour of establishing the Commission and elected His Excellency Most Rev. Allwyn D’Silva as its first chairman.
The Bishops decided to establish a Commission for Ecology, as a response to the appeal of Pope Francis in his Encyclical Letter “Laudato Si” published in 2015, in which the Pope urges all people of good will to take care of our universe.
The proposal to establish a Commission for Ecology was discussed in the 79 Executive Committee meeting of the CCBI held on 1 May 2018, at St John’s National Academy of Health Sciences, Bangalore. Being aware of the importance and urgency to respond to the environmental challenges in India and trying to embark on a new path to care and protect the environment, the Bishops felt the need to establish a Commission.
Believing that the universe is created by God, the Ultimate and Divine Creator who is united definitely to our earth and thus in union with all creatures – the Church is called to serve God by promoting and healing the integrity of Creation. The Catholic Church in India thus envisages a holistic perspective that goes beyond human life and encompasses Creation as the object of God’s love.
- To make the Church aware of the sacredness of Creation
- To understand the adverse effects of the Environmental crises.
- To prevent any form of action that are harmful or detrimental to the well-being of God’s Creation
- To encourage an Eco-friendly lifestyle, especially among the faithful, that is free from being obsessed with consumption and consumerism.
- To establish a Commission for Ecology in each diocese and region
- To have regional workshops to fulfil the vision and mission of the Commission
- To document all the Eco- Friendly practices in the Church in India to enable others to learn from such initiatives.
- To collaborate with the government in Eco- Friendly and Environmental schemes and projects.
- To network with like-minded groups and institutions having a similar vision and mission
- To further the teachings of the Church especially of Laudato Si’ in environment and ecology
- To train/educate people as Eco Ambassadors
- To facilitate assistance and appreciation to those who are already involved in environmental preservation and caring for creation
- To use digital media as a tool in spreading the thrust of the Commission
- To spread awareness on/ keep in touch with the latest inventions and technology on the environment
- To alleviate the sufferings of victims, specially women and indigenous people affected by environmental degradation.
- To prevent and respond to grave environmental issues pertaining to the country.
- To initiate greening of the diocese.
- Most Rev. Allwyn D’Silva, Auxiliary of Bombay: 2019-
- Fr. Joshua D’Souza, Archdiocese of Bombay: 2019