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The Pope and our common home

12:33 AM October 12, 2015

POPE FRANCIS has done what no other person has done. He visited Tacloban last January, in fulfillment of a promise he made after Supertyphoon “Yolanda” devastated the city and other parts of Central Philippines.

Then he released his encyclical, “Laudato Si,” calling on the world to save the environment and God’s creation.

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Just recently, he made history and visited the United States. He spoke at the White House, at the United Nations, at the US Congress; he spoke to the poor, the homeless, and the families—from Washington to New York to Philadelphia.

He spoke in simple words that touched the hearts and souls of many. He spoke about the war on poverty and greed. He spoke about the war on narcotics, slavery, refugees, child labor and the old development model.

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He spoke of what is known now as “POPE-onomics”—the new world order.

But more than that, he spoke about the war on climate change. He spoke about saving our common home for our common good.

Those who heard Pope Francis speak were profoundly touched. Their conscience made them move to a new start.

Even the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, John Boehner, was in tears as the Pope spoke. The day after, he announced his resignation as Speaker of the Republican-controlled House and from politics.

The Pope has changed many lives. That same week, the presidents of China and the United States announced that they would heed his call and together combat climate change.

Wherever he went he was the light in a world full of darkness. He rode a small Fiat. He walked his talk.

He had an interfaith meeting with representatives of all religions. He has made history as a true messenger of God.

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Whenever he spoke, he always ended up with the poor and the children, with the refugees and immigrants.

He said the yearend COP 21 in Paris must save our planet Earth.

He called for action, not merely words. He spoke of world peace and how to achieve it.

He prepared a road map for all. During his speech at the United Nations, he spelled out what we must all do to attain world peace and the end of poverty and lust for money, and to protect our common home.

Let us all heed Pope Francis’ words and continue to pray for him. Laudato Si.

—ANTONIO M. CLAPAROLS, president, Ecological Society of the Philippines

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TAGS: environment, Laudato Si, letter, opinion, Pope Francis, Tacloban, Yolanda
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