Peruvian Bishop Luis Barrera Pacheco of Callao, responds to the Pope’s exhortation by speaking publicly about the oil spill that fouled one hundred miles of shoreline north of Lima in January, poisoning habitat and destroying livelihoods.
Bishop Barrera asks for immediate response by government and private industry even as the Church, through its social justice ministry, Caritas, works to support people whose lives are affected now and for years to come by this tragedy.
Bishop Barrera insists that the interconnectedness between people and the environment be recognized. He boldly calls for those responsible for the oil and those charged with protecting the country and its citizens to act swiftly to clean up and rebuild from the damage and loss to habitat, livelihoods and health.
"We need leadership from politicians so disasters like this are not repeated," Bishop Barrera wrote. "We call on public officials to take an integral approach to environmental issues and to be concerned about the interrelated ecological, social, cultural and economic dimensions of creation."
Through his statement, Bishop Barrera is fulfilling what Pope Francis calls us to in Laudato Si’. He publicly stands up for the rights of the poor and the rights of the earth, challenging the powers of industry and government.
How am I called to respond to the “cry of the earth and the cry of the poor”? (LS #49) Bishop Barrera inspires me to keep my eyes open and be attentive to equity in local projects around redevelopment, building, water management, and housing, and then, to talk about what I see.
The full article can be found under Earthbeat on www.NCRonline.org : “Peru bishop warns of harm to environment, livelihoods from oil spill,” by Barbara Fraser, Catholic News Service