Please avoid using toxic, non-biodegradable items for religious ceremonies, asks Catholic Church


The deterioration of the environment every single day is an issue that is too immense to ignore anymore. Everywhere you look, there’s garbage (most of it non-biodegradable), deforestation, toxic waste dumping and the planet cannot take much of this anymore. The world’s climates are changing thanks to global warming and this doesn’t bode well for mankind.

No more non-biodegradable and toxic items

In an effort to reduce the bad effects and impact to the environment, the Catholic church has jumped on the environmental bandwagon.

The Council for Social Justice and Peace (CSJP) has advised parish priests, chaplains and remaining members of the Catholic faith to avoid the use of plastic and other toxic items to decorate graves. This is so that the environment isn’t polluted and safeguarded as much as possible.

CSJP, in a letter to all parish priests and chaplains in the State, said plastics, thermocol, foam and silver foil should be shunned especially on the occasion of All Souls Day (2nd November), a day when Catholics visit the graves of loved ones.

The letter states, “ We are on the eve of the season of several celebrations in our parishes. Immediately, we will have All Souls Day where we will decorate the graves where bundles of plastics, thermocol, foam and silver foil will be used. All of which is non-biodegradable and toxic. Hence let us strongly urge our parishioners to avoid the use of toxic material to decorate the graves.”

It goes on to say, “There are also other occasions where the unnecessary use of toxic materials are utilized like during the visitation of Our Lady to the families, refreshments served at months minds or anniversaries, at our meetings and seminars etc. We can really make a significant difference if we seriously avoid the use of toxic materials for our celebrations.”

It further added, “The Church is known as a pioneer in the field of education and health and it is time for us to collectively also lead the country in reducing waste through our lifestyle changes, that is, for the sustenance of the earth.”

The communique, by Caritas and Council for Social Justice and Peace (CSJP), both Church bodies, comes after archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao made a similar call in his pastoral letter where he urged Christians to make efforts to reduce wastage.

Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar also recently ordered a crackdown on the use of plastic during government functions, part of an endeavor to make Goa plastic-free by 2020.

Source – O Heraldo and TOI