By Christian George
In an effort to the world a better place to live, South Korean Catholics have embarked on street mass, seeking justice for those who are suffering as an aftermath of climate change.
This is a call to the government to propound laws that would promote a favourable climate.
This call birthed climate march, organized by 350 civil society organizations including Catholic climate groups which attracted about 4,000 people from across the East Asian nation on April 14.
The rally called “Climate Justice Strike” was held in Sejong City, a self-governing city and de facto administrative capital.
In a report by UCA News, not fewer than 300 Catholics were among the participants led by the Catholic Climate Action group.
Bishop Blasio Park Hyun-dong, abbot and apostolic administrator of the Territorial Abbacy of Tokwon offered a Mass on the street for Catholics during the rally and reminded them that believers cannot ignore the voices of suffering brothers and sisters and creatures.
Bishop Park, who is also the head of the Ecological Committee of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea said, “in order to live together on this earth, our common home, we must listen to the voices of our suffering brothers and sisters and creatures, and actively transform our lives.
“When we show the world our commitment to being together with our poor brothers and sisters and with all creatures on earth, we can lay the foundation for a sustainable future.”
Those who attended the street mass included local residents, farmers and fisher folks who had lived in farming and fishing villages whose environment has been destroyed by climate change.
Others include primary and subcontract workers who would lose their jobs due to the closure of power plants as well as the disabled, migrants, and the poor who were excluded from the climate crisis response process.
Also, they called for a guarantee of basic energy rights by strengthening energy distribution; recovery of additional profits from energy companies and promotion of de-coal and nuclear phase-out policies; expansion of public transportation to respond to the climate crisis; ensuring support for workers, farmers, and local residents affected by the climate crisis.