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Diocese of Portsmouth on ‘environmental alert’ in response to papal encyclical

Pope Francis (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

The Bishop of Portsmouth has placed his diocese on “environmental alert” as well as directing people to examine their lifestyles in confession, after reading Pope Francis’ encyclical.

Bishop Egan called Laudato Si one of the most “challenging” papal encyclicals of our time, adding it prompted him to look at how his diocese should respond.

In a pastoral letter Bishop Egan said the alert should impact the way the diocese, acts, pray and thinks “leading [it to a conversion of mind, will and heart.”

In his message Bishop Egan highlights ways in which the faithful can respond practically to the Holy Father’s encyclical.

He calls for every member of the diocese to “have a greater awareness of environmental and ecological issues” and to raise awareness amongst others through writing, ecumenical initiatives and evangelisation teams.

The bishop also calls on his diocese to moderate their own lifestyles.

“Everyone in the diocese should consider how they might respond in practice to the Pope’s call,” he said.

He also adds the ‘environmental alert’ should influence the way people pray by having it as a bidding prayer, Mass intention or focus of prayer groups and even impact people’s examination of conscience for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

The bishop ends his message by offering tips as to how people can implement the pope’s encyclical.

He suggests people pray the rosary, or meditate on Genesis chapters one to three, as well as advising praising God for creation in Eucharistic Adoration while “asking Him how [we] might become a better custodian of creation.”