June 25, 2012

The Catholic Church in the Kerala state of India has adopted a new conservation policy to help fight a “looming environment crisis.”

Earlier this month, the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council adopted Toward Green Meadows, a statement which calls for eco-friendly measures such as the use of solar energy, rain harvesting, avoiding use of personal transport and efforts to counter the impact of widespread deforestation.

While the national population density in India is 382 people per square km, it is 859 for Kerala.

The state’s primary forests are losing more than 12,300 acres per year because of exploitation.

The new policy calls for raising the consciousness of the faithful to confess “sins against nature.” Said Syro-Malabar Archbishop Andrews Thazhath, president of the bishops’ council: “We are focusing on the spiritual dimension of the environmental problem.”

The new policy also recommends curbing “polluting fireworks and extravagant illuminations” that are a part of parish feast celebrations in the state.