August 27, 2012

Environmental protection is "an expression of faith in God," said the bishops of Kerala state.

"Our faith calls for protecting the creation of God and adopting our lifestyle accordingly," the Kerala Catholic Bishops Council said in a statement after its Aug. 10 meeting.

"In the context of the energy crisis and problems of waste management in Kerala, the Church has the duty and responsibility to propagate use of solar energy and eco-friendly waste management," the statement said.

Authorities are considering instituting rotating power outages in Kerala as much of the state has experienced significantly less rainfall than normal for months, leaving a network of hydroelectric power dams almost dry.

"It's not enough that we preach on environmental protection.

We are setting examples to others by using solar energy in the bishops' houses and other institutions," said Archbishop Andrews Thazhath of Trichur, KCBC president.

In June, the bishops' council adopted a policy to involve the Church in wide-ranging conservation activities.

The policy listed several measures for Church-run institutions to follow including the promotion of eco-spirituality, nature resource conservation and waste management.