MANILA, Philippines (CNS) – “Be like Leonardo DiCaprio.”
Ucanews.com reported that was the call of Sister Aloha Vergara of the Handmaids of the House of God, who said DiCaprio’s speech at the Academy Awards “reflects the people and the churches’ position on the protection of the environment.”
The Hollywood actor said climate change “is real” and blasted what he called the “politics of greed” in his Feb. 28 speech accepting his first Oscar.
Redemptorist Brother Ciriaco Santiago, convener of an anti-mining group in Manila, said candidates in May’s national elections should take DiCaprio’s position and “act upon people’s concrete and legitimate demands.”
The religious brother said it is “very timely” for Filipinos to reflect and respond to the situation, especially after years of plunder of the country’s natural resources.
“We need to stand to uphold the protection of all creation,” Sister Vergara said at a March 1 media conference at which Catholic and Protestant church and environmental activists denounced alleged human rights violations in a mining town in the northern Philippines.
Sister Vergara criticized the recent violent dispersal and arrest of protesters opposed to mining operations in the town of Santa Cruz in Zambales province, reported ucanews.com.
She urged Catholics to reflect on Pope Francis’ encyclical “Laudato Si’, on Care for Our Common Home,” and “support those who speak for all those who are affected of corporate greed and the destruction of the environment.”
Recently, Pope Francis met with DiCaprio at the Vatican and presented him with a copy of ‘Laudato Si.’ The Hollywood star gave the pope a picture book on the beauties of the environment.