Catholics in Sierra Leone Asked to Confess Sins against the Environment

Archbishop Edward Tamba Charles  of the Catholic Archdiocese of Freetown in Sierra Leone has challenged citizens of the West African nation to treat their abuse of the environment as an “ecological sin”, which must be confessed.

In his Sunday, March 17 homily during the Lenten Pilgrimage of his Metropolitan See, Archbishop Tamba Charles expressed concern that people are disrespecting their interconnectedness with the rest of God’s creation.

At the pilgrimage, the Archbishop of Freetown spoke about many sins that Sierra Leoneans must confess, including the sin of tribalism, and added, “The other sin that we need to confess today is the one against the environment. Let us call it ecological sin because it disrupts the interconnections among the things made by God.”

He explained, “As the Book of Genesis teaches us, God created a beautiful planet and entrusted it to us human beings in stewardship, to bring it to perfection in goodness, according to the intention of God, but, in the name of development, we have done so much harm to it that the negative consequences of our harm to nature are coming back to hurt us.”

“Here in Sierra Leone, many of us have still not been able to see the link between our faith in the God we profess as creator of heaven and earth and the world he created. As a result, you would often see someone coming from a place of worship, where he or she acknowledged God, in hymns and prayers, as his/her creator but drop plastic water sachets in drainages where they block the flow of water and so provide as breeding grounds for malaria-carrying mosquitoes,” Archbishop Tamba Charles said.

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