Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan says the church should rid itself of any semblance of commercialism in the rendering of church services. The church cannot engage in business and commerce beyond its spiritual mission.
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The Pope spoke to members of the diplomatic corps in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace: I offer you a cordial welcome to this annual gathering. It allows me to offer you my best wishes for the New Year and to reflect with you on the state of our world, so loved and blessed by God, and yet fraught with so many ills.
United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon has acknowledged the contribution of faiths to last weekend’s accord between 195 countries to stem carbon emissions and set the world on a more sustainable environmental path. He included “faith leaders” in his list of civil society climate campaigners who have “come together under one banner and brought forth this moment of hope”.
Pope Francis this Christmas day delivered his Urbi et Orbi message, (to the city and the world) from the central loggia of St Peter's Basilica. In it he prayed that recent U.N.-backed peace agreements for Syria and Libya would quickly end the suffering of their people.
Pope Francis is not the first pope to address environmental issues but he is the first to devote an encyclical to them. Tackling climate change is not only an issue of justice and human survival, but an act of faith in God’s creation of the world. Laudato Si is the most eagerly awaited papal encyclical for decades.