The Church has joined the “Let’s do it, Romania!” campaign and summoned teams of young students from the theological seminaries across Romania to help out with the clean-up day.
Over 180,000 Romanians, most of them students but also volunteers of all ages, have said yes to this year’s national environmental action.
On Saturday, Sept. 21, several Orthodox high schools, parishes and other church institutions put into practice the advice of Patriarch Daniel to express a special care towards God’s creation:
“Do not deform creation, do not desecrate it, do not destroy it, do not deform the beauty of the Earth; our vocation is to preserve the environment as stewards and not as owners of the creation.”
Ecology classes in theology schools?
The Church’s constant involvement in ecological actions is based on the understanding of the natural environment as a gift from God.
Nicknamed the Green Patriarch, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople is famous worldwide for his many initiatives in the field of ecology.
One of Patriarch Bartholomew’s suggestions is the incorporation of environmental issues into courses and classes in theological schools and seminaries.
“Theological schools and seminaries should be at the forefront of this effort as well. Nevertheless, this cannot occur if seminarians and students are not exposed to an integrated environmental ministry throughout their education and formation,” stressed the Patriarch of Constantinople at the opening session of the Halki III Summit in Istanbul.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the first ecological encyclical signed by Patriarch Demetrios I, which established the day of September 1 as an occasion to raise public awareness of environmental issues and to offer prayers for the entire creation.