Bishop Weighs In on Drive vs Garbage during the Black Nazarene Feast

A leader of the Catholic Church has amplified the rising call to make the upcoming feast of the Black Nazarene garbage-free with his own plea for environmental responsibility as the spectacular display of Filipino devotion draws closer.

Bishop Deogracias S. Iñiguez, Jr. of the Diocese of Kalookan added his voice to the request aired by the environmental watchdog EcoWaste Coalition for the general public to be mindful of their trash so as to keep the Quiapo surroundings clean during the mammoth fiesta.

“Our age-old devotion to the Black Nazarene should translate to a kinder relationship with the environment on which we live and which provides sustenance to all Filipinos, rich and poor, and to other living creatures,” he said.

“As stewards of His Creation, we are morally responsible to watch over and foster the environment,” he continued.

“As Nazarene devotees, let us strive to follow the path of Jesus and integrate our respect for the environment with our eternal devotion to His divine grace,” he added.

“I therefore join the EcoWaste Coalition in appealing to the faithful to minimize the creation of garbage in Quiapo as well as in our homes and communities, which we entrust to the healing hands of the Black Nazarene,” Bishop Iñiguez stated.

The EcoWaste Coalition welcomed the supportive statement from the bishop who is also the concurrent head of the Public Affairs Committee of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

“Indeed, our pious devotion to the Black Nazarene should not in any way trash or harm the environment,” noted Roy Alvarez, President of the EcoWaste Coalition.

“Knowing Metro Manila’s persistent problem with garbage and pollution, it does really make sense for all human activities, especially faith-centered events, to consciously seek to prevent all forms of wastefulness,” he pointed out.

“We are counting on the maroon-clad devotees of the Black Nazarene to become green defenders of the environment,” Alvarez said.

Alvarez yesterday led a team of environmental advocates who quietly assembled in front of the Quiapo Church to remind the devotees to work for a clean and safe fiesta.