(File photo)

MANILA – Local church officials have supported the call of Cambridge University for Pope Francis to re-promote the “No Meat Friday” campaign as among the solutions to reduce excess global carbon emissions.

Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Indigenous Peoples (CBCP-ECIP) chairperson Bishop Valentin Dimoc believes the movement will bring great change not only to the environment but more to the health of the people.

He noted the increase in the number of people who develop chronic diseases is noticeable, at present due to the excessive consumption of animal meat by the public.

"We are consuming too much meat. Look at what is happening now to people regarding lifestyle illnesses. We are destroying our organs: heart, liver, and kidneys due to too much meat consumption and wrong nutrition," said the Bontoc-Lagawe bishop in an interview over Church-run Radio Veritas on Friday.

He added that animal agriculture, although helpful in meeting the demand for food, is also damaging the environment due to wrong management methods.

"It leads farmers to use their productive agricultural lands to produce food for animals like corn instead of food for humans. Time to bring morality into our dietary practices," he added.

Meanwhile, Military Ordinariate of the Philippines Bishop Oscar Jaime Florencio also recognized the challenge and goal of intensifying the church's "No Meat Friday" campaign.

Florencio, also the vice chair of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Health Care (ECHC), said the analysis by Cambridge University was significant because it saw the great contribution of not eating meat in order to protect the environment.

He made it clear that joining the church's No Meat Friday is not compulsory, especially for the elderly, and that there is a prescribed treatment method.

"With the No Meat Friday campaign, it's okay but we just have it on an optional basis. Because our circumstances are different, especially those with illnesses. So, for those who want and who can do it, please support the good intentions of the campaign," Florencio said.

During the Lenten season, Catholics refrain from eating meat on Fridays as part of fasting in commemoration of the life, passion and death of Jesus Christ. (PNA)