Monday, December 29, 2014

Pope Francis Turning Focus to Climate Change

(Stefano Spaziani/UPI/Landov)

Monday, 29 Dec 2014 07:15 AM

By Elliot Jager

Pope Francis will intensify his efforts on climate change in 2015, issuing an encyclical to the faithful in March, highlighting the threat of global warming to the Earth before the U.N. General Assembly in September and, finally, pushing for a global compact on climate change in Paris in December, The Guardian reported.

Politically conservative Catholics in the U.S. are likely to be put off by Francis' environmental radicalism — among them House Speaker John Boehner, according to the Guardian.

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Several Republican presidential contenders maintain that global warming has been overstated or misrepresented.

Evangelicals tend to be more skeptical of climate change advocacy than other religious groups. "The Catholic Church is correct on the ethical principles but has been misled on the science," said Calvin Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, the Guardian reported.

The pope coupled the Church's environmental and economic concerns last May. "Creation is not a property, which we can rule over at will; or, even less, is the property of only a few: Creation is a gift, it is a wonderful gift that God has given us, so that we care for it and we use it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude."

The Church maintains that humans have a responsibility to safeguard the Earth "because while God always forgives, Creation never forgives" and humanity faces catastrophe if its devastates the planet, according to The Christian Post.

Church leaders like Bishop Marcelo Sorondo, head of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences, feel that the Church needs to advocate on climate issues. Others like Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican's budget chief, is a climate change skeptic, the Guardian reported.

The forthcoming climate encyclical is expected to be some 50 pages and to urge the world's 1.2 billion Catholics to take action on climate change, the Guardian reported.


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