Can this Pope Affect the Climate Change Debate?


“This our home is being ruined and damaged.” He says. “Especially for the poor.”

The Pope’s letter or encyclical addressed to all people, regardless of religion, is the Vatican’s most dramatic foray yet into the climate change debate and how human action not prayers will fix it. In the 192 page letter he blames politicians, business leaders and consumers, saying we suffer “information overload.” Indifferent to the ecological decline of our world calls for a new environmental morality. The encyclical rests on a simple premise; what sort of world do we want to leave our children?

“This is an appeal to the responsibility” he says that “God has entrusted us to cultivate and guard the garden.” But can this Pope affect the climate change debate? It’s already heating up the Republican presidential field.

Another Roman Catholic Conservative Rick Santorum got himself in the hot hows when he said this on a Philadelphia radio show. “I think that we are probably better off leaving the science to the scientists.” But this Pope is a scientist, studying Chemistry before joining the priesthood.

The title for this latest Papal blockbuster is “Laudato Si” Latin for “Be Praised.” It’s a quote from Saint Francis of Assisi, the same Saint Francis whose name the Pope borrowed. Saint Francis used the term to praise God for creating the animals. Pope Francis now using the same prayer to save them.