Since his first sermon about two years ago, Pope Francis has spoken about the need to protect the planet as part of a broad message on the environment. His preaching has also caused little controversy so far.
Now, the pope has already prepared a major encyclical, which will stress the need of addressing global warming which is caused by humans. Conservative Catholic skeptics have been crying foul at the pope’s stand on the issue.
The Pontifical Academy of Sciences and some other organizations hosted a summit on Tuesday at the Vatican. The summit was named ‘Protect the Earth, Dignify Humanity: The Moral Dimensions of Climate Change and Sustainable Development’. It was to help strengthen the global consensus on the climate change issue.
Efforts by the pope and the organizations are part of the Vatican’s plan to influence Climate Change conference of United Nation, which is going to be held in Paris this year. In the last month of the year, delegates of different countries will meet in Paris to decide legally-binding protocols to protect the climate.
For Catholic conservatives, the pope’s progressive views represent a challenge that some critics think that the pope has been moving from the theological realm to the political. According to experts, there is no doubt that Francis has the capability to spread his voice farther than his predecessor.
Bruce Morrill, the Edward A. Malloy professor of Catholic studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School in Nashville, said that the pope may get a hearing on the issue that previous popes did not have. Morrill is also a Catholic priest. On Monday, conservative groups held a press conference where they criticized the pope’s stand on the environment.
Christopher Monckton, a devoted Catholic who has long been a leader climate skeptic movement, said, “You demean the office that you hold and you demean the church whom it is your sworn duty to protect and defend and advance. Stand back and listen to both sides, and do not take sides in politics.”