Pope Fancis on Climate Change

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A lot of Catholics, who are otherwise critics of the Democrats, are jumping to the Holy Father’s support in regards to his recent papal encyclical Laudato Si in which he speaks of climate change (frequently mentioned in name) among other topics.

Many did not like it when Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) said the Pope should stay of out the topic of global warming.  Honestly I see it as a piece of advice, knowing that the political left takes anything the Pontiff says and expounds it as Church dogma which nobody may question.  He is speaking of a highly controversial subject of a political and scientific nature, one which is heavily questioned by many including scientists who have noted global temperatures drop, more snow and rainfall, in spite of some freakish climate events.  The Roman Pontiff is infallible only ex cathera when defining doctrine of faith and morals, not scientific theories as this is out of his authoritative scope.  Many brought up that he is a chemistry major, but chemistry is a very different field of study from climatology/meteorology, so this alone does not make the Pope an expert on global warming or climate change.

Having said that, the other side totally rejects anything that is mentioned within the encyclical even going as far as to accuse him of being another liberal.  It should be noted that he has rejected “anti-human and pro-abortion” aspects of secular humanism as Jimmy Akin noted.  His Holiness stated that “the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion” (no. 120).

It should be noted that he warns about “deforestation, agricultural monocultures, industrial waste and destructive fishing methods” (no. 41).  He says that this has resulted in “countless species […] lost and the areas frequently become arid wastelands” (no. 38).  This isn’t even so much about global warming as it is about stewardship of the Earth, one of the articles of Catholic social doctrine.  The homes of these animals have been lost to deforestation which has resulted in the endangerment or even extinction of these species, the survivors migrating to other places, and thus the result of a rupture in the food chain, which ultimately does have an effect on human beings.  We need to be careful not to be too political one way or another on environmental issues, because it clouds us from seeing the ethics behind our environmental decisions and others we make in relation to them.

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