Study: Papal letter, Laudato Si' fails to inspire Catholics on 'climate change'

From Springer:

Despite papal letter, Catholics and the public politically divided on climate change

Pope’s 2015 warning about global warming failed to rally broad support for climate action


Among Catholics and non-Catholics, awareness of Laudato Si‘, the first-ever encyclical or papal letter devoted to the environment, was not associated with an increase in public concern over climate change. In addition, people who were aware of the encyclical appeared to be more politically polarized in their view of climate change than those who were not aware of it, according to a national survey led by the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) of the University of Pennsylvania and published in Springer’s journal Climatic Change.

The papal letter to Catholics worldwide was released in 2015 by Pope Francis. He cited scientific consensus on the existence and human causes of climate change, and highlighted the disproportionate risks it poses to the world’s poor. The Pope declared that there was a moral imperative to address climate change.

Prior to the release of the encyclical, Pew Research reported that 71 percent of American Catholics believed climate change exists. This figure is on par with that of the general public. Catholics’ views on the topic also broadly reflect the general partisan split along political lines among Americans. Among Catholic Democrats, 62 percent believe in climate change and attribute it to human causes, while only 24 percent of Catholic Republicans do. Conservatives are both more skeptical that anthropogenic climate change exists and less concerned with its adverse effects.

The Pope’s call for action raised the question whether a religious authority could influence public opinion on such a highly polarized topic. APPC researchers set out to examine the effect that the encyclical had by asking respondents whether they had heard about the encyclical, whether they believed that climate change is caused by humans, how serious a problem they thought climate change is, and whether they thought there is a scientific consensus on climate change. Data was obtained from 1,381 20-minute phone interviews conducted one week before the encyclical’s release on June 18, 2015 and another 1,374 interviews done two weeks later.

According to the survey results, those who had heard of the encyclical were not generally more accepting of the science on climate change or concerned about the effects of climate change. Instead, the study found that liberals who were aware of the encyclical were more concerned about climate change and perceived more risks than liberals who weren’t aware of Laudato Si’. The opposite was true for conservatives.

Respondents’ views of the Pope’s credibility on climate change varied according to their own political views. Encyclical-aware liberals said the Pope was more credible on climate change than did liberals who were not aware of the encyclical, while encyclical-aware conservatives said the Pope was less credible on climate change than conservatives who weren’t aware of it. Although Pope Francis’s message was expected to be especially influential among Catholics, their attitudes and beliefs about climate change remained strongly associated with their political views.

“While Pope Francis’ environmental call may have increased some individuals’ concerns about climate change, it backfired with conservative Catholics and non-Catholics, who not only resisted the message but defended their pre-existing beliefs by devaluing the pope’s credibility on climate change,” says Nan Li, lead author of the study.

The results suggest that the worldviews, political identities, and group norms that lead conservative Catholics to doubt climate change may take priority over deference to religious authority when judging the reality and risks of this environmental phenomenon.


Reference: Li, N. et al. (2016). Cross-pressuring conservative Catholics? Effects of Pope Francis’ encyclical on the U.S. public opinion on climate change, Climatic Change. DOI 10.1007/s10584-016-1821-z

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Michael E
October 24, 2016 9:26 am

Not surprising. Why would a religious leaders opinion on a scientific matter carry much weight?

John Harmsworth
Reply to  Michael E
October 24, 2016 9:56 am

Tell that to the people they burned at the stake for “inconvenient truths”.

Carbon BIgfoot
Reply to  John Harmsworth
October 28, 2016 5:34 am

Karl Marx got something right “Religion is the Opiate of the Masses”. I’m doing fine after they excommunicated my Catholic Ass as a result of divorce and re-marry. I have started a personal relationship with God as described in “Conversations With God” Vol. 1,2&3 thank you. Author Neil Donald Walsh all available from Amazon.

ferd berple
Reply to  Michael E
October 24, 2016 11:28 am

In case anyone is confused over the loving and scientific doctrine of the Catholic Church, consider the case of Giordano Bruno. Bruno was burned upside down which is intended to create maximum suffering in the victim. A particularly inhuman form of execution, as the victim doesn’t die of smoke inhalation. Rather they die in agony from having body parts burned off, while breathing fresh air sucked into the base of the fire.
His crime? Believing in the existence of other planets. Something we now know to be true, on which the Church was wrong.
So if the Church was wrong then, why should anyone believe the Church is correct today? Fool me once …
In particular, since two Popes were involved in judging Bruno, and we are told that Popes are somehow infallible, how could the Church not know it was in the wrong? Could it be that the Church is also wrong on the question of the Pope’s ability to make mistakes?
from wikipedia:
Bruno defended himself as he had in Venice, insisting that he accepted the Church’s dogmatic teachings, but trying to preserve the basis of his philosophy. In particular, he held firm to his belief in the plurality of worlds, although he was admonished to abandon it. His trial was overseen by the Inquisitor Cardinal Bellarmine, who demanded a full recantation, which Bruno eventually refused. On 20 January 1600, Pope Clement VIII declared Bruno a heretic and the Inquisition issued a sentence of death.
On 17 February 1600, in the Campo de’ Fiori (a central Roman market square), with his “tongue imprisoned because of his wicked words”, he was burned at the stake.[33] His ashes were thrown into the Tiber river. All of Bruno’s works were placed on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum in 1603. Inquisition cardinals who judged Giordano Bruno were: Cardinal Bellarmino (Bellarmine), Cardinal Madruzzo (Madruzzi), Cardinal Camillo Borghese (later Pope Paul V), Domenico Cardinal Pinelli, Pompeio Cardinal Arrigoni, Cardinal Sfondrati, Pedro Cardinal De Deza Manuel, Cardinal Santorio (Archbishop of Santa Severina, Cardinal-Bishop of Palestrina).

Reply to  ferd berple
October 24, 2016 11:48 am

Thank you for that info. It does help with understanding an gives me more when talking to alarmists.

Reply to  ferd berple
October 24, 2016 1:52 pm

Papal infallibility only applies under extremely specific conditions. Most notably, it only applies to teachings of morals or faith. It does not apply to anything outside of these things.
Besides, the church in the 16th was very corrupt in practice and crushing of any dissent, as the counter-reformation had begun but had not yet come into full swing. Bruno was executed as a warning to Protestants of all types.
If you are going to refute things. Please refute something relevant. This just reads as a tirade against Catholicism

Reply to  ferd berple
October 24, 2016 3:05 pm

benofhouston you said
“Papal infallibility only applies … to teachings of morals or faith”
Quite so, but what stops the Pope from deciding ACGW is a matter of faith (which it is of course)?
And isn’t this encyclical making moral claims?
What say you?

Reply to  ferd berple
October 24, 2016 3:57 pm

No… benofhouston is not quite right. Papal infalibility has only been applied twice. Both on doctrines concerning theological points about the blessed virgin mary. (those of the assumption and the immaculate conception) Pius XII was the only pope to have ever invoked infallibility. Indeed, there was no such thing as papal infallibility before 1950. Prior to that, the term “ex cathera” (from the chair) denoted papal pronouncements that were thought to be true, but no requirement of belief among the faithful was imposed. John Paul II is famously quoted as saying that he himself was not infallible as he had never “spoken infallibly”…

Reply to  ferd berple
October 24, 2016 5:58 pm

Afonzarelli, that’s not quite true. Papal infallibility was brought up from time to time long before that, including the Renaissance and the early Reformation. Luthor and Thomas Aquinus spoke at length on this topic. It was mostly abandoned in the wake of the Counter-Reformation that cleared out much of the corruption of the church. You really can’t equate the 16th century church to the modern church any more than you can equate Queen Elizabeth II and King Henry VIII.
The wikipedia article on the matter is relatively neutral and gives the history in depth.
And Jon, to respond to your question. In this matter, I have to say that if the Pope’s assumptions (CO2 emissions are dangerous and reasonable actions can be taken to reduce it that will benefit mankind) were correct, then his logic of the moral actions would also be correct. It’s a matter of logic as much as morals. However, as we know, the facts of the matter are far more complicated, so his conclusion is wrong. There’s no contradiction in faith except that which is put there by those who are willfully ignorant or vindictive.

Monna Manhas
Reply to  ferd berple
October 24, 2016 6:47 pm

Without minimizing the horrific death that Bruno endured, it is important to note that death by burning was practiced by various governments from antiquity right through to 1804, when Johannes Thomas was executed in Germany for the crime of arson. Two others (Johann Christoph Peter Horst and Friederike Louise Christiane Delitz) were sentenced to death by burning in 1813 in Berlin, but it is reported that they were secretly strangled just prior to being burnt.
So the sentence of “death by burning” was certainly not limited to the Catholic Church and it was certainly not limited to the crime of heresy.
In other words, it was a product of the times. People forget (or never knew) that until quite recently life was, quite simply, brutal.

Reply to  ferd berple
October 24, 2016 7:35 pm

ben, papal infallibility was never made church doctrine until the first vatican council in 1870. And as such, was never put into practice until the reign of pius xii (with the doctrine of the assumption). Pius xii also retroactively put into force the doctrine of the immaculate conception as defined by pius ix a century earlier. Those are the ONLY two doctrines that catholics are required to believe. You are confusing papl infallibility with teaching “ex cathedra” which are papal teachings which are thought to be true but not deemed infallible as defined by the first vatican council. I do hear what your trying to say. That’s why i said that you were “not quite right”. Infallibility was loosely defined from the early church onward. But, it is it’s precise definition of the first vatican council which makes for papally infallible doctrine. The link above explains it quite well (much better than my feeble attempts will allow)…

Reply to  ferd berple
October 24, 2016 7:54 pm

Monna, my scant understanding of it is that defending the church against heresy was akin to a modern day violation of copyright laws. The church had sole propriety of it’s own doctrine and heresy was a violation of that. That is why the church always asked for a retraction of heresy first and if it was not forthcoming then restitution was taken (capital punishment and, in later days, inprisonment). Thomas Aquinas argued for the death penalty because when a heretic was imprisoned the heresy remained very much alive. Better to destroy the perpetrator AND the heresy along with him or her. In some (yes, twisted) way it all makes sense. You are quite right in saying those were “brutal” times…

Paul Westhaver
Reply to  ferd berple
October 24, 2016 8:11 pm

“His crime? Believing in the existence of other planets. ”
-UNTRUE- and you know it.
How smug you are. If you choose to vent from the pristine marble column of truth such to prevail upon your enemy, then hypocrisy traps you because you neither spoke the truth nor spoke the true history.
So you lie by both omission, and by intent. So you are worse than your enemy. You assert moral superiority to cause harm, then you lie in your invective and hope nobody notices.
You may deceive the ignorant, but I am not deceived. I know what you are, in your very nature.
There is nothing lower than a liar who needs to lie, do harm in the lie, such to make himself seem clever.

Reply to  ferd berple
October 25, 2016 5:40 pm

“His crime? Believing in the existence of other planets. Something we now know to be true, on which the Church was wrong.”
That’s not true and you know it.
How about something that goes into a little more detail?
“Giordano Bruno died from a massive ego, intellectual pretension, a singular dishonesty, an overactive libido, and for being a miscreant priest who allowed himself to be ordained when he didn’t believe any essential truths of the faith. He’s a walking billboard for the inquisition.”
“He died not as a scientist or for scientific beliefs, but because he had rejected the fundamental truths of the faith he had promised to uphold at his ordination—the divinity of Christ, the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, the Trinity. He had embraced every passing fancy from reincarnation to divination…
…Bruno essentially disappeared from history for 300 years, until he was resurrected in anti-clerical Italy in the late 19th century.
The unification of Italy in the 19th century had been conducted by confiscating the centuries-old Papal States, concluding with the seizure of Rome in 1870.
But that didn’t end the anti-clerical, anti-papal rioting, and demonstrations which became an ordinary part of Roman life. In 1876, a group of Roman students decided to raise funds to erect a statue in Bruno’s honor, though no one but a few scholars had heard of him, his works were unread, and even those few who ventured to do so found him unintelligible.
But since he was deemed a victim of the inquisition and honoring him seen as an insult to the papacy, anti-clerical forces throughout Italy rallied to the cause.”

Reply to  Michael E
October 24, 2016 8:30 pm

It’s just a papal bull.

Taylor Pohlman
October 24, 2016 9:34 am

The ultimate appeal to Authority and it didn’t work – go figure.
The sad thing is that by getting talked into this encyclical, he damaged his credibility, and likely not just on climate. With so much evidence of impacts on the poor by ‘carbon mitigation’ how can he maintain his stance of defending the less fortunate?

T Michael Lutas
Reply to  Taylor Pohlman
October 24, 2016 10:25 am

The Pope has a lot of authority, but he is not the ultimate appeal even for Catholics. That would be God.
Every decently catechized Catholic knows about papal screw ups. The historical list is long. The Church makes a good effort to teach Catholics when the Pope must be obeyed and when dissent is acceptable. Pope Francis didn’t overstep the rules and by and large neither have his dissenters.
Papal authority is over moral matters. If the physical world were how he were to describe it, Pope Francis’ application of Catholic moral thought would bring the entirety of the Church to about where his is. Since there is disagreement on the state of science, his encyclical had less effect. In that scenario, he’s just one more bright guy with an opinion and a snazzy wardrobe arguing the shape of God’s creation.
The dissent is the equivalent of arguing with the Pope whether one should bring an umbrella out for a walk. There is no extra authority on uncertain descriptions of physical future events beyond the pretty obvious one that the College of Cardinals does not tend to elect morons.

Reply to  T Michael Lutas
October 25, 2016 12:04 pm

T Michael
“Since there is disagreement on the state of science, his encyclical had less effect. In that scenario, he’s just one more bright guy with an opinion and a snazzy wardrobe arguing the shape of God’s creation.”
Quite lovely phrasing – much impressed
And I agree.
You and me are probably quite bright, have opinions, and may have a snazzy wardrobe [not so much, me . . . ]. But papa Francisco, he has the microphone . . .
[For what it’s worth, an agnostic, recognising the power of religion, for good ( The 10 Commandments, say, conducive to generally ‘decent’ behaviour in society) or evils – well, you think of your own examples, please.]

NW sage
Reply to  Taylor Pohlman
October 24, 2016 5:55 pm

Agree – it’s all about ‘Authority”. The Pope has just demonstrated that he really doesn’t have much ‘authority’ with regard to scientific matters (the facts keep getting in the way). And every time he, or someone like him, tries it a little more authority goes away. Kind of sad really.

October 24, 2016 9:36 am

I am a Catholic.
Politically, I am a registered Independent (for decades) and have voted for Dem’s and Rep’s.
Global Warming is a ‘BIG LIE’.
I do believe in Natural Climate Change.
The Pope must have taken the same science courses as DiCaprio.

Reply to  kokoda
October 24, 2016 11:30 am

The Pope’s training in chemistry is sufficient to get him a job in a chemistry lab cleaning out burets and lighting bunsen burners without hurting himself.

Reply to  kokoda
October 24, 2016 12:00 pm

So I am, and I don’t about the pope opinion – I was born catholic and that”s all

Tom O
Reply to  kokoda
October 24, 2016 1:46 pm

Judging by this paragraph in the article, I can’t see how you can be an independent Catholic –
“Prior to the release of the encyclical, Pew Research reported that 71 percent of American Catholics believed climate change exists. This figure is on par with that of the general public. Catholics’ views on the topic also broadly reflect the general partisan split along political lines among Americans. Among Catholic Democrats, 62 percent believe in climate change and attribute it to human causes, while only 24 percent of Catholic Republicans do. Conservatives are both more skeptical that anthropogenic climate change exists and less concerned with its adverse effects”
The only way you could have 71% of Catholics believed in climate change while simultaneously having only 64% of Democrat and 24% of Republican Catholics believe would be to have basically all others not registered in these parties believe! Thus, if you were an independent, you must have believed, or you can’t be a Catholic!.
Do I really have to say sarcasm?

Reply to  Tom O
October 24, 2016 6:02 pm

You are conflating multiple questions “62 percent believe in climate change AND attribute it to humans” while “71 percent believe in climate change”.
That means 29% believe that climate doesn’t change, and good chunk believe only in natural climate change.

Steve Case
October 24, 2016 9:36 am

The papal letter to Catholics worldwide was released in 2015 by Pope Francis. He cited scientific consensus on the existence and human causes of climate change, and highlighted the disproportionate risks it poses to the world’s poor. The Pope declared that there was a moral imperative to address climate change.
The proposed remedies to address “Climate Change” will negatively affect the poor, won’t do what is claimed that they would do, and aren’t needed if they did because there isn’t a problem.

Bruce Cobb
October 24, 2016 9:39 am

Greenie ideology dovetails nicely with his socialist/communist leanings. Time to start taxing churches.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
October 24, 2016 10:09 am

Is there supposed to be any logical connection between your two sentences?

Reply to  michaelpalmeruw
October 24, 2016 11:39 am

the collection plate hurts the poor. if the church actually cared about the poor they would fill the collection plate with money BEFORE they pass it around, and let the poor take what they need.
the church doctrine on birth control encourages people to have children. They should be prepared to feed and clothe them.

Reply to  michaelpalmeruw
October 24, 2016 12:31 pm

Wow, so much hatred, so little knowledge.
The church is by far the largest charitable organization in the world.

Reply to  MarkW
October 24, 2016 1:54 pm

No, the ‘worshipers’ for want of a better expression, ‘are'(?) the biggest group of charitable individuals. The Catholic Church just distributes the donated cash after taking a healthy sum off the top to gild itself with, which Jesus objected to. He also (I hope) objected to kiddy fiddling, a subject the Catholic Church would rather was buried, along with its victims.
I point this out with no malice. I believe the entire religious community, of any persuasion, panders to, and feeds on, the common human fear of dying. And like any other doctrine, particularly the AGW debate, it countenances no criticism, allows no debate, encourages fear and fiddles with its children.
In the case of AGW, my 17-year-old, 6th form daughter, was distraught, and in tears when I pointed out to her that Oil, Gas and Coal are not running out, the planet won’t be consumed by hurricanes, droughts and pestilence, and that CO2 was an incredibly valuable gas.
Her Geography teacher, a former Oil company scientist, didn’t bother to provide her with the information to think critically about AGW, only to accept the dogma.
The AGW community have learned very well from the Catholic Church how to interfere with children.

Patrick B
Reply to  michaelpalmeruw
October 24, 2016 2:36 pm

Raised a Catholic with 16 years of Catholic education. I believe the Catholic Church is a source of great evil. Given the economic record of the 20th century only an evil person would advocate greater governmental control over the world’s economy. This Pope advocates greater government control at every opportunity with the support of most Cardinals. His position on the climate battles are more of the same. He must hate the poor with a passion.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  michaelpalmeruw
October 24, 2016 5:27 pm

Ferdie, You must learn from Monty Python…

South River Independent
Reply to  michaelpalmeruw
October 24, 2016 10:03 pm

DreadUK – The problem that you refer to as “kiddy fiddling” was actually homosexual priests preying on adolescent males. This is one reason why allowing homosexuals to be boy scout leaders and take adolescent males into the woods on camping trips is probably not a good idea.

Reply to  michaelpalmeruw
October 25, 2016 5:26 am

South River, come now. That’s absurd. Actual sexual orientation has very little correlation to the children that a pedophile chosess to attack. A few priests abused their positions of power to take advantage of children (at a rate comparable to child abuse in the wider population). The only thing of real note is the way the rest of the church tried to hide and cover up the issue.
In any rate, convictions of homosexual and heterosexuals for child molestation are pretty much equal (which, given prejudices in prosecution means it’s likely less likely for homosexuals to molest kids). So in any case, your point is baloney.

October 24, 2016 9:44 am

The Pope needs to stick to poping and leave the pseudoscience and alchemy to the pseudo-scientists and alchemists.

Reply to  Gerald
October 24, 2016 4:28 pm

Gerald, yes, as far as climate change goes, “say nope to the pope”… (just say nope)

Tom Halla
October 24, 2016 9:44 am

I was raised Catholic, and the Church lost most of it’s authority with an indefensible position on birth control in the 1960’s. Theologically, a large number of American Catholics are rather liberal protestants, but remain with the Church as a social thing.
The Pope is listened to, and generally ignored as an authority.

Reply to  Tom Halla
October 24, 2016 10:24 am

How is it indefensible?
I disagree with the church’s absolute ban on birth control, but from a theological position, it can be defended.

Tom Halla
Reply to  MarkW
October 24, 2016 10:29 am

Yes, indefensible is overstatement. But the Church did a formal study of the issue, from both theological and social perspectives, and Pope Paul dismissed rather than addressed any of the arguments.

Reply to  MarkW
October 24, 2016 11:58 am

from a theological position, it can be defended.
even the worst scoundrel has a rationale for their actions. Capone was helping the unemployed during the Great Depression. Hitler was saving Germany from the Jews. the Church is saving us from our sins. the EPA is saving us from CO2.

Reply to  MarkW
October 24, 2016 4:31 pm

Ferd, it seems to me that you’ve got an ax to grind against the church. WUWT?

The Old Man
October 24, 2016 9:58 am

I’m guessing that it may have something to do with their long term track record on Scientific Matters. Perhaps the Ghost of Galileo is holding them hostage…

Reply to  The Old Man
October 24, 2016 10:26 am

At the time of Galileo, most churchmen believed that the sun was the center of the solar system.
Galileo got into trouble for two reasons. He stated this belief as proven, when it wasn’t at the time. He also publicly ridiculed the pope.

Reply to  MarkW
October 24, 2016 10:45 am

Apparently, the Pope was convinced that the character ”Simplicio” in one of Galileo’s books was a thinly veiled stand-in for the pope himself. That doesn’t sound like direct public ridicule to me. In any case, do you think people should be tried, convicted, and put under house arrest for speaking their minds, writing opinions in books, or inattention to etiquette?

Reply to  MarkW
October 24, 2016 11:06 am

It really does fascinate me how some people are so good at jumping to conclusions.
Where did I say I support any of those things?
I just pointed out that this myth of the church being anti-science is just that.
Regardless, by the standards of the time, Galileo was treated quite well.

Reply to  MarkW
October 24, 2016 12:13 pm

the church being anti-science
tell that to Bruno.
What upset the Church about Bruno and Galileo was the notion that the earth was not the center of the universe, and thus called into question the supremacy of the Church.
In the case of Galileo, if the Sun was the center of everything, well then the earth was still pretty close to the center. But in the case of Bruno, if the earth was simply one among many, then there was nothing special about the earth at all, and the Church would also be nothing special.
Thus Bruno was burned, while Galileo was imprisoned.

Reply to  MarkW
October 24, 2016 12:32 pm

Perhaps if you could get over your irrational hatred, you could start thinking clearly on this subject.

Reply to  The Old Man
October 24, 2016 10:36 am

The issues are much more complex than you let on. Leaving out so many details leads to unwarranted conclusions. Here’s a much better treatment of the whole thing (warning, long and multi-part)

Reply to  The Old Man
October 24, 2016 11:09 am

The Old Man – From one to another.
I caught your blog, brilliant, thanks.
And, of course, it turns out that the planet is greening, by 14% in the last 30 years, equivalent to two (yes two) mainland USA continents. According to the climate alarmist who discovered this, 70% of it is down to increased CO2. However, bizarrely, he warns humanity, in particular Matt Ridley, this is not good.
The announcement was conspicuous by its absence on the Guardian and the BBC. The BBC happened to deliver a threatening news report today that planet Earth had finally hit 400ppm atmospheric CO2, which will not be reduced for generations, if ever.
In the meantime, Hansen tells us we must go carbon negative. We must start dragging CO2 from the atmosphere to rescue the planet. Which struck me as a trifle odd, as, if were even possible, assuming for a moment CO2 is responsible for increasing global temperatures, if we remove it, then the planet will cool, or am I going completely mad?
Then we get a cold planet, heading towards CO2 at 150ppm, at which point plant life begins to die off altogether.
Does that seem logical to anyone else? cos’ it sure doesn’t to the climate alarmists who populate the comments section of the Guardian. They are persistently enraged by my stupidity, especially when I point out that no one has ever conclusively proven CO2 causes temperature rise. They like it even less when I point out they are predicating the planet’s future on a shonky theory.
But I must be mad, cos’ they assure me I am.

Myron Mesecke
October 24, 2016 10:00 am

I was raised Catholic.
This Pope scares me. He appears to promote certain types of government over promoting God. The green climate change agenda will hurt the very people that religion tries to help the most.

Reply to  Myron Mesecke
October 24, 2016 10:28 pm

Myron, Popes have been doing that for centuries, one of the reasons I left the RC years ago. The hypocrisy is unbelievable. If this one is concerned about the poor he should be advocating cheap electricity for the poor in the form of ( initially ) coal and natural gas and support nuclear eventually. PLUS the infrastructure to do this ( just think of the jobs it would create in the first place,)

October 24, 2016 10:10 am

Here are a few climate-related excerpts from the 2015 encyclical letter of Pope Francis:

71. …the gift of the earth with its fruits belongs to everyone. …the world is God’s loving gift…
165. We know that technology based on the use of highly polluting fossil fuels – especially coal, but also oil and, to a lesser degree, gas – needs to be progressively replaced without delay.
172. For poor countries, the priorities must be to eliminate extreme poverty and to promote the social development of their people.

Does anyone else see a contradiction in those statements? If fossil fuels are a “fruit” or resource of the earth, and are a loving gift from God, why would we deem them an evil that must be “replaced without delay”? Where’s the gratitude for God’s gift of fossil fuels that made modern technology and economic progress possible? And how do poor countries “eliminate extreme poverty” and “promote the social development of their people” if they are not allowed to expand their use of fossil fuels? Green energy is too expensive and unreliable to do the job.
You can also search the Pope’s encyclical letter for words like “private property,” “overcome individualism,” and “world political authority” if you want to see examples of his socialist leanings. However, there are things in his encyclical that I agree with him on. Here are two of them:

183. … Honesty and truth are needed in scientific and political discussions…
188. … Here I would state once more that the Church does not presume to settle scientific questions or to replace politics.

Reply to  Louis
October 24, 2016 12:23 pm

If fossil fuels are a “fruit” or resource of the earth, and are a loving gift from God, why would we deem them an evil that must be “replaced without delay”
God is a practical joker. Otherwise how can one explain Turnips and Brussels Sprouts? Clearly an evil that must be replaced without delay.

Reply to  ferdberple
October 24, 2016 3:11 pm

Furthermore there is no record of Zeus ever having made a statement regarding ACGW therefore God does not oppose it.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  ferdberple
October 24, 2016 7:05 pm

Turnips, brussels sprouts, sauerkraut and limburger!

Reply to  ferdberple
October 24, 2016 10:33 pm

Pop, all them just fine, with the right combinations of other foods ( and of course with the required copious amount of beverages)

October 24, 2016 10:14 am

The Pope loses all credibility when he uses his influence for obvious political purposes. Shame on him for such blatant manipulation.

October 24, 2016 10:22 am

Whenever the Pope seeks to pontificate on subjects outside his area of expertise, he only serves to damage his reputation and the reputation of the church he leads.
That humans should take care of the environment is a given and biblical. Stewards of the land and all that. Going beyond that was a major mistake.
(PS: Those who cite this passage really should look up what a steward is. He doesn’t “preserve” his masters estate, he manages it in order to maximize it’s usefulness for his master.)

Reply to  MarkW
October 24, 2016 11:39 am

Pontificate. Interesting that the Pope has been granted a word of his own to describe pompous speech.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  jorgekafkazar
October 24, 2016 3:44 pm

It might be interesting if it was true. Its root is the Latin word pontifex. A pontifex was a member of the principal college of ancient Roman priests.

Reply to  MarkW
October 24, 2016 3:12 pm

Perhaps if he tore down the Wall that encircles his ENTIRE country he wouldn’t seem so hypocritical.

Reply to  Jon
October 24, 2016 8:18 pm

He does have a lot of nerve lecturing Trump on “the wall”, doesn’t he? (☺)

October 24, 2016 10:23 am

What was the quid pro quo for the Vatican letter? I doubt it was just the amount of pledged public finances for the security tab and other official travel expenses of the Pope to the U.S. and Europe. I’m sure the Vatican Bank will be transparent on this information request.

Reply to  Resourceguy
October 24, 2016 10:41 am

There’s a different game that is being played and it has nothing to do with money.
In absolutely everything inessential, the papacy is bowing to the East, to Orthodoxy, in the hopes that Catholic conciliation can turn them sweet and reunite what the Great Schism of 1054 broke apart. Patriarch Bartholomew is known as “the green Patriarch”. If you view Laudato Si as a coded love note to Bartholomew, the text fits rather well.

October 24, 2016 10:32 am

Guardian story here:
Pope Francis’s edict on climate change has fallen on closed ears, study finds
A study by researchers in the US has found that right-leaning Catholics who had heard of the pope’s message were less concerned about climate change and its effects on the poor than those who had not, and had a dimmer view of the pope’s credibility.
“The pope and his papal letter failed to rally any broad support on climate change among the US Catholics and non-Catholics,” said Nan Li, first author of the research from Texas Tech University.

Reply to  Paul Matthews
October 24, 2016 10:38 am

It did rally some advocacy and political noise around the Pope with visits and citations. I’m surprised they did not give the Pope the Nobel Prize for the letter.

October 24, 2016 10:32 am

You dare question the Great Oz?!
Well okay, I’m just a guy with a very large special effects budget…

Reply to  LarryFine
October 24, 2016 1:37 pm

Don’t forget the part about sending them out on a costly, low-probability quest in order to limit the possibility they ever show up at the door again in one piece.

Reply to  LarryFine
October 24, 2016 4:40 pm

Dorothy was a Wizard of Oz d’nier. (pay no attention to the MANN behind the curtain!)

Reply to  afonzarelli
October 24, 2016 8:52 pm

And the F5 tornado was caused by AGW.

Reply to  LarryFine
October 25, 2016 10:44 am

The fake wizard was actually Al Gore in a balloon running another publicity stunt.

October 24, 2016 10:40 am

Holy water splashed on a toxic political topic gives mixed results at best. Just ask Podesta.

October 24, 2016 10:50 am

I, for one, am vrry much against my Pope meddling in political shenanigans. Sometimes the thought that he may have horse-traded climate change acceptance for silencing the paedophile priests narrative in agreement with the corrupt UN-Obama-EU-big bank establishment crosses my mind.

October 24, 2016 10:54 am

Data was obtained from 1,381 20-minute phone interviews conducted one week before the encyclical’s release on June 18, 2015 and another 1,374 interviews done two weeks later.

This raises some very intriguing questions:
1. How and why did the Annenberg Public Policy Center get the encyclical far enough in advance to develop the survey and field it a week before it was released?
2. Who paid for the survey? And why?

October 24, 2016 10:58 am

Say, wasn’t Al Gorge a theological school dropout??

Reply to  ShrNfr
October 24, 2016 3:13 pm

Wasn’\’t Stalin too?

October 24, 2016 11:43 am

As Thomas Aquinas wrote: “Quia absurdum est a summo usque quia absurdum est.” Or was it Einstein? Lincoln?

Pop Piasa
October 24, 2016 11:55 am

Here again is the Hymn which got me in trouble with the church.
An Ode to the Church
(On Fighting Climate Change)
Bureaucrats and Global Planners
Speak in agitated manners,
Predicating great disaster:
“Climate change we now must master!”
Human guilt and blame beseeching:
“Children, shame we should be teaching!
Man has sinned by overreaching
Fragile Gaia’s limit!”
Beware their bold apostasy,
Its prophesies are vanity!
The firmaments cannot be
Controlled by mortal hands.
So, use this world, as best you can,
To take care of your fellow man
And leave Earth’s destiny to God’s great plan!
The Universe is God’s, alone
Commanding elements He owns.
Perplexes any man’s control,
Yet, still provides for every soul!

Bill Powers
October 24, 2016 11:57 am

The practical reality is that CAGW is an alternate religion. The Catholic Church is a religious organization with political overtones. The Church of Catastrophic Global Warming is a political organization with religious overtones. Looks as if they are joining forces to offset their sad reality that both organizations have been hemorrhaging congregates of late. It doesn’t appear to be working

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Bill Powers
October 24, 2016 1:32 pm

Yes, I call it the Church Of Omnipotent Greenhouse in Carbon. Parish of Th Model Fellowship of Mann.

October 24, 2016 1:31 pm

Maybe they knew it would be low impact when they wrote it. Add that to list of no-impact positions and declarations in this wink-wink nod-nod policy position world of Obama. I guess a piece of paper is better than the act of blessing Obama and senior staff, Party leadership, and their respective families, their green automobiles, solar arrays, and assorted house pets.

October 24, 2016 2:48 pm

As a Catholic, I found this Pope’s position on “climate” to be naïve and derivative. The lack of critical thinking that allowed those who wrote it on behalf of His Holiness in not recognizing the deeply flawed circular clap trap at heart of the “climate change” consensus to be problematic: How could educated religious people not recognize the religious nature of so much of the “climate consensus”?
This paper devalues the Church and does nothing to help the poor or improve the Earth.

Tom Halla
Reply to  hunter
October 24, 2016 2:55 pm

As an Argentinian, Pope Francis grew up with cronyism and socialism as the political/economic environment, and seems to have bought into Liberation Theology as an adult.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  hunter
October 24, 2016 4:00 pm

Had he handed it off to his own order, the Jesuits, for validation he might have spared himself the ridicule he now justly suffers.

Mike Maguire
October 24, 2016 3:59 pm

The Pope did not jump on board the climate change gravy train because of climate change he did is because of this:
The real objective is to transfer money and resources to the undeveloped world(poor) from the (over)developed world that needs to cut back on its over-consumption of natural resources, especially fossil fuels. De-carbonizing is a very effective means to accomplish this. Also, transferring billions from the rich countries to the poor countries via schemes like the “Green Climate Fund” which will help the poor countries adapt to the damage of climate change that the rich countries caused.
I am all for helping the poor but using fraudulent schemes and hijacking climate science to do it via a corrupted United Nations leadership is a recipe for the abuse of power, graft and misuse of funding by unaccountable entities. When billions of dollars are going towards adapting to climate change, after what has been a period that featured the best 4 decades of weather, climate and CO2 levels for most life on this planet (especially humans) since the Medieval Warm Period, then one assumes that much of those funds will go outside of where they were intended.
I don’t trust entities that design their “help the poor” schemes, disguised with a “save the planet” false narrative to accomplish its objectives.

Reply to  Mike Maguire
October 25, 2016 7:41 am


Reply to  Mike Maguire
October 25, 2016 10:41 am

Yes, and renaming Third World or North-South initiatives as climate this or that does not help either.

Shawn Marshall
Reply to  Mike Maguire
October 26, 2016 4:51 am

Yes, the best aid developed nations could give poor nations is the gift of small, fail safe, modular nuke power generators. It could even be done by short circuiting all the graft and corruption normally encountered in undeveloped countries.
Our present Pope is a radical Jesuit Peronist from a backwards country whose climatology is even worse than his theology. For all the Catholic haters posting here, I should like to note that the Church is staffed by humans. We have had bad Popes before. The Church survived them. The Church will survive this one. Many orthodox Catholics are quite disturbed by this Pope’s many outrageous misstatements. G.K. Chesterton noted 5 times in History when it seemed the Catholic church would disappear. Each time it renewed itself and re-emerged as a vibrant and positive force. Since the Enlightenment, there has been an unceasing attack on the Church. A recent book, by a non-Catholic, debunks many of the popular slanders against the Church. The Church gave the moral foundation for what became Western civilization until the recent emergence of secularization and anti-theism. As Western society degenerates, it seems the Church owes no apologies to anyone for its History. People who believe the message of the Church, believe that Christ has already won the battle and that His Words will not pass away. The gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church although it seems we are headed for trying times.

Horse Feathers
October 24, 2016 5:56 pm

There is a difference, I’ve found, between faith and religion. Faith is of the heart. Religion is politics. This pope is a politician – but aren’t they all?

Paul Westhaver
October 24, 2016 6:14 pm

What is new? This is old news actually.
Also Benedict XVI and Saint JPII wrote on the environment. They are cited by Francis. So what happened today to provoke this? Have I missed something?
Anthony trolling for clicks?

Johann Wundersamer
October 24, 2016 6:54 pm

October 24, 2016 8:52 pm

“The results suggest that the worldviews, political identities, and group norms that lead conservative Catholics to doubt climate change may take priority over deference to religious authority when judging the reality and risks of this environmental phenomenon.”

That is an interesting finding. There certainly are plenty of statements made by the Roman Pontifex Maximus that could be the subject of more studies and polls.
They could poll to find out if people in the Roman Church all agree with him that tax evasion is theft. Keeping in mind that the countries who are most aggressive in prosecuting tax evasion have destroyed their economies through expensive add-on wind turbines and solar panels, and also have run their countries into the highest debt-levels ever seen on God’s green earth.
An alternative view is that green energy and massive government spending is theft. And not just from the poor but also from the middle class.
Or what about the Roman Pontifex Maximus’ position that democracies are not suitable for addressing climate change and environmental issues because of the inherent changes with new administrations?
Or what about the Jesuits’ mission to weaken all immigration policies and laws in all countries to allow free movement of peoples and mass migration?
There are a few more questions for researchers to ask Catholics.

October 25, 2016 6:24 am

It is a good bet that very few here have read the entire encyclical. He had much to say about how the zealots of climate change who want to curb population growth to battle AGW. He said no. He had much to say to both sides of the issue. And NO, the Church is not against birth control. It is against “artificial” birth control. There is so much in these posts about the Catholic Church that are outright lies that it would be impossible to address them in a forum like this.

Reply to  mptc
October 25, 2016 10:37 am

Let’s see the rebuttal from Planned Parenthood. I would like to see their side.

Reply to  Resourceguy
October 25, 2016 2:16 pm

Planned Parenthood has nothing of value to offer….ever.

Johann Wundersamer
October 25, 2016 8:09 pm

The pope has no right to entangle with politics. Since the 30 years war he should know better.
The popes repeatedly acted against better knowing; always to a bad end.
Seemingly god has mercy with them, same as with us.

Johann Wundersamer
October 26, 2016 2:18 am

But the Holy Father needs no decision by the conflict between secular and religious powers.
When there’s already written
“Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

David Ramsay Steele
October 26, 2016 8:07 am

%d bloggers like this: