Perhaps you missed the Vatican-sponsored international symposium on climate change held in Rome on April 28. It was a busy news day. The horrific earthquake killed thousands in Nepal, and riots broke out in Baltimore.
The one-day “Protect the Earth, Dignify Humanity” conference, according to Bloomberg Business, “brought together more than 150 accomplished scientists and spiritual leaders from more than a dozen faiths.” The summit served as a teaser of what to expect next month when it is predicted that the Vatican will release a papal encyclical, like a policy paper for the Catholic Church, on “human ecology.”
But there is concern that Pope Francis is focused too much on politics and not enough on faith, as those who are shaping his views veer from widely accepted biblical truths. Addressing the dilemma, Bloomberg Business states: “The Encyclical is expected to insert the pope into an American political problem.”
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In teaching his followers how to identify other true believers, Jesus Christ, in Matthew 7:16, states: “You will know them by their fruits.” Then 2 Corinthians 6: 14-15 warns the followers of Christ: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?” A more modern version states: “You are not the same as those who do not believe. So do not join yourselves to them. Good and bad do not belong together. Light and darkness cannot share together.”
Following the summit, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences released a declaration that states: “The Catholic Church working with the leadership of other religions…” The listed authors include known abortion advocate Jeffrey Sachs. Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General and a supporter of abortion, also addressed the Vatican conference.
While the Catholic Church, and all of Christianity in general, support life, one has to wonder why the Vatican would invite “darkness” in to advise it on climate change. While the abortion issue is one point of obvious conflict, others involved in the one-day event likely endorse a variety of views that disagree with a biblical perspective. When the advisers’ secular-humanist beliefs are the antithesis of the church’s, why should their opinions be invited and accepted as fact on one narrow topic? Why would the pope join himself with those who are not Christ followers?
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One cannot help but admire Pope Francis’ concern for the poor—a totally biblical view. However, the proposed fix for perceived manmade catastrophic climate change (climate change is real and has been happening long before humans burned fossil fuels), the elimination of fossil fuels will create more poor people, not fewer. One of the greatest friends of poor people around the world is carbon based fuels.
Pope Francis is not the first pope to opine about the environment. The Economist points out that Pope Benedict XVI’s statements often linked to his belief “in the ‘respect for the human person.’” To which The Economist adds: “to the ears of secular greens, that sort of talk can appear too focused on the welfare of homo sapiens at the expense of all other forms of life.”
And here is the problem, articulated by a commenter in response to Judith Curry’s post called “Pope Francis, climate change and mortality.” Ticketstopper wrote: “The Church is concerned about souls. Animals and plants don’t have souls. I would be very interested to see how a Pope can reconcile the demotion of emphasis on human souls with an emphasis on environmental friendliness.”
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The forthcoming encyclical will be on human ecology—which, if released as predicted, seems to focus far more on ecology and less on humans.
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