Pope Francis To Issue An Edict On Climate Change Sure To Rile Republicans

In the upcoming year, Pope Francis will publish an encyclical on climate change and human ecology. It will be circulated to the world’s 5,000 Catholic bishops and 400,000 priests. They, in turn, will relay the message to 1.2 billion Catholic parishioners worldwide. The edict will urge all Catholics, on both moral and scientific grounds, to take action on climate change.

A Papal encyclical is rare and only issued on topics the Pope deems extremely significant. This will be the second encyclical released by Pope Francis. It’s serious business and the Pontiff isn’t stopping there. He plans to address the United Nations general assembly on the topic and arrange a summit of the world’s main religions as well.

Bishop Marcelo Sorondo, chancellor of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences, told The Guardian that Pope Francis is taking action now because he would like to bring attention to the issue in advance of next year’s UN climate meeting in Paris.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio chose the name Pope Francis for a reason. Rev. Thomas J. Reese, a senior analyst for the National Catholic Reporter, told the UC Observer:

“One of the things we remember about Saint Francis is his love of Creation, his love of nature,” says Reese. “We have statues of him with birds and other animals, which is quaint, but Saint Francis calls us to develop a serious theology of Creation and a theology of the environment. You know this pope is not going to be a climate-change denier.”

This Pope is green and he’s no dummy. In fact, scientifically speaking, he’s quite literate. The Pontiff has a Masters Degree in Chemistry from the University of Buenos Aires. He has also stated that the Big Bang and Evolution are not inconsistent with the existence of God.

Pope Francis is putting radical right-wing Catholics in a rough spot. Catholics like Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, John Boehner and Rick Santorum can either respect their faith and change their views or spit in the face of Papal infallibility and continue their anti-science crusade against climate change. I suspect their true god is the almighty dollar and they will choose the latter.