Popular Pope Francis demanded swift action on Thursday to save the planet
from environmental devastation, In his point of view, he urged the world
leaders to hear “the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor” and plummeting
the Catholic Church into political disagreement over climate change.
In the first paper document dedicated to the
environment, The pop called for “pivotal action, here and now,” to
stop environmental degradation and global warming, squarely backing scientists
who say it is mostly man-made.
In the encyclical “Laudato Si (Praise
Be), On the Care of Our Common Home”, Francis, the first pope from a
developing nation, advocated a change of lifestyle in rich countries steeped in
a “throwaway” consumer culture and an end to an “obstructionist
attitudes” that sometimes put profit before the common good.
He also took on big business, appearing to
back “what consumer movements accomplish by boycotting certain
products” in order to force companies to respect the environment.
The most controversial papal pronouncement in
half a century won broad praise from scientists, the United
Nations and climate change activists, as well as U.S. President Barack Obama,
who lauded the pope for making the case “clearly, powerfully, and with the
full moral authority of his position.”
The pope also raised the wrath of
conservatives, including several U.S. Republican presidential candidates and
leading lawmakers, who have scolded him for delving into science and politics.
Republican Senator Jim Inhofe, chairman of
the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said in a statement he was
concerned the encyclical “will be used by global warming alarmists to
advocate for policies that will equate to the largest, most regressive tax
increase in our nation’s history.”
At a news conference to present the
encyclical, Cardinal Peter Turkson, a key collaborator on the landmark
document, rejected pre-publication criticisms by some U.S. politicians that the
pope should steer clear of political issues.
“Just because the pope is not a
scientist does not mean he can’t consult scientists,” he said, adding with
a sly smile that journalists write about many things after consulting experts.
Latin America’s first pope, who took his
name from St. Francis of Assisi, the patron of ecology, said protecting the
planet was a moral and ethical “imperative” for believers and
non-believers alike that should supersede political and economic interests.