PopeWatch: Papal Opinions




Pope as radical environmentalist?:



In his strongest declaration yet about climate change, Pope Francis said Thursday he is convinced that global warming is “mostly” man-made.

He also said he has nearly finished writing an encyclical on climate change to be published in June that he hopes will encourage negotiators at a climate change meeting in Paris in December to make “courageous” decisions to protect God’s creation.

“I don’t know if it (human activity) is the only cause, but mostly, in great part, it is man who has slapped nature in the face,” Francis told reporters Thursday aboard the Papal plane en route from Sri Lanka to Manilla, Philippines. “We have in a sense taken over nature.”

“I think we have exploited nature too much,” he added, mentioning practices like deforestation and monoculture. “Thanks be to God that today there are voices, so many people who are speaking out about it.”


Go here to read the rest.  The Pope’s musings about the environment will no doubt cheer radical environmentalists, and no doubt depress those who believe that nature was made for man and not the other way around.  What will no doubt be lost sight of is the fact that the Pope’s opinions about the environment, when such opinions deal with matters of facts and science, are not infallible and are not binding on Catholics.  In short they are his opinions and to be given no greater weight or deference than such opinions are due when voiced by a non Papal source.

More to explorer


  1. I looked through the Italian text of the Pope’s in-flight meeting with news reporters:
    In his discussion about the environment the Pope says:
    “La prima è l’incultura che riceviamo con la creazione per farla cultura, ma quando tu ti impadronisci troppo e vai oltre, questa cultura va contro di te, pensiamo a Hiroshima.”
    Google translates this as follows:
    “The first is the lack of culture that we receive by creating the culture to make it, but when you do you [impadronisci] too and go beyond, this culture goes against you, we think of Hiroshima.”
    Really, Pope Francis, we think of an atomic bomb drop on an implacable and vicious enemy who would accept defeat no other way?
    I await with great trepidation this environmental encyclical. By the way, Pope Francis, did you not use polluting fossil fuel to jet to Sri Lanka and the Philippines? And do you not use imported French nuclear-supplied electricity for lighting in your Vatican residence? Let those who hate the use of fossil and nuclear energy live by candle light, wood burning, horse drawn carriage, and sailing ships! Otherwise they are hypocrites unworthy of the office they occupy.

  2. The article for which Nate provided a link says at the end:
    “The Holy Father’s encyclical won’t be issued until (it is reported) June or July. Which means there is still time for somebody who takes a realistic view of the climate and is close to the Pope to advise him. This isn’t me: I’m a nobody with no contacts. But there must be somebody.”
    Even if a real engineer gets to advise Pope Francis, the Pope will NOT listen. What a real engineer has to say does not fit the paradigm that gets Pope Francis that flattering popularity in the liberal news media which he absolutely craves. Sorry for being nasty, but I tell it as I see it. Low cost plentiful energy widely distributed raises living standards, feeds mouths and brings wealth, NOT eco-wackism nor wealth redistributionism. God, give us another man like Benedict XVI!

  3. The Pope will become real if not a single penny in taxes, fees or penalties is levied, nor will property be extorted. Only then will the Pope’s opinion be valid.

  4. The pope on his way to the PhiIippines was trying to address the problem of deforestation in that country and other SE Asian countries. Many clear cut areas in the PI were reforested with US aid, but when trees were cut down prematurely, mudslides and flooding occurred.
    It is presumptious, in my opinion, for mankind to assume that it can create global warming or the newer term for it climate change. That is for the Creator. There is of course natural climate change as the earth is on a cycle, but that is not what the Greens’ defintion is.
    I wish a true expert could have the ear of the Pope.

  5. With papal infallibility not even being understood by most Catholics, and the rest of the world thinking that we believe everything the pope says or formally writes is infallible, when the pope so publically comments on what he is not expert in, and on a topic so politically driven and scientifically in question, and everyone knows he is not expert in, he fuels the opinion that there is no papal infallibility at all. If the forthcoming encyclical reflects what we are hearing of his left-leaning, politically driven science, even those who agree with him will secretly scoff in snide agreement.

  6. I view the Pope’s involvement in this matter with grave trepidation. There is a risk of his being co-opted by anti-Christian radicals such as the Zero Population Growth people and those seeking a kind of one world governance. After all, did not Jacques Chirac say the climate shtick was about world governance?
    There are some simple facts too many ignore. Taking the alarmist position to its logical conclusion implies a need to drastically reduce the world population for the energy they claim to be detrimental is that which enables the population to grow. I see that as a good thing. Radical environmentalists do not. Many of these also oppose a “nuclear option” so we wonder as to their agenda.
    I would rather see the Holy Father say more about the genocide in progress in the Middle-East, Africa and elsewhere. I am more concerned with bloody footprints than with carbon footprints.

  7. Foxfier, There’s always Pope Joan. She could be the poster child for so many groups – transgenders, cross dressers, nuns for female priests, etc. Her Holiness’ writings and remains could be “discovered” and Dan Brown could write a novel.

  8. Exactly, Ernst Schreiber.
    Who’s bankrolling those oft quoted university studies.

    William P. Walsh,
    Pope Francis should quote you….”I am more concerned with bloody footprints than with carbon footprints.” And put his encyclical in the circular file.

  9. CAM- I actually mean ones that existed, but that does remind me that I keep meaning to do a “myths about popes” article, too. The “Pope Joan” legend, the “Hitler’s Pope” slander, maybe the “everybody listened to the Pope” folk-belief…..

  10. Social Justice is giving a person what he needs to survive. Giving a person what he wants is a free will offering or gift. Giving a person what he demands is extortion.

    Mother Nature – Dena Dietrich starred as the forest matron, Mother Nature, in a series of successful 30-second commercials for Parkay® Margarine (1971-79). Dressed in a gown of white and adorned with a crown of daisies, Mother Nature addresses an unseen narrator who informs her “That’s Parkay® Margarine, not butter.” A perplexed Mother Nature replies “Margarine, oh, no, it’s too sweet, too creamy.” When the narrator tells her “Parkay’s® so delicious, I guess it fooled even you, Mother Nature,” the perturbed woodland goddess lets loose lightning and thunder to express her anger. Her trademark catchphrase was “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!” The melodic tagline for the ad reads: “If you think it’s butter and it’s not…it’s “Parkay®.” From Entertainment and Music>Television.

    This is perhaps the finest advertisement I have ever seen except perhaps the ad with “DEATH” picking up a baby bird fallen from the nest and placing the baby bird back with his mother.

    The homosexual agenda will probably eradicate this ad: “IT’S NOT NICE TO FOOL MOTHER NATURE”. They and the Gaia Goddess movement are going to hate these ads, since our earth is part of our mother nature. Mother earth nourishes us and sustains us even when she does not know the difference between margarine and butter.
    Mother is an office, a title, a vocation. The office of “Mother” is personified by whomever accepts the role of mothering, nurturing and nourishing. The Gaia movement, on the other hand treats people as though people were parasites on the skin of the false Goddess Gaia. Those who personify the false Goddess Gaia are looking for worship and reverence when they cannot even respect their fellow men. This ideology plays into the hands of the global warmers and climate changers. People as pollution.

  11. and I need an open thread for this:

    I’m My Own Grandpa – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    “I’m My Own Grandpa” (sometimes rendered as “I’m My Own Grandpaw”) is a novelty song written by Dwight Latham and Moe Jaffe, performed by Lonzo and Oscar in 1947 …

    With daughters marrying their own fathers, legally, and with IVF and three parent embryos, this is no longer a song. It is a prophecy. Hell on earth. Billions of years of evolution thrown away. Centuries of civilization ignored. The citizen disenfranchised. The dignity of the human person discarded. Hell on earth.
    Now, I feel better. I hope you feel better too.

  12. With reference to “Pope Joan”, folks may want to read the more whimsical small book “Pope Joan”: by Ira Glackens: 1965: entertaining, many insights, and lots of fascinating old prints!

  13. “Forest’s carbon taps millions for Calif. tribe” – The Yurok tribe sells credits to companies that must reduce greenhouse emissions.

    Here’s the link from the Richmond Times Dispatch on Jan 17.

    Under CA cap and trade the Yuroks as of April have 800,000 carbon credits. Current market rates are $9/credit. CA dairies can receive offsets when capturing methane. I’d like to see a picture of that process.

  14. CAM, How much will they pay us not to mow our lawn? And yes, the capture of methane is best viewed from afar. 🙁

  15. W. P. W.,
    I find much humor in carbon footprint and offset,etc; so little common sense.
    Re my lawn:
    In my state, which is not California, I would be fined at 1ft. However, I could claim that I am growning the grass for seed. I would have to have 1/4 acre under cultivation and make money from the sale of the seed. Then that portion of my property would be eligible for an agricultural discount on property tax.

  16. CAM and WPW. Originally this tax was subdued by the ridiculous name of “cow fart tax”, but now it is back with more respectability. If I remember correctly, a pile of manure was fitted with pipes to collect the methane gas and the gas was used directly as heating fuel.
    The powers that be targeted the farmers and their herds never counting the methane gases released in the swamps. It is simply not fair to tax people for what the planet, in its natural state, does.

  17. Barbara Gordon is correct. The Pope is neither scientist nor engineer. He should not speak about technical details of subjects for which he has not been trained. Yes, he should and must instruct us that we are given stewardship of creation which always belongs to God and we should discharge our stewardship with all due responsibility. That requires real science and real engineering. The Pope cannot tell us which fuel source to use and which not to use in order to provide energy for transportation and electricity. But he can and should tell us to husband our resources wisely and minimize the adverse impact we make on the gift of nature over which God has given us dominion. Now once again here are the facts:
    No electricity kills. We know this from the short life spans that existed in Western countries before the advent of electrical power which provides refrigeration for medicine and food, controls for heating, air conditioning, lighting, etc.
    Coal kills from the particulate pollution that it releases into the environment, its toxic sludge despoils rivers and streams, and mining for it takes a heavy toll on the health and lives of the miners. But coal kills less than no electricity.
    Oil kills due to the pollution it releases and due to the wars fought over accessing it, but oil kills less than coal.
    Gas kills – a quarter mile pipeline detonation is like a small nuclear device exploding. But gas kills less than oil.
    Hydro kills from dam failures drowning people. Solar kills from thermal solar fires and solar photovoltaic heavy metal pollution. Wind mills kill from thrown wind turbine blades and from wind turbine transmission fires. Both solar thermal and wind have a high mortality rate on birds. But hydro, solar and wind kill less than gas.
    Nuclear kills. Some 50 or so Soviet workers died outright at Chernobyl, and there might be a few thousand latent cancer deaths. But even including TMI (which injured and killed no one), Chernobyl (which is a design that can never be licensed in the West) and Fukushima (which killed less than a dozen people due to industrial accidents, not radiation), nuclear kills least of all.
    So the bottom line is this (as I have repeatedly written before): none of us (except for a handful of cosmonauts and astronauts, Enoch, Elijah and Mary) are getting off the planet alive. Ain’t a’gonna happen. We have to choose how best to generate the energy we need to save the lives we can without unduly despoiling the environment. If no other sources are available than coal, then of course I choose coal over no electricity. But there are better sources available. It is not up to Pope Francis to say what those sources are. His job is to provide the moral case for being environmentally and humanly responsible. After all, Earth is made for man and not vice versa.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: