As soon as he was installed in his pontiff chair, Pope Francis made it very clear that environmental issues will be a top priority during his mandate, and he is now following up on that promise. This week, the Pope started drafting the long-awaited encyclical on the issue of climate change.
As expected, environmentalists all around the world are excited about the Pope adopting their cause, unlike skeptics of global warming who accuse him of using his moral influence to fuel radical environment propaganda.
Francis expects the document to be drafted in time for the U.N. climate talks in Paris, which will take place at the end of the year. Even though encyclicals are drafted under the utmost secrecy and few advisors participate, the Pope has leaked a few hints about the subject of the document. Here are a few things you should know about the encyclical before its release.
Pope Francis is not the first to put his moral weight to good use concerning in the environment issues: Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, his predecessors, both considered them as a matter of aiding the poor and protecting the common goods.
Catholics under John Paul II were deemed to have a moral duty of preserving God’s creation and stopping damaging practices. Benedict, also known as the “the Green Pope”, was a fighter for bringing solar power to the Vatican city-state. Also, all three pontiffs are strong advocates for conserving the “culture of life”, consisting of an intense fight against abortion.
Francis stated on multiple occasions that climate change is a very real phenomenon for which humans are mostly at fault; “it is man who has slapped nature in the face”. However, his encyclical will not consist of scientific proof or documentation on the matter, for the issue is not an easy one to approach.
Pope Francis is not the only religious figure concerned about the environment. Almost every major religion has had a high regard and top priority for saving the natural world. Ergo, solar panels appeared on places of worship and forestation initiatives rose all around the globe, holding religious teachings as motive.
The most recent update states that the Pope has set March apart for reviewing all the suggestions he has received and finishing the encyclical, as he is the sole author of the document. It will later be translated into several languages and released somewhere around June or July.
Image Source: World Religion News