Pope Francis has made the 'climate crisis' a big focus of his papacy, and on Wednesday he has for only the second time issued a major ecology-focused encyclical, which is being called his strongest statement yet on the issue.
In the 7,000 word new encyclical called Laudate Deum ("Praise God") which is certain to make climate activists like Greta Thunberg happy, he lambasted "irresponsible" Western lifestyles and big industries which are bringing to world to a "breaking point". He went after Americans in particular.
"Our responses have not been adequate, while the world in which we live is collapsing and may be nearing the breaking point," he wrote. "Some effects of the climate crisis are already irreversible, at least for several hundred years, such as the increase in the global temperature of the oceans, their acidification and the decrease of oxygen."
CNN and other US mainstream publications are now lauding his blistering attack on "deniers":
"Despite all attempts to deny, conceal, gloss over or relativize the issue, the signs of climate change are here and increasingly evident. No one can ignore the fact that in recent years we have witnessed extreme weather phenomena, frequent periods of unusual heat, drought and other cries of protest," Francis wrote.
Ignoring the accelerating climate change process, he continued, will only advance "the probability of extreme phenomena that are increasingly frequent and intense."
He went after the United States and its citizens in particular, while appearing to give China somewhat of a pass:
"If we consider that emissions per individual in the United States are about two times greater than those of individuals living in China, and about seven times greater than the average of the poorest countries, we can state that a broad change in the irresponsible lifestyle connected with the Western model would have a significant long-term impact," he wrote.
Francis at one point seemed to tailor his argument for the 'common man' while lamenting what he called "Resistance and confusion" in a subheading to the document...
"In recent years, some have chosen to deride these facts. They bring up allegedly solid scientific data, like the fact that the planet has always had, and will have, periods of cooling and warming," he said. "They forget to mention another relevant datum: that what we are presently experiencing is an unusual acceleration of warming, at such a speed that it will take only one generation – not centuries or millennia – in order to verify it."
And he claimed all of this can be easily perceived: "The rise in the sea level and the melting of glaciers can be easily perceived by an individual in his or her lifetime, and probably in a few years many populations will have to move their homes because of these facts."
Currently, an old video of circus performers at the Vatican has resurfaced and is circulating...
Pope.. goes circus pic.twitter.com/k0l7lbVcZW— Russian Market (@runews) October 4, 2023
We noted earlier this week that conservative Catholics have been increasingly frustrated by Pope Francis' ultra-ambiguous statements which have left the door open for novel practices and departures from longtime doctrine, such as "blessings of gay unions". At the same time his attacks and rebukes of 'climate deniers' now on display (a political hot topic issue which is outside the scope of religion in the traditional sense) are crystal clear in meaning and intent. Some traditional Catholics are warning that his agenda is to 'revolutionize' the Vatican in a decidedly leftward direction.