Arquivo da tag: Papa Francisco

Pope Francis’s edict on climate change has fallen on closed ears, study finds (The Guardian)

Hailed as a significant call for action, the pope’s encyclical has not had the anticipated rallying effect on public opinion, researchers have found

Pope Francis environmental activists

Knowledge of the pope’s encyclical, called Laudato Si’, did not appear to be linked to higher levels of concern regarding climate change, the study found. Photograph: Bullit Marquez/AP

 

The pope’s call for action on climate change has fallen on closed ears, research suggests.

A study by researchers in the US has found that right-leaning Catholics who had heard of the pope’s message were less concerned about climate change and its effects on the poor than those who had not, and had a dimmer view of the pope’s credibility.

“The pope and his papal letter failed to rally any broad support on climate change among the US Catholics and non-Catholics,” said Nan Li, first author of the research from Texas Tech University.

“The conservative Catholics who are cross-pressured by the inconsistency between the viewpoints of their political allies and their religious authority would tend to devalue the pope’s credibility on this issue in order to resolve the cognitive dissonance that they experience,” she added.

Issued in June 2015, Pope Francis’s encyclical, called Laudato Si’, warned of an “unprecedented destruction of ecosystems” if climate change continues unchecked and cited the scientific consensus that human activity is behind global warming.

Research conducted on the eve of the announcement found that 68% of Americans and 71% of US Catholics believe in climate change, with Democrats more likely than Republicans to believe in the issue, put it down to human causes and rate it as a serious problem.

The pontiff’s comments were seen by many as a significant call for action in the battle against climate change, focusing on the moral need to address the impact of humans on the planet. “Pope Francis is personally committed to this [climate] issue like no other pope before him. The encyclical will have a major impact,” said Christiana Figueres, the UN’s climate chief, at the time.

But new research published in the journal Climatic Change suggests that the encyclical might not have had the anticipated rallying effect on public opinion.

In a nationally representative survey of 2,755 individuals across the US, including more than 700 Catholics, researchers quizzed individuals on their attitudes towards climate change, its effects on the poor and papal credibility on the issue, together with questions on their political views and demographics such as age, sex and ethnicity. The team found that 22.5% of respondents said they had either heard of the pope’s message or his plans for the letter.

Overall, the team found that members of the public who identified as politically liberal, whether Catholic or not, were more likely to be concerned about climate change and perceive climate change as disproportionately affecting the poor than those who identified as conservative.

But knowledge of the papal letter did not overall appear to be linked to higher levels of concern regarding climate change.

Instead, the researchers found that the effects of awareness of the letter were small, although awareness was linked to more polarised views. For both Catholics and non-Catholics, conservatives who were aware of the letter were less likely to be concerned about climate change and its risk to the poor, compared to those who had not. The opposite trend was seen among liberals.

But, the authors say, among both conservative Catholics and non-Catholics who had heard of the encyclical, the pontiff’s perceived credibility decreased as political leaning veered to the right.

“For people who are most conservative, the Catholics who are aware of the encyclical give the pope 0.5 less than Catholics who aren’t aware of the encyclical on a one to five scale,” said Li.

The researchers say it is not clear if the increased polarisation is caused by hearing about the encyclical or, for example, if more politically engaged individuals were simply more likely to be aware of the papal letter.

“In sum, while [the] pope’s environmental call may have increased some individuals’ concerns about climate change, it backfired with conservative Catholics and non-Catholics, who not only resisted the message but defended their pre-existing beliefs by devaluing the pope’s credibility on climate change,” the authors write.

The results chime with the reaction to the papal stance by conservative media and a number of prominent individuals, including former presidential candidate Jeb Bush who rebuffed the pope’s message, saying: “I don’t get economic policy from my bishops or my cardinal or my pope.”

Neil Thorns, director of advocacy at the Catholic aid agency Cafod, said: “Laudato Si’ was a wake-up call on how we’re treating our planet and its people which unsurprisingly – although disappointingly – some climate deniers and those with vested interests were not willing to hear.”

Anúncios

New articles related to Pope Francis, climate change, and the environment (The Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale)

June 21, 2015

Catholic Moral Traditions and Energy Ethics of the Twenty-First Century
By Erin Lothes Biviano, David Cloutier, Elaine Padilla, Christiana Z. Peppard, and Jame Schaefer
Journal of Moral Theology, Vol. 5, No. 2 (pp. 1-36)
June 2016
http://msmary.edu/College_of_liberal_arts/department-of-theology/jmt-files/Energy%20Ethics.pdf

The pope’s effect on politics
By Barrie Dunsmore
Rutland Herald
June 21, 2015
http://www.rutlandherald.com/article/20150621/OPINION06/706219971

Tell Us How Your Church Addressed the Pope’s Encyclical
New York Times
June 21, 2015
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/22/world/europe/tell-us-how-your-church-addressed-the-popes-encyclical.html

For Faithful, Social Justice Goals Demand Action on Environment
By Justin Gillis
New York Times
June 20, 2015
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/21/science/earth/for-faithful-social-justice-goals-demand-action-on-environment.html

Francis’ Momentous Encyclical: On Care for Our Common Home
By Dave Pruett
Huffington Post
June 19, 2015
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/francis-momentous-encycli_b_7620554.html

Francis’ Momentous Encyclical: On Care for Our Common Home
By Dave Pruett
Huffington Post
June 19, 2015
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/francis-momentous-encycli_b_7620554.html

Pope Francis sounds the alarm on the environment and he wants everyone to listen
By Matthew Bell
PRI’s The World
June 18, 2015
http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-06-18/pope-francis-sounds-alarm-environment-and-he-wants-everyone-listen

World View of Global Warming: The Photographic Documentation of Climate Change
By Gary Braasch
World View of Global Warming
June 2015
http://worldviewofglobalwarming.org/

Pope Francis: The Cry of the Earth
By Bill McKibben
The New York Review of Books
June 18, 2015
http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2015/jun/18/pope-francis-encyclical-cry-of-earth/

Top Ten Takeaways from ‘Laudato Si”
By James Martin, S.J.
America Magazine
June 18, 2015
http://americamagazine.org/issue/top-ten-takeaways-laudato-si

Anglican environmental network chair welcomes Papal climate encyclical
Anglican Communion News Service
June 18, 2015
http://www.anglicannews.org/news/2015/06/anglican-environmental-network-chair-welcomes-papal-climate-encyclical.aspx

Church of England Welcomes Climate Encyclical
Church of England
June 18, 2015
https://www.churchofengland.org/media-centre/news/2015/06/church-of-england-welcomes-climate-encyclical.aspx

Operation Noah welcomes ‘timely’ climate encyclical
Independent Catholic News
June 18, 2015
http://www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=27727

How to Read Pope Francis on the Environment
Interviewee: Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim
Interviewer: Robert McMahon
Council on Foreign Relations
June 18, 2015
http://www.cfr.org/holy-seevatican/read-pope-francis-environment/p36665

Pope Francis, in Sweeping Encyclical, Calls for Swift Action on Climate Change
By Jim Yardley and Laurie Goodstein
New York Times
June 18, 2015
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/19/world/europe/pope-francis-in-sweeping-encyclical-calls-for-swift-action-on-climate-change.html?_r=1

Pope Calls for Moral Campaign on Climate Crisis
By Kieran Cooke
Climate News Network
June 17, 2015
http://www.climatenewsnetwork.net/pope-calls-for-moral-campaign-on-climate-crisis/

Theology, Ecology, and the Word: Notes from Halki Summit
By George Handley
Home Waters
June 2015
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/homewaters/

Will Pope’s Much-Anticipated Encyclical Be A Clarion Call On Climate Change?
By Sylvia Poggioli
NPR
June 16, 2015
http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2015/06/16/414666357/popes-missive-on-environment-poverty-could-affect-habits-of-millions

Pope Francis warns of destruction of world’s ecosystem in leaked encyclical
By Stephanie Kirchgaessner and John Hooper in Rome
The Guardian
June 15, 2015
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/15/pope-francis-destruction-ecosystem-leaked-encyclical

“Protecting the Whole of Creation”
A service that the Bishop of Rome is called to carry out
La Civiltà Cattolica 2015 II 537-551 | 3960
http://www.laciviltacattolica.it/articoli_download/extra/Editorial-ENG.pdf

Pope Francis’ encyclical: PIK-scientists to speak in the Vatican and in Berlin
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
June 12, 2015
https://www.pik-potsdam.de/news/in-short/pope-francis-encyclical-pik-scientists-to-speak-in-the-vatican-and-in-berlin?set_language=en

Torah, Pope Francis, & Crisis Inspire 300+ Rabbis to Call for Climate Action
Religion News Service
June 10, 2015
https://theshalomcenter.org/torah-pope-crisis-inspire-300-rabbis-call-vigorous-climate-action

Climate encyclical expected to send strong moral message to the world
By Barbara Fraser
National Catholic Reporter
June 8, 2015
http://ncronline.org/blogs/eco-catholic/climate-encyclical-expected-send-strong-moral-message-world

5 Reasons Pope Francis’ Encyclical on the Environment Matters
By Reynard Loki
AlterNet
June 7, 2015
http://www.alternet.org/environment/5-reasons-pope-franciss-encyclical-environment-matters

About Pope Francis’ Encyclical, “Laudato sii”
By Terri MacKenzie
Ecospirituality Resources
June 5, 2015
http://ecospiritualityresources.com/2015/06/05/popes-encyclical-laudato-sii/

All children deserve a healthy climate
By Mitchell C. Hescox
National Catholic Reporter
June 3, 2015
http://ncronline.org/blogs/eco-catholic/all-children-deserve-healthy-climate

“Cultivating and Caring for Creation,” 12 new on-line videos and study guides in anticipation of Pope Francis’ coming encyclical, “Praised Be,” on the environment
Green Spirit Television
June 2, 2015
http://fore.yale.edu/files/Cultivating_and_Caring_for_Creation.pdf

Pope Francis’ climate change encyclical expected to make global impact
By Ed Stannard
New Haven Register
May 30, 2015
http://www.nhregister.com/general-news/20150530/pope-francis-climate-change-encyclical-expected-to-make-global-impact

Pope Francis’ Integral Ecology
By Dave Pruett
Huffington Post
May 28, 2015
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dave-pruett/pope-francis-integral-eco_b_7460058.html

Awaiting ecology encyclical, Catholic groups prepare for pope’s message
By Dennis Sadowski
Catholic News Service
May 27, 2015
http://cnstopstories.com/2015/05/27/awaiting-ecology-encyclical-catholic-groups-prepare-for-popes-message/

Encyclical on environment sparks hope among academics, activists
By Thomas Reese
National Catholic Reporter
May 26, 2015
http://ncronline.org/blogs/eco-catholic/encyclical-environment-sparks-hope-among-academics-activists

Catholics organize to promote pope’s climate change message
USA Today
May 25, 2015
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2015/05/24/catholics-sierra-club-pope-francis-climate-change/27896225/

Catholics prepare for pope’s climate stance
By Rachel Zoll, Associated Press
The Columbian
May 23, 2015
http://www.columbian.com/news/2015/may/23/catholics-prepare-for-popes-climate-stance/

The Catholic Case for Tackling Climate Change
By Stephen Seufert
The Huffington Post
May 21, 2015
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephen-seufert/the-catholic-case-for-tackling-climate-change-_b_7363650.html

Nuclear weapons: the greatest threat to the environment
By Thomas C. Fox
National Catholic Reporter
May 20, 2015
http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/nuclear-weapons-greatest-threat-environment

Pope Francis endorses climate action petition
By Brian Roewe
National Catholic Reporter
May 15, 2015
http://ncronline.org/blogs/eco-catholic/pope-francis-endorses-climate-action-petition

How will the world react to Pope Francis’s encyclical on climate change?
By Neil Thorns
The Guardian
May 14, 2015
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/may/14/how-will-the-world-react-to-pope-franciss-encyclical-on-climate-change

Key advisor blasts US criticism to pope’s environmental stance
By Inés San Martín, Vatican correspondent
Crux
May 12, 2015
http://www.cruxnow.com/church/2015/05/12/key-advisor-blasts-us-blowback-to-popes-environmental-stance/

Pope says environmental sinners will face God’s judgment for world hunger
AFP in Vatican City
The Guardian
May 12, 2015
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/12/pope-environmental-sinners-will-face-god-judgment

A papal statement on climate change could lead to greener Britain
By Soli Salgado
National Catholic Reporter
May 8, 2015
http://ncronline.org/blogs/eco-catholic/papal-statement-climate-change-could-lead-greener-britain

Pope Francis: ‘If We Destroy Creation, Creation Will Destroy Us’
By Kieran Cooke
EcoWatch
May 6, 2015
https://ecowatch.com/2015/05/06/pope-francis-moral-dimensions-climate-change/

Blessed Are the Climate Advocates
By Michael Shank
May 1, 2015
Slate
http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2015/05/pope_francis_ban_ki_moon_climate_change_talks_renewed_faith_from_vatican.html

Pope Francis Unlikely to Sway Catholic Republicans on Climate Change
By Katherine Bagley
InsideClimate News
May 1, 2015
http://insideclimatenews.org/news/01052015/pope-francis-unlikely-sway-catholic-republicans-climate-change

Pope Francis has given the climate movement just what it needed — faith
By Chris Mooney
Washington Post
April 30, 2015
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/04/30/pope-francis-has-given-the-climate-movement-just-what-it-needed-faith/

Pope Francis’ Encyclical on Global Warming
By Henry Auer
Global Warming Blog
April 30, 2015
http://warmgloblog.blogspot.com/2015/04/pope-francis-encyclical-on-global.html

Climate Change and the Common Good: A Statement of the Problem and the Demand for Transformative Solutions
The Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences
April 29, 2015
http://www.casinapioiv.va/content/dam/accademia/pdf/protect/climate_change_common_good.pdf

Declaration of Religious Leaders, Political Leaders, Business Leaders, Scientists and Development Practitioners
Pontifical Academy of Sciences
April 28, 2015
http://www.casinapioiv.va/content/dam/accademia/pdf/protect/declaration.pdf

Vatican presses politicians on climate change
By Roger Harrabin, BBC environment analyst
BBC
April 28, 2015
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-32487874

Pope Francis Steps Up Campaign on Climate Change, to Conservatives’ Alarm
By Coral Davenport and Laurie Goodstein
New York Times
April 27, 2015
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/28/world/europe/pope-francis-steps-up-campaign-on-climate-change-to-conservatives-alarm.html?emc=eta1&_r=1

Pope Francis poised to weigh in on climate change with major document
By Michelle Boorstein
Washington Post
April 27, 2015
http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/pope-francis-poised-to-weigh-in-on-climate-change-with-major-document/2015/04/27/d5c268b2-df81-11e4-a500-1c5bb1d8ff6a_story.html

Panel contemplates why the papal encyclical on the environment will matter
By Jamie Manson
April 15, 2015
National Catholic Reporter
http://ncronline.org/blogs/grace-margins/panel-contemplates-why-papal-encyclical-environment-will-matter

Pope Francis throws the weight of his office behind tackling climate change
By David Gibson
Religion News Service
April 15, 2015
http://www.religionnews.com/2015/04/15/pope-francis-throws-weight-office-behind-tackling-climate-change/

Catholics prep for Pope Francis to tackle climate in upcoming encyclical
By Marianne Lavelle
The Daily Climate
April 2, 2015
http://www.dailyclimate.org/tdc-newsroom/2015/03/pope-encyclical-climate-change-green-religion

The Greening of Pope Francis
By Charles J. Reid, Jr.
The Huffington Post
March 31, 2015
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/charles-j-reid-jr/the-greening-of-pope-fran_b_6971366.html

Papal ecology: Protecting all God’s creatures, respecting God’s plan
By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service
March 26, 2015
http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1501313.htm

Pope: Future of humanity depends on protecting, sharing water
By Carol Glatz
National Catholic Reporter
March 23, 2015
http://ncronline.org/blogs/eco-catholic/pope-future-humanity-depends-protecting-sharing-water

Pope puts climate heat on GOP
By Tom Krattenmaker
USA Today
March 23, 2015
http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/03/22/pope-climate-change-gop-column/25192839/

Cardinal hints at main themes in Pope’s climate change encyclical
By Ed King
RTCC
March 12, 2015
http://www.rtcc.org/2015/03/11/cardinal-hints-at-main-themes-in-popes-climate-change-encyclical/#.dpuf

Pope Francis and the Environment: Yale Examines Historic Climate Encyclical
By Kevin Dennehy
Yale School Forestry & Environmental Studies
March 11, 2015
https://environment.yale.edu/news/article/pope-francis-and-the-environment-why-his-new-climate-encyclical-matters

Hispanics Lead U.S. Catholics on Climate Change
By Katie Rose Quandt
Commonweal
March 11, 2015
https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/hispanics-lead-us-catholics-climate-change

Turkson talks papal encyclical, ‘integral ecology’ at Irish lecture
By Brian Roewe
National Catholic Reporter
March 10, 2015
http://ncronline.org/blogs/eco-catholic/turkson-talks-papal-encyclical-integral-ecology-irish-lecture

The Environment’s Pope
By John L. Allen Jr.
Time
March 7, 2015
http://time.com/3729925/francis-environment/

Papal envoy to UN: Climate change ‘an issue of justice for everyone’
By Brian Roewe
National Catholic Reporter
March 6, 2015
http://ncronline.org/blogs/eco-catholic/papal-envoy-un-climate-change-issue-justice-everyone

Cardinal Turkson sheds light on Pope Francis’s environmental encyclical
By Bob Gronski
Catholic Rural Life
March 6, 2015
https://catholicrurallife.org/cardinal-turkson-sheds-light-on-pope-franciss-environmental-encylical/

The Sacrament of Creation: What Can We Expect from Pope Francis’s Ecological Encyclical?
By Clive Hamilton
ABC Religion and Ethics
March 3, 2015
http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2015/03/03/4190521.htm

Religious leaders urge action to combat climate change
By Mark Pattison
Catholic News Service
February 23, 2015
http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1500810.htm

Catholics Fast for Lent in Support of Pope Francis’ Call for Climate Action
By Cole Mellino
EcoWatch
February 18, 2015
http://ecowatch.com/2015/02/18/catholics-fast-lent-support-pope-francis-climate-action/

Will the Vatican Become a New Leader Against Climate Change?
By Kevin Mathews
Care2
February 17, 2015
http://www.care2.com/causes/will-the-vatican-become-a-new-leader-against-climate-change.html

Tonga’s King talks climate change with Pope Francis
By Sophie Yeo
Responding to Climate Change
February 17, 2015
http://www.rtcc.org/2015/02/17/tongas-king-talks-climate-change-with-pope-francis/

Catholic group launches global climate-focused Lenten fast
By Brian Roewe
Eco Catholic
National Catholic Reporter
February 17, 2015
http://ncronline.org/blogs/eco-catholic/catholic-group-launches-global-climate-focused-lenten-fast

Historic Catholic Climate Lenten Fast To Be Held in 45 Countries
Global Catholic Climate Movement
February 16, 2015
http://www.scny.org/historic-catholic-climate-lenten-fast-to-be-held-in-45-countries/

Anticipation building for papal encyclical on environment
By Mark Pattison
Catholic News Service
February 12, 2015
http://catholicphilly.com/2015/02/news/national-news/anticipation-building-for-papal-encyclical-on-environment/

Rediscovering the moral dimension of climate change
By Jonathon Porritt
The Ecologist
February 9, 2015
http://www.theecologist.org/ecologist_partners/2739744/rediscovering_the_moral_dimension_of_climate_change.html

Pope Francis: It’s Christian to protect the environment
By David Gibson, Religion News Service
USA Today
February 9, 2015
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2015/02/09/pope-francis-environment-creation-christian/23132703/

Pope Mass: Protecting Creation a Christian responsibility
Vatican Radio
February 9, 2015
http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-mass-protecting-creation-a-christian-responsi?fromt=yes

Pope Francis: cultivate and preserve Mother Earth
Vatican Radio
February 2, 2015
http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-francis-cultivate-and-preserve-mother-earth?fromt=yes

Pope Francis and Climate Change: A Catholic Tradition
By Carolyn Woo
Huffington Post
February 2, 2015
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/catholic-relief-services/pope-francis-and-climate_b_6595036.html

EPA chief at Vatican: Obama ‘aligned’ with Francis on climate change
By Joshua J. McElwee
National Catholic Reporter
January 30, 2015
http://ncronline.org/blogs/eco-catholic/epa-chief-vatican-obama-aligned-francis-climate-change

A New Paradigm for Catholic Energy Ethics
By Erin Lothes Biviano
Catholic Moral Theology
January 28, 2015
http://catholicmoraltheology.com/a-new-paradigm-for-catholic-energy-ethics/

US to Enlist Pope Francis’ Help on Climate Change
Reuters
January 28, 2015
http://www.voanews.com/content/reu-us-enlist-pope-francis-help-climate-change/2617824.html

Pope Francis will visit New York City, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia during September visit to U.S.
By Sasha Goldstein
New York Daily News
January 19, 2015
http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/pope-francis-visit-nyc-3-city-u-s-swing-report-article-1.2083682

Details of the proposal for Pope Francis’ US visit revealed
By Alan Holdren and Elise Harris
Catholic News Agency
January 18, 2015
http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/exclusive-details-of-the-proposal-for-pope-francis-us-visit-revealed-13383/

Church Authority and Assent: Clarifications Ahead of Pope Francis’s Encyclical
By Daniel DiLeo
Political Theology Today
January 16, 2015
http://www.politicaltheology.com/blog/church-authority-and-assent-clarifications-ahead-of-pope-franciss-encyclical/

Storm Warnings for Pope’s Climate Stop in the Philippines
By Andrew C. Revkin
Dot Earth
New York Times
January 16, 2015
http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/01/16/storm-warnings-for-popes-planned-climate-stop-in-the-philippines/

Pope Francis Hopes World Leaders Will Make the Environment a Priority
By Ashley Curtin
Nation of Change – Bullhorn
January 16, 2015
http://bullhorn.nationofchange.org/pope_francis_environment_a_priority

Pope to make moral case for action on climate change
By Andy Coghlan
New Scientist
January 14, 2015
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22530044.500-pope-to-make-moral-case-for-action-on-climate-change.html#.VLia8nvNdWx

Pope Francis, the climate activist
By Pia Ranada
Passig City Rappler
January 8, 2015
http://www.rappler.com/specials/pope-francis-ph/79824-pope-francis-climate-change-encyclical

‘Rock-star pope’ intends to amplify his climate message
By Scott Detrow
ClimateWire
January 7, 2015
http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060011220

Pope Francis plants a flag in the ground on climate change
By John Abraham
The Guardian
January 6, 2015
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2015/jan/06/pope-francis-plants-flag-in-ground-on-climate-change

Pope Francis climate change call to action makes waves in faith communities
CBC/Radio–Canada
January 5, 2015
http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/episode/2015/01/05/pope-francis-climate-change-religion/

Why Pope Francis is going green in 2015
By Stephen Scharper
The Star
January 5, 2015
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2015/01/05/why_pope_francis_is_going_green_in_2015_scharper.html

2015 could be the year we save the earth
By NCR Editorial Staff
National Catholic Reporter
January 2, 2015
http://ncronline.org/blogs/eco-catholic/editorial-2015-could-be-year-we-save-earth

Tracing the Roots of Pope Francis’s Climate Plans for 2015
By Andrew C. Revkin
Dot Earth
New York Times
December 31, 2014
http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/12/31/tracing-the-roots-of-pope-franciss-climate-plans-for-2015/?_r=0

Pope Francis Calls for Action on Climate Change & Capitalism on a Planet “Exploited by Human Greed”
Democracy Now
December 31, 2014
http://www.democracynow.org/2014/12/31/pope_francis_calls_for_action_on

What Can a Popular Pope Do About Climate Change?
By Nicholas St. Fleur
The Atlantic
December 30, 2014
http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/12/what-can-a-popular-pope-do-about-climate-change/384119/

Pope Francis’s edict on climate change will anger deniers and US churches
By John Vidal
The Guardian
December 27, 2014
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/dec/27/pope-francis-edict-climate-change-us-rightwing

Pope Francis: climate evangelist?
By Virginia Gewin
Flux
December 19, 2014
https://www.beaconreader.com/flux/pope-francis-climate-evangelist

Preparing for the Storm: Anticipating and Countering the Likely Attacks on Pope Francis and His Environmental Encyclical
By Dan DiLeo
Millennial Journal
December 16, 2014
http://millennialjournal.com/2014/12/16/preparing-for-the-storm-anticipating-and-countering-the-likely-attacks-on-pope-francis-and-his-environmental-encyclical/

Pope Francis’s Ecology Encyclical – What Can We Expect?
By Henry Longbottom, SJ
The Jesuit Post
December 10, 2014
https://thejesuitpost.org/2014/12/pope-franciss-ecology-encyclical-what-can-we-expect/

Pope Francis renews attack on mafia in Italian region scarred by toxic waste
Reuters
July 27, 2014
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/07/27/world/social-issues-world/pope-francis-renews-attack-on-mafia-in-italian-region-scarred-by-toxic-waste/#.U9fTc7FuoUh

The Pope and the Sin of Environmental Degradation
Living on Earth
July 18, 2014
http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.html?programID=14-P13-00029&segmentID=1

Pope Francis’s Radical Environmentalism
Exploiting the earth “is our sin,” the pontiff says.
By Tara Isabella Burton
The Atlantic
July 11, 2014
http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/07/pope-franciss-radical-rethinking-of-environmentalism/374300/

Pope Francis: ‘We Are Custodians of Creation’
By Andrew C. Revkin
New York Times
May 22, 2014
http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/05/22/pope-francis-we-are-custodians-of-creation/?ref=science

Pope Francis wants to save the planet
By Michael Trimmer
Christian Today
May 9, 2014
http://www.christiantoday.com/article/pope.francis.wants.to.save.the.planet/37321.htm

UN to back Pope Francis statement on ‘human ecology’
By Sophie Yeo
Responding to Climate Change (RTCC)
May 8, 2014
http://www.rtcc.org/2014/05/08/un-to-back-pope-francis-statement-on-human-ecology/

Can a Pope Help Sustain Humanity and Ecology?
By Andrew C. Revkin
Dot Earth
May 6, 2014
http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/05/06/can-a-pope-help-sustain-humanity-and-ecology/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_php=true&_type=blogs&_php=true&_type=blogs&src=rechp&_r=2

Pope Francis urged to back fossil fuel divestment campaign
By Graham Readfearn
The Guardian
April 16, 2014
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/apr/16/pope-francis-back-fossil-fuel-divestment-campaign-religions-groups

‘The fragile world’: Church teaching on ecology before and by Pope Francis
By Donal Dorr
Thinking Faith
February 26, 2014
http://www.thinkingfaith.org/articles/20140226_1.htm

Pope Francis preps tome on the environment
By Jonathan Easley
The Hill
January 25, 2014
http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/196419-pope-francis-preps-tome-on-the-environment

Pope Francis Opens Ministry: “Let Us Be Protectors”
By Nicole Winfield
NBC Bay Area
March 26, 2013
http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/national-international/NATL-Pope-Francis-Installation-Mass-Inauguration-Fernandez-Kirchner-198876051.html

Pope Francis Raises Hopes for an Ecological Church
By Marcela Valente
Inter Press Service
March 22, 2013
http://www.ipsnews.net/2013/03/pope-francis-raises-hopes-for-an-ecological-church/

Pope Francis Installation Mass Homily Text
NBC Bay Area
March 19, 2013
http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/national-international/Pope-Francis-Homily-Prepared-Remarks-198929021.html

The Magna Carta of integral ecology: cry of the Earth-cry of the poor (Leonardo Boff)

18/06/2015

Before making any comment it is worth highlighting some peculiarities of the Laudato si encyclical of Pope Francis.

It is the first time a pope addresses the issue of ecology in the sense of an integral ecology (as it goes beyond the environment) in such a complete way. Big surprise: he elaborates the subject on the new ecological paradigm, which no official document of the UN has done so far. He bases his speech with the safest data of life sciences and Earth. He reads the data affectionately (with a sensitive or cordial intelligence), as he discerns that behind them hides human tragedy and suffering and also for Mother Earth. The current situation is serious, but Pope Francis always finds reasons for hope and trust that human beings can find viable solutions. He links to the Popes who preceded him, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, quoting them frequently. And something absolutely new: the text is part of collegiality, as it values ​​the contributions of dozens of bishops’ conferences around the world, from the US to Germany, that of Brazil, Patagonia-Comahue, and Paraguay. He gathers the contributions of other thinkers, such as Catholics Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Romano Guardini, Dante Alighieri, the Argentinian maestro Juan Carlos Scannone, Protestant Paul Ricoeur and the Sufi Muslim Ali Al-Khawwas. The recipients are all of us human beings, we are all inhabitants of the same common house (commonly used term by the Pope) and suffer the same threats.

Pope Francis does not write as a Master or Doctor of faith, but as a zealous pastor who cares for the common home of all beings, not just humans, that inhabit it.

One element deserves to be highlighted, as it reveals the “forma mentis” (the way he organizes hi thinking) of Pope Francis. This is a contribution of the pastoral and theological experience of Latin American churches in the light of the documents of Latin American Bishops (CELAM) in Medellin (1968), Puebla (1979) and Aparecida (2007), that were an option for the poor against poverty and in favor of liberation.

The wording and tone of the encyclical are typical of Pope Francis, and the ecological culture that he has accumulated, but I also realize that many expressions and ways of speaking refer to what is being thought and written mainly in Latin America. The themes of the “common home”, of “Mother Earth”, the “cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor”, the “care” of the “interdependence of all beings”, of the “poor and vulnerable “, the” paradigm shift, “the” human being as Earth “that feels, thinks, loves and reveres, the” integral ecology “among others, are recurrent among us.

The structure of the encyclical obeys to the methodological ritual used by our churches and theological reflection linked to the practice of liberation, now taken over and consecrated by the Pope: see, judge, act and celebrate.

First, he begins revealing his main source of inspiration: St. Francis of Assisi, whom he calls “the quintessential example of comprehensive care and ecology, who showed special concern for the poor and the abandoned” (n.10, n.66).

Then he moves on to see “What is happening in our home” (nn.17-61). The Pope says, “just by looking at the reality with sincerity we can see that there is a deterioration of our common home” (n.61). This part incorporates the most consistent data on climate change (nn.20-22), the issue of water (n.27-31), erosion of biodiversity (nn.32-42), the deterioration of the quality of human life and the degradation of social life (nn.43-47), he denounces the high rate of planetary inequality, which affects all areas of life (nn.48-52), with the poor as its main victims (n. 48).

In this part there is a phrase which refers to the reflection made in Latin America: “Today we cannot ignore that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach and should integrate justice in discussions on the environment to hear both the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor “(n.49). Then he adds: “the cries of the Earth join the cries of the abandoned of this world” (n.53). This is quite consistent since the beginning he has said that “we are Earth” (No. 2; cf. Gen 2.7.), Very in line with the great singer and poet Argentine indigenous Atahualpa Yupanqui: “humans beings are the Earth walking, feeling, thinking and loving.”

He condemns the proposed internationalization of the Amazon that “only serves the interests of multinationals” (n.38). There is a great statement of ethical force, “it is severely grave to obtain significant benefits making the rest of humanity, present and future, pay for the high costs of environmental degradation” (n.36).

He acknowledges with sadness: “We had never mistreated and offended our common home as much as in the last two centuries” (n.53). Faced with this human offensive against Mother Earth that many scientists have denounced as the beginning of a new geological era -the antropocene- he regrets the weakness of the powers of this world, that deceived, “believed that everything can continue as it is, as an alibi to “maintain its self-destructive habits” (n.59) with “a behavior that seems suicidal” (n.55).

Prudently, he recognizes the diversity of opinions (nn.60-61) and that “there is no single way to solve the problem” (n.60). However, “it is true that the global system is unsustainable from many points of view because we have stopped thinking about the purpose of human action” (n.61) and we get lost in the construction of means for unlimited accumulation at the expense of ecological injustice (degradation of ecosystems) and social injustice (impoverishment of populations). Mankind simply disappointed the divine hope “(n.61).

The urgent challenge, then, is “to protect our common home” (n.13); and for that we need, quoting Pope John Paul II, “a global ecological conversion” (n.5); “A culture of caring that permeates all of society” (n.231).
Once the seeing dimension is realized, the dimension of judgment prevails. This judging is done in two aspects, the scientific and the theological.

Let´s see the scientific. The encyclical devoted the entire third chapter to the analysis “of the human root of the ecological crisis” (nn.101-136). Here the Pope proposes to analyze techno-science, without prejudice, recognizing what it has brought such as “precious things to improve the quality of human life” (n. 103). But this is not the problem, but the independence, submitted to the economy, politics and nature in view of the accumulation of material goods (cf.n.109). Technoscience nourishes on a mistaken assumption that there is an “infinite availability of goods in the world” (n.106), when we know that we have surpassed the physical limits of the Earth and that much of the goods and services are not renewable. Technoscience has turned into technocracy, which has become a real dictatorship with a firm logic of domination over everything and everyone (n.108).

The great illusion, dominant today, lies in believing that technoscience can solve all environmental problems. This is a misleading idea because it “involves isolating the things that are always connected” (n.111). In fact, “everything is connected” (n.117) “everything is related” (n.120), a claim that appears throughout the encyclical text of the as a refrain, as it is a new contemporary paradigm key concept. The great limitation of technocracy is the fact of ‘knowledge fragmentation and losing the sense of wholeness “(n.110). The worst thing is “not to recognize the intrinsic value of every being and even denying a peculiar value to the human being” (n.118).

The intrinsic value of each being, even if it is minuscule, it is permanently highlighted in the encyclical (N.69), as does the Earth Charter. By denying the intrinsic value we are preventing “each being to communicate its message and to give glory to God” (n.33).

The largest deviation of technocracy is anthropocentrism. This means an illusion that things have value only insofar as they are ordered to human use, forgetting that its existence is valuable by itself (n.33). If it is true that everything is related, then “we humans are united as brothers and sisters and join with tender affection to Brother Sun, Sister Moon, Brother river and Mother Earth” (n.92). How can we expect to dominate them and view them within the narrow perspective of domination by humans?

All these “ecological virtues” (n.88) are lost by the will of power and domination of others to nature. We live a distressing “loss of meaning of life and the desire to live together” (n.110). He sometimes quotes the Italian-German Romano Guardini (1885-1968) theologist, one of the most read in the middle of the last century, who wrote a critical book against the claims of the modernity (n.105 note 83: Das Ende der Neuzeit, The decline of the Modern Age, 1958).

The other side of judgment is the theological. The encyclical reserves an important space for the “Gospel of Creation” (nos. 62-100). It begins justifying the contribution of religions and Christianity, as it is global crisis, each instance must, with its religious capital contribute to the care of the Earth (n.62). He does not insists in doctrines but on this wisdom in the various spiritual paths. Christianity prefers to speak of creation rather than nature, because “creation is related to a project of love of God” (n.76). Quote, more than once, a beautiful text of the Book of Wisdom (21.24) where it is clear that “the creation of the order of love” (n.77) and God emerges as “the Lord lover of life “(Wis 11:26).

The text opens for an evolutionary view of the universe without using the word, but doing a circumlocution referring to the universe “consisting of open systems that come into communion with each other” (n.79). It uses the main texts that link Christ incarnated and risen with the world and with the whole universe, making all matters of the Earth sacred (n.83). In this context he quotes Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955, n.83 note 53) as a precursor of this cosmic vision.
The fact that Trinity-God is divine and it related with people means that all things are related resonances of the divine Trinity (n.240).

Quoting the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of the Orthodox Church “recognizes that sins against creation are sins against God” (n.7). Hence the urgency of a collective ecological conversion to repair the lost harmony.

The encyclical concludes well with this part “The analysis showed the need for a change of course … we must escape the spiral of self-destruction in which we are sinking” (n.163). It is not a reform, but, citing the Earth Charter, but to seek “a new beginning” (n.207). The interdependence of all with all leads us to believe “in one world with a common project” (n.164).

Since reality has many aspects, all closely related, Pope Francis proposes an “integral ecology” that goes beyond the environmental ecology to which we are accustomed (n.137). It covers all areas, the environmental, economic, social, cultural and everyday life (n.147-148). Never forget the poor who also testify human and social ecology living ties of belonging and solidarity with each other (n.149).

The third methodological step is to act. In this part, the Encyclical observes the major issues of the international, national and local politics (nn.164-181). It stresses the interdependence of the social and educational aspect with ecological and sadly states the difficulties that bring the prevalence of technocracy, creating difficulty for the changes that restrain the greed of accumulation and consumption, that can be opened again (n.141) . He mentions again the theme of economics and politics that should serve the common good and create conditions for a possible human fulfillment (n.189-198). He re-emphasizes on the dialogue between science and religion, as it is being suggested by the great biologist Edward O.Wilson (cf. the book Creation: how to save life on Earth, 2008). All religions “should seek the care of nature and the defense of the poor” (n.201).

Still in the aspect of acting, he challenges education in the sense of creating “ecological citizenship” (n.211) and a new lifestyle, seated on caring, compassion, shared sobriety, the alliance between humanity and the environment, since both are umbilically linked, and the co-responsibility for everything that exists and lives and our common destiny (nn.203-208).

Finally, the time to celebrate. The celebration takes place in a context of “ecological conversion” (n.216), it involves an “ecological spirituality” (n.216). This stems not so much from theological doctrines but the motivations that faith arises to take care of the common house and “nurture a passion for caring for the world” (216). Such a mystical experience is what mobilizes people to live the ecological balance, “to those who are solidary inside themselves, with others, with nature and with all living and spiritual beings and God” (n.210). That appears to be the truth that “less is more” and that we can be happy with little.

In the sense of celebrating “the world is more than something to be solved, it is a joyous mystery to be contemplated in joy and with love” (n.12).

The tender and fraternal spirit of St. Francis of Assisi is present through the entire text of the encyclical Laudato. The current situation does not mean an announced tragedy, but a challenge for us to care for the common house and for each other. The text highlights poetry and joy in the Spirit and indestructible hope that if the threat is big, greater is the opportunity for solving our environmental problems.

The text poetically ends with the words “Beyond the Sun”, saying: “let’s walk singing. That our struggles and our concerns about this planet do not take away our joy of hope “(n.244).
I would like to end with the final words of the Earth Charter which the Pope quotes himself (n.207): ” Let ours be a time remembered for the awakening of a new reverence for life, the firm resolve to achieve sustainability, the quickening of the struggle for justice and peace, and the joyful celebration of life.¨

 This text is a chapter of a book in italien Curare la Madre Terra, EMI, Bologna 2015

Leonardo Boff is theologist and ecologist

Why Pope Francis’s climate message is so hard for some Americans to swallow (Washington Post)

 – June 18, 2015

With the official release of Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment, it’s clear that several strains of thought prominent in the U.S. will be particularly challenged by the document. That includes U.S. individualists who tend to support limited government and fewer environmental restrictions — Rush Limbaugh has already accused Francis of Marxism — and also those who perceive a strong conflict between science and religion.

The Pope’s entire case for caring for “our common home,” as he puts it, is moral. And the precise moral worldview being articulated — what might be called communitarianism, the idea that we’re all in it together, that “it takes a village” — deeply challenges an individualistic value system that research suggests is quite prevalent in the U.S. In several places in the text, indeed, the pope explicitly critiques “individualism” by name.

“In the particular case of the United States of America, which does have a strong individualistic trend, we will be challenged by the Pope,” says Bill Patenaude, a Rhode Island based Catholic commentator who writes the blog Catholic Ecology.

Vatican announces pope’s message on climate(22:40)
Vatican leaders released Pope Francis’s environmental encyclical June 18 in Vatican City. (The Vatican English)

At the same time, the document also represents a mega-merger of religious faith and a vastness of carefully researched scientific information — challenging the conflict-focused way that so many Americans have been conditioned to think about the relationship between science and religion.

In essence, then, the Pope rolls science and faith into a comprehensive statement about our global, common responsibility to address the planet’s vulnerability.

Let’s take them in turn:

American Individualism. The United States, says Dutch social psychologist and intercultural researcher Geert Hofstede, is “one of the most Individualist…cultures in the world.” Individualism, in Hofstede’s definition, is “a preference for a loosely-knit social framework in which individuals are expected to take care of only themselves and their immediate families.”

Hofstede isn’t the only one making such observations. The Pew Research Center noted recently that “Americans’ emphasis on individualism and work ethic stands out in surveys of people around the world.” That’s not to say that every American is a rugged individualist — just that this way of thinking, and feeling, is more prominent here than in many other nations, according to researchers.

There are many benefits to individualism, in the sense of how it drives people to strive to succeed, and allows them to choose their own paths and innovate in order to get there. In the context of the Pope’s encyclical, though, what matters is how such an outlook also helps to explain why we have such conflicts over collective environmental problems like climate change. For instance, numerous studies have found strong links between manifestations of individualism — such as free market beliefs and libertarian values — and the denial of global warming, or the perception that it isn’t a very serious problem.

That includes the research of Yale law professor Dan Kahan, whose “cultural cognition” model divides people’s moral values along two axes — one running from being very hierarchical to very egalitarian, and the other running from being very individualistic to being very communitarian. In this analysis, individualists are people who are much more likely to assent to statements like “It’s not the government’s business to try to protect people from themselves” and “It’s a mistake to ask society to help every person in need.”

Here’s a figure from Kahan’s research, dividing people’s value systems up into four quadrants based on where they lie on the hierarchist-egalitarian and individualist-communitarian spectra, and then further noting what kinds of issues those in the different quadrants tend to view as “high risk” and “low risk”:

In the context of U.S. politics, we’re used to watching hierarch-individualists (Republicans) and egalitarian-communitarians (Democrats) clash along both moral axes. But the Pope is a different blend than we’re used to. “The Pope is hierarch communitarian,” says Kahan by e-mail. “No doubt about that.” In this analysis, Francis lies in the top right quadrant of the diagram above. Yes, he’s pro-life — but also an environmental activist.

The communitarian side lies at the heart of the Pope’s current environmental endeavor, and his call to address a global, collective problem — warming. And to focus, in particular, on how it harms those who are most vulnerable.

“That’s very much where the climate problem has taken the environmental movement is concern for the people who are affected by it but didn’t cause it,” says Evan Berry, a professor of philosophy and religion at American University. “Interestingly, those are the most basic concerns of Christian morality. This is Catholicism 101. So the fact that that’s how a Christian leader would think about environmental questions, it’s surprising that that wasn’t on the table many many years.”

It’s there throughout the encyclical — and not just when the Pope calls the Earth’s climate a “common good.” He criticizes “individualism” by name on several occasions. Here’s one example:

Disinterested concern for others, and the rejection of every form of self-centeredness and self-absorption, are essential if we truly wish to care for our brothers and sisters and for the natural environment. These attitudes also attune us to the moral imperative of assessing the impact of our every action and personal decision on the world around us. If we can overcome individualism, we will truly be able to develop a different lifestyle and bring about changes in society.

Or as the Pope puts it later, “We must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world, and that being good and decent are worth it.”

So clearly, Francis is critiquing individualism — especially at its extremes.

Science and Religion Conflict. At the same time, from the Scopes Trial to the stem cell saga, we are also a country that has traditionally seen major battles between science and religion — and has thus been conditioned to see them as being in conflict. It’s a perception that actually comes from two separate sides — from many religious believers but also from many atheists or non-believers.

While perceptions of conflict are most centrally focused on the teaching of evolution, they extend throughout realms involving reproductive health and even into the environmental arena, where U.S. evangelicals tend to be considerably less accepting of climate change.

Pope Francis is having none of that. Indeed, the encyclical contains a grand statement about the necessarily complementary relationship between science and faith. “Science and religion, with their distinctive approaches to understanding reality, can enter into an intense dialogue fruitful for both,” Francis writes.

“The catechism of the church is very clear on that,” says Patenaude. “Faith and reason are not opposed to one another. They are the two strands of the DNA of Catholic intellectual thought.”

Francis’s encyclical lives up to that merged identity — much in the way Pope Francis himself does, with his chemistry background.

For instance, Francis doesn’t just say humans are causing global warming. He enumerates the greenhouse gases much as a chemist might:  “carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxides and others.” And he also lists numerous non-human or natural factors that influence the climate — “volcanic activity, variations in the earth’s orbit and axis, the solar cycle” — before finally reiterating that it’s mostly human caused.

And the heavy layering of science extends far beyond the climate issue. As the Post has described, the encyclical is full of scientific content on a diversity of environmental issues — sometimes even throwing around highly technical concepts like ocean acidification, “bioaccumulation” and “synthetic agrotoxins.”

So if you’re one of those who insists that science and religion are in conflict — or one of those who stokes that conflict — Francis presents a major challenge. And it’s worth noting that while it isn’t central to this encyclical, Francis has also spoken up in the past in favor of the Big Bang and evolution, two major scientific concepts that have met with considerable religious-driven resistance in the U.S.

So in sum, here we have a leader of one of the world’s dominant churches articulating — and soon, coming to the U.S. to further articulate — a vision in which science and faith are partners in a communal quest to protect the vulnerable from the rampant profit motive and exploitation of the Earth.

For U.S. individualists and science-religion battlers, that is going to be serious cause for contemplation — which, perhaps most of all, is what Francis’s encyclical is asking us for.

Em 192 páginas, papa Francisco celebra meio ambiente (Estadão)

Revista italiana antecipa conteúdo da encíclica que o Vaticano divulga nesta quinta (18)

Jorge Bergoglio mostra que é Francisco iniciando sua encíclica com o santo de quem emprestou o nome. Laudato Sii (ou, em português, Louvado Seja) teve o conteúdo antecipado nesta segunda-feira, 15, pela revista italiana L’Espresso – em uma última versão antes da revisão final. A encíclica é considerada a primeira, de fato, de autoria de Francisco – já que a Lumen Fidei, de julho de 2013, havia sido iniciada por Bento XVI.

Conforme especialistas já apostavam, o documento é voltado à importância dos cuidados com o meio ambiente. Ele traz no capítulo Diálogo sobre o Ambiente na Política Internacional um apelo do papa. Ele diz que acordos internacionais são urgentes para “estabelecer percursos negociados a fim de evitar catástrofes locais que acabam por prejudicar a todos”.

“O mais importante é que o papa foi bastante radical na denúncia das desigualdades econômicas e das injustiças sociais associadas à degradação do meio ambiente”, pontua o biólogo e sociólogo Francisco Borba Ribeiro Neto, coordenador do Núcleo Fé e Cultura da Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo (PUC-SP) – e professor, durante 20 anos, de Ecologia na PUC de Campinas.

“Ele mostra que os primeiros reflexos dos problemas ambientais se dão na vida dos mais pobres, dos mais frágeis. Isso é algo que muitas vezes o próprio movimento ambientalista não tem de forma clara.”

Esta é a 298.º encíclica da história da Igreja Católica – e a primeira que traz a ecologia como ponto central. Oficialmente, o Vaticano vai divulgar o documento na quinta-feira. Francisco teve muitos consultores para escrever a carta. Dentre os brasileiros, teriam sido ouvidos o teólogo Leonardo Boff, além de d. Erwin Kläutler, bispo da prelazia do Xingu.

“É comum que sejam consultados especialistas durante o processo de feitura das encíclicas”, explica o filósofo e teólogo Fernando Altemeyer Júnior, professor da PUC de São Paulo. “Nenhuma encíclica tem apenas as mãos do papa. Historicamente, é notável o trabalho do Padre Lebret (Louis-Joseph Lebret, dominicano francês que viveu entre 1897 e 1966, tendo passado parte da vida no Brasil), que praticamente foi o ‘ghost writer’ da Populorum Progressio, do papa Paulo VI, encíclica que teve até o (ex-presidente da República) Fernando Henrique Cardoso como consultor indireto.”

São Francisco

“A escolha, aparentemente óbvia, mas nem tanto, de uma citação do Cântico das Criaturas, de São Francisco de Assis, para iniciar a encíclica, e a presença de um teólogo católico de rito oriental, Ioannis Zizioulas, na apresentação da encíclica (agendada para quinta) sugerem, contudo, a marca específica de Bergoglio no tratamento do tema”, comenta Borba. “Tanto no poema franciscano quanto na teologia oriental, a natureza ocupa um lugar muito mais destacado na mística católica do que no pensamento católico entre os Concílios de Trento (1545-1563) e Vaticano II (1962-1965).”

“O fato é que a encíclica chega num momento complexo para a defesa do meio ambiente em todo o planeta. Apesar do otimismo gerado pela Eco-92, pelo Protocolo de Kyoto (1997) sobre a redução da emissão dos gases responsáveis pelo efeito estufa e pelos Objetivos do Desenvolvimento do Milênio das Nações Unidas (2000), os primeiros 15 anos deste século viram um aumento da degradação ambiental e o sacrifício das agendas conservacionistas em função do crescimento econômico”, complementa o biólogo.

“Por outro lado, também cresceu a frequência dos desastres naturais por causas climáticas, como furacões, secas prolongadas, invernos muito frios e enchentes, levando várias lideranças mundiais a se declararem comprometidas com a questão ambiental e dispostas a mudar a escrita recente na Conferência de Paris sobre o Clima (COP21) neste ano.” Por fim, Borba diz que a encíclica deve retomar uma das principais críticas ao Protocolo de Kyoto: “A de que as nações ‘em desenvolvimento’ estariam desobrigadas de esforços para reduzir as emissões de gases para não reduzir seu crescimento econômico”.

Citações. Outro aspecto relevante do documento escrito por Francisco está nas notas de rodapé. Entre as 172 citações há a presença de outrora persona non grata na Igreja, como o jesuíta, teólogo, filósofo e paleontólogo francês Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955), que defendia a integração entre ciência e tecnologia. “É revolucionária a menção dele em uma encíclica”, diz Altemeyer Júnior.

Também são significativas as menções a conferências nacionais de bispos – no total, há referências a colegiados de 14 países: Brasil, México, Austrália, Paraguai, Bolívia, Argentina, Nova Zelândia, Portugal, África do Sul, Filipinas, Alemanha, Estados Unidos, Japão e República Dominicana. “Com isso, Francisco mostra que ele é só mais um bispo, que o Vaticano não está acima dos demais bispos e, principalmente, que ele está ouvindo o que pensam seus colegas religiosos”, analisa o teólogo. “O papa se coloca como irmão entre irmãos.”

(Edison Veiga – O Estado de S. Paulo)

Leia mais:

Folha de S. Paulo – Francisco ecoa a escalada de anúncios globais sobre clima

EcoDesenvolvimento.org – Encíclica papal sobre meio ambiente é tema de campanha de ONGs

Pope Francis to Explore Climate’s Effect on World’s Poor (New York Times)

VATICAN CITY — Ban Ki-moon arrived at the Vatican with his own college of cardinals. Mr. Ban, the United Nations secretary general, had brought the leaders of all his major agencies to see Pope Francis, a show of organizational muscle and respect for a meeting between two global institutions that had sometimes shared a bumpy past but now had a mutual interest.

The agenda was poverty, and Francis inveighed against the “economy of exclusion” as he addressed Mr. Ban’s delegation at the Apostolic Palace. But in an informal meeting with Mr. Ban and his advisers, Francis shifted the discussion to the environment and how environmental degradation weighed heaviest on the poor.

“This is the pope of the poor,” said Robert Orr, who attended the May 2014 meeting as Mr. Ban’s special adviser on climate change and described the informal conversation with Francis. “The fact that he is making the link to the planet is really significant.”

On Thursday, Francis will release his first major teaching letter, known as an encyclical, on the theme of the environment and the poor. Given the pope’s widespread popularity, and his penchant for speaking out on major global issues, the encyclical is being treated as a milestone that could place the Roman Catholic Church at the forefront of a new coalition of religion and science.

Francis, the first pope from the developing world, clearly wants the document to have an impact: Its release comes during a year with three major international policy meetings, most notably a United Nations climate change conference in Paris in December. This month, the Vatican sent notifications to bishops around the world with instructions for spreading the pope’s environmental message to the more than one billion Catholics worldwide.

By wading into the environment debate, Francis is seeking to redefine a secular topic, one usually framed by scientific data, using theology and faith. And based on Francis’ prior comments, and those of influential cardinals, the encyclical is also likely to include an economic critique of how global capitalism, while helping lift millions out of poverty, has also exploited nature and created vast inequities.

“We clearly need a fundamental change of course, to protect the earth and its people — which in turn will allow us to dignify humanity,” Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana, who oversaw the drafting of the encyclical, said at a conference on climate change this spring at the Vatican.

Vatican officials say that the encyclical is a theological document, not a political one, and have refused to divulge the contents. But there is already much speculation about how Francis will comment on humans’ role in causing climate change, a link he has spoken about in the past. The Vatican’s scientific academy recently attributed climate change to “unsustainable consumption” and called it “a dominant moral and ethical issue for society.”

This stance has rankled some conservative Catholics, as well as climate change skeptics, who have suggested that Francis is being misled by scientists and that he could veer into contentious subjects like population control. Others have argued that papal infallibility does not apply to matters of science. In April, a group of self-described climate skeptics, led by the Heartland Institute, a libertarian group, came to Rome to protest.

“The Vatican and the pope should be arguing that fossil fuels are the moral choice for the developing world,” said Marc Morano, who runs the website Climate Depot and once worked as an aide to Senator James M. Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican and climate change skeptic.

Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo of Argentina, who is also chancellor of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences, has sharply rebutted the criticism and postulated that many of the attacks have been underwritten by oil companies or influenced by conservative American interests, including the Tea Party. “This is a ridiculous thing, completely,” Bishop Sorondo said in an interview at the Vatican.

The first clue of the pope’s interest in the environment came when he chose his name in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, the 13th century friar who dedicated himself to the poor and is considered the patron saint of animals and the environment. Francis had shown interest from his days in Argentina, when he was Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the archbishop of Buenos Aires.

There, he played a major role in convening different leaders to seek solutions for Argentina’s social ills. Francesca Ambrogetti, who co-wrote a biography of Francis, said he pushed for scientists at the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina to investigate the impact of environmental issues on humanity. As far back as September 2004, Cardinal Bergoglio cited the “destruction of the environment” as contributing to inequality and the need for social reforms. At a 2007 meeting of Latin American bishops in Aparecida, Brazil, he oversaw the drafting of a broad mission statement that included an emphasis on the environment.

Pablo Canziani, an atmospheric physicist who researches climate change, said Francis, who had once trained as a chemist, became very interested in the links between environmental destruction and social ills, including a dispute over paper pulp mills on the border with Uruguay, which Argentina claimed were polluting local drinking water.

The pope, Professor Canziani added, has stayed in touch. Last year, the Vatican invited professors at his university to contribute ideas for the encyclical. He said they sent a memo focused on legal issues, sustainability, civic responsibility and governance.

“I’m pretty certain Francis will be requesting a change in the paradigms of development,” he said. “The encyclical will focus on why we’re suffering environmental degradation, then focus on links to social issues.”

Pope Francis and Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary general, during a meeting at the Vatican.CreditL’Ossservatore Romano, via Associated Press 

The final document seems certain to bear the fingerprints of scientists and theologians from around the world. The Rev. Sean McDonagh, an Irish priest who has worked on environmental issues and climate change for decades, said that Cardinal Turkson contacted him more than a year ago and asked if he would write a comprehensive document about the theological and ethical aspects of environmental issues.

Father McDonagh said he had spent two or three months writing about climate change, biodiversity, oceans, sustainable food “and a section at the end on hope.” Then he sent it to the Vatican. “At the time, they didn’t say there would be an encyclical,” he recalled, adding that he was eager to see it.

The hoopla over Francis’ encyclical confounds some Vatican experts, who note that both of Francis’ predecessors, Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, wrote about the role of industrial pollution in destroying the environment. Benedict was called the “green pope” after he initiated projects to make the Vatican carbon-neutral. Other religious groups, including evangelical Christians, have spoken about the impact of environmental destruction on the poor.

But many analysts argue that Francis has a singular status, partly because of his global popularity. And in placing the issue at the center of an encyclical, especially at a moment when sustainable development is atop the international agenda, Francis is placing the Catholic Church — and the morality of economic development — at the center of the debate. In January, while traveling to the Philippines, Francis told reporters accompanying him that he was convinced that global warming was “mostly” a human-made phenomenon.

“It is man who has slapped nature in the face,” he said, adding: “I think we have exploited nature too much.”

Francis will travel in July to South America, and in September to Cuba and the United States, where he will speak about his encyclical at the United Nations.

“He is certainly going on the road,” said the Rev. Michael Czerny, a Jesuit priest who works under Cardinal Turkson and has been involved in drafting the encyclical. “This is certainly an agenda-setting document.”

Helen Clark, administrator of the United Nations Development Program, said Francis had an “emerging agenda” on social issues and seemed determined “to make his period in office one related to the great concerns affecting humanity.” She added: “He is a man in a hurry.”

Ms. Clark and other development officials can tick off myriad ways that the global poor bear the brunt of environmental damage and changing weather patterns, whether they are African farmers whose crops are destroyed by drought or South Asian farmers threatened by rising sea levels. In this context, Vatican officials say, Francis is likely to see moral injustice.

“Rich people are more prepared,” said Bishop Sorondo, the head of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. “Poor people are not prepared and have suffered the consequences.”

The May 2014 meeting at the Vatican between Francis and the United Nations delegation came at a propitious moment. The Vatican had just held a major symposium that brought together scientists, theologians, economists and others to discuss climate change and the social impact of environmental damage.

Partha Dasgupta, a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences who helped organize the symposium, said many scientists — having dedicated their careers to raising awareness and trying to influence policy — were perplexed at the seeming lack of broad political response. Mr. Dasgupta, an agnostic, said he hoped that Francis could capture public attention by speaking in the language of faith.

“The pope has moral authority,” said Mr. Dasgupta, a prominent expert on development economics and climate change. “It could change the game in a fundamental way.”

Explosive intervention by Pope Francis set to transform climate change debate (The Guardian)

The most anticipated papal letter for decades will be published in five languages on Thursday. It will call for an end to the ‘tyrannical’ exploitation of nature by mankind. Could it lead to a step-change in the battle against global warming?

Pope Francis on a visit to the Philippines in January.

Pope Francis on a visit to the Philippines in January. Photograph: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

Pope Francis will call for an ethical and economic revolution to prevent catastrophic climate change and growing inequality in a letter to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics on Thursday.

In an unprecedented encyclical on the subject of the environment, the pontiff is expected to argue that humanity’s exploitation of the planet’s resources has crossed the Earth’s natural boundaries, and that the world faces ruin without a revolution in hearts and minds. The much-anticipated message, which will be sent to the world’s 5,000 Catholic bishops, will be published online in five languages on Thursday and is expected to be the most radical statement yet from the outspoken pontiff.

However, it is certain to anger sections of Republican opinion in America by endorsing the warnings of climate scientists and admonishing rich elites, say cardinals and scientists who have advised the Vatican.

The Ghanaian cardinal, Peter Turkson, president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and a close ally of the pope, will launch the encyclical. He has said it will address the root causes of poverty and the threats facing nature, or “creation”.

In a recent speech widely regarded as a curtain-raiser to the encyclical, Turkson said: “Much of the world remains in poverty, despite abundant resources, while a privileged global elite controls the bulk of the world’s wealth and consumes the bulk of its resources.”

The Argentinian pontiff is expected to repeat calls for a change in attitudes to poverty and nature. “An economic system centred on the god of money needs to plunder nature to sustain the frenetic rhythm of consumption that is inherent to it,” he told a meeting of social movements last year. “I think a question that we are not asking ourselves is: isn’t humanity committing suicide with this indiscriminate and tyrannical use of nature? Safeguard creation because, if we destroy it, it will destroy us. Never forget this.”

The encyclical will go much further than strictly environmental concerns, say Vatican insiders. “Pope Francis has repeatedly stated that the environment is not only an economic or political issue, but is an anthropological and ethical matter,” said another of the pope’s advisers, Archbishop Pedro Barreto Jimeno of Peru.

“It will address the issue of inequality in the distribution of resources and topics such as the wasting of food and the irresponsible exploitation of nature and the consequences for people’s life and health,” Barreto Jimeno told the Catholic News Service.

He was echoed by Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga of Honduras, who coordinates the Vatican’s inner council of cardinals and is thought to reflect the pope’s political thinking . “The ideology surrounding environmental issues is too tied to a capitalism that doesn’t want to stop ruining the environment because they don’t want to give up their profits,” Rodríguez Maradiaga said.

The rare encyclical, called “Laudato Sii”, or “Praised Be”, has been timed to have maximum public impact ahead of the pope’s meeting with Barack Obama and his address to the US Congress and the UN general assembly in September.

It is also intended to improve the prospect of a strong new UN global agreement to cut climate emissions. By adding a moral dimension to the well-rehearsed scientific arguments, Francis hopes to raise the ambition of countries above their own self-interest to secure a strong deal in a crucial climate summit in Paris in November.

“Pope Francis is personally committed to this [climate] issue like no other pope before him. The encyclical will have a major impact. It will speak to the moral imperative of addressing climate change in a timely fashion in order to protect the most vulnerable,” said Christiana Figueres, the UN’s climate chief, in Bonn this week for negotiations.

Francis, the first Latin American pope, is increasingly seen as the voice of the global south and a catalyst for change in global bodies. In September, he will seek to add impetus and moral authority to UN negotiations in New York to adopt new development goals and lay out a 15-year global plan to tackle hunger, extreme poverty and health. He will address the UN general assembly on 23 September as countries finalise their commitments.

However, Francis’s radicalism is attracting resistance from Vatican conservatives and in rightwing church circles, particularly in the US – where Catholic climate sceptics also include John Boehner, Republican leader of the House of Representatives, and Rick Santorum, a Republican presidential candidate.

Earlier this year Stephen Moore, a Catholic economist, called the pope a “complete disaster”, saying he was part of “a radical green movement that is at its core anti-Christian, anti-people and anti-progress”.

Moore was backed this month by scientists and engineers from the powerful evangelical Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, who have written an open letter to Francis. “Today many prominent voices call humanity a scourge on our planet, saying that man is the problem, not the solution. Such attitudes too often contaminate their assessment of man’s effects on nature,” it says.

But the encyclical will be well received in developing countries, where most Catholics live. “Francis has always put the poor at the centre of everything he has said. The developing countries will hear their voice in the encyclical,” said Neil Thorns, director of advocacy at the Catholic development agency, Cafod. “I expect it to challenge the way we think. The message that we cannot just treat the Earth as a tool for exploitation will be a message that many will not want to hear.”

The pope is “aiming at a change of heart. What will save us is not technology or science. What will save us is the ethical transformation of our society,” said Carmelite Father Eduardo Agosta Scarel, a climate scientist who teaches at the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina in Buenos Aires.

Earlier popes, including Benedict XVI and John Paul II, addressed environmental issues and “creation”, but neither mentioned climate change or devoted an entire encyclical to the links between poverty, economics and ecological destruction. Francis’s only previous encyclical concerned the nature of religious faith.

The pontiff, who is playing an increasing role on the world stage, will visit Cuba ahead of travelling to the US. He was cited by Obama as having helped to thaw relations between the two countries, and last week met the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, to discuss the crisis in Ukraine and the threat to minority Christians in the Middle East.

The pope chose Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals, as his namesake at the start of his papacy in 2011, saying the saint’s values reflected his own.

Opinion: Pope Francis’s anticapitalist revolution launches on Thursday (Market Watch)

Published: June 16, 2015 10:16 a.m. ET

June 18 treatise from Pope Francis will get the ball rolling on an anticapitalist revolution

Reuters. Pope Francis hugs children during a meeting at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila.

Mark your calendar: June 18. That’s launch day for Pope Francis’s historic anticapitalist revolution, a multitargeted global revolution against out-of-control free-market capitalism driven by consumerism, against destruction of the planet’s environment, climate and natural resources for personal profits and against the greediest science deniers.

Translated bluntly, stripped of all the euphemisms and his charm, that will be the loud-and-clear message of Pope Francis’ historic encyclical coming on June 18. Pope Francis has a grand mission here on Earth, and he gives no quarter, hammering home a very simple message with no wiggle room for compromise of his principles: ‘If we destroy God’s Creation, it will destroy us,” our human civilization here on Planet Earth.

Yes, he’s blunt, tough, he is a revolutionary. And on June 18 Pope Francis’s call-to-arms will be broadcast loud, clear and worldwide. Not just to 1.2 billion Catholics, but heard by seven billion humans all across the planet. And, yes, many will oppose him, be enraged to hear the message, because it is a call-to-arms, like Paul Revere’s ride, inspiring billions to join a people’s revolution.

The fact is the pontiff is already building an army of billions, in the same spirit as Gandhi, King and Marx. These are revolutionary times. Deny it all you want, but the global zeitgeist has thrust the pope in front of a global movement, focusing, inspiring, leading billions. Future historians will call Pope Francis the “Great 21st Century Revolutionary.”

Yes, our upbeat, ever-smiling Pope Francis. As a former boxer, he loves a good match. And he’s going to get one. He is encouraging rebellion against super-rich capitalists, against fossil-fuel power-players, conservative politicians and the 67 billionaires who already own more than half the assets of the planet.

That’s the biggest reason Pope Francis is scaring the hell out of the GOP, Big Oil, the Koch Empire, Massey Coal, every other fossil-fuel billionaire and more than a hundred million climate-denying capitalists and conservatives. Their biggest fear: They’re deeply afraid the pope has started the ball rolling and they can’t stop it.

They had hoped the pope would just go away. But he is not going away. And after June 18 his power will only accelerate, as his revolutionary encyclical will challenge everything on the GOP’s free-market capitalist agenda, exposing every one of the anti-environment, antipoor, antiscience, obstructionist policies in the conservative agenda.

Just watch the conservative media explode with intense anger after June 18, screaming bloody murder, viciously attacking the pope on moral, scientific, economic and political grounds, anything. But most of all, remember, under all their anger, the pope’s opponents really are living in fear of what’s coming next. What’s dead ahead.

Here are eight of the pope’s key warning punches edited in the Catholic Climate Covenant, from his “Apostolic Exhortation,” and in London’s Guardian and other news sources, warnings on the dangerous acceleration of global-warming risks to our civilization and the environment, along with our responsibility to “safeguard Creation, for we are the custodians of Creation. If we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us.”

For Pope Francis, there’s no room for compromise, and his enemies know it. Listen for his warnings to be expanded in his encyclical on June 18:

1. Capitalism is threatening the survival of human civilization

A “threat to peace arises from the greedy exploitation of environmental resources. Monopolizing of lands, deforestation, the appropriation of water, inadequate agro-toxics are some of the evils that tear man from the land of his birth. Climate change, the loss of biodiversity and deforestation are already showing their devastating effects in the great cataclysms we witness.”

2. Capitalism is destroying nonrenewable resources for personal gain

“Genesis tells us that God created man and woman entrusting them with the task of filling the earth and subduing it, which does not mean exploiting it, but nurturing and protecting it, caring for it through their work.”

3. Capitalism has lost its ethical code, has no moral compass

“We are experiencing a moment of crisis; we see it in the environment, but mostly we see it in man. The human being is at stake: here is the urgency of human ecology! And the danger is serious because the cause of the problem is not superficial, but profound: it’s not just a matter of economics, but of ethics.”

4. Capitalists worship the golden calf of a money god

“We have created new idols. The worship of the ancient golden calf has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money” … Francis warns that “trickle-down economics is a failed theory” … the “invisible hand” of capitalism cannot be trusted … “excessive consumerism is killing our culture, values and ethics” … and “the conservative ideal of individualism is undermining the common good.”

5. Capitalists pursuit of personal wealth destroys the common good

Without a moral code, “it is no longer man who commands, but money. Cash commands. Greed is the motivation … An economic system centered on the god of money needs to plunder nature to sustain the frenetic rhythm of consumption that is inherent to it.” Instead, the pope calls for a “radical new financial and economic system to avoid human inequality and ecological devastation.”

6. Capitalism has no respect for Earth’s natural environment

“This task entrusted to us by God the Creator requires us to grasp the rhythm and logic of Creation. But we are often driven by pride of domination, of possessions, manipulation, of exploitation; we do not care for Creation, we do not respect it.”

7. Capitalists only see the working class as consumers and machine tools

“Nurturing and cherishing Creation is a command God gives not only at the beginning of history, but to each of us. It is part of his plan; it means causing the world to grow responsibly, transforming it so that it may be a garden, a habitable place for everyone.” Everyone.

8. Capitalism is killing our planet, our civilization and the people

Pope Francis warns that capitalism is the “root cause” of all the world’s problems: “As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems,” as environmental damage does trickle down most on the world’s poor.

Pope Francis’ historic anti-capitalism revolution is divinely inspired

Imagine Pope Francis addressing a hostile GOP controlled joint session of the U.S. Congress in September. There’s no chance of changing the minds of those hard-right politicians, all heavily dependent on fossil-fuel special-interest donations. But he’s clearly laying the groundwork for a global revolution, and his enemies know it.

And watch the ripple effect, how his historic “Climate Change Encyclical” adds fuel to the revolution after Pope Francis addresses the UN General Assembly … how the revolution picks up steam after the UN’s Paris Climate Change Conference announces a new international treaty approved by the leaders of America, China and two hundred nations worldwide … how the revolution kicks into high-gear after the pope’s message has been translated into more than a thousand languages … and broadcast to seven billion worldwide, billions who are already directly experiencing the climate change “evils that tear man from the land of his birth.”

Bottom line: Given the global reach of his encyclical, Pope Francis’ revolution will accelerate. So the GOP’s 169 climate deniers, Big Oil, the Koch Empire and all hard-right conservatives better be prepared for a powerful backlash to their resistance.

Pope Francis’s 2015 war cry is to lead a global anticapitalist revolution, a revolution leading billions to take back their planet from a fossil-fuel industry that’s lost its moral compass to the “golden calf” and is destroying its own civilization on Planet Earth.

Blessed Are the Climate Advocates (Slate)

The Vatican and United Nations present the beatitudes of a new movement.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon after a press conference during the a climate change conference organized by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences at the Vatican on April 28, 2015

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon after a press conference during a climate change meeting organized by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences at the Vatican on April 28, 2015. Photo by Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images

This week, while at Vatican City in Rome to manage press for the first-ever meeting on climate change between Pope Francis and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, my faith in a force more powerful was renewed. I am not religious, despite being descended from a long line of Amish and Mennonite preachers. But at the climate confab, I became a believer again. And I wasn’t alone.

It wasn’t my faith in God that was renewed at the Vatican but rather a faith in our ability to get something done on climate change. And as an American, whose Congress isn’t even close to acting aggressively or quickly enough on climate change, that’s saying something. Even the Pope’s and the U.N.’s top policy officials were clearly inspired by the event, which was hosted by the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Throughout the day I witnessed multiple about-faces of previously cynical staff rapidly turning toward optimism.

This Vatican moment was a game-changer. Science and religion were forcefully and unwaveringly aligning. Tuesday’s high-level session brought together multiple presidents, CEOs, academics, scientists, and all the major religions, and ended with this final, forceful statement. The event was a prelude to the Pope’s summer encyclical on climate change, and it laid a solid foundation.

But more importantly—and this is why it instilled faith in many of us—the meeting featured some of the strongest words yet from the Vatican’s Cardinal Peter Turkson, the Pope’s right-hand policy man and the drafter of the first round of what will eventually be the Pope’s climate encyclical, and from the U.N.’s Ban Ki-moon.

Beyond the expected shout-outs to the upcoming climate talks in Paris later this year and to the need for a strong Green Climate Fund, which will assist developing countries in climate adaptation, the U.N.’s Ban noted in no uncertain terms how “morally indefensible” it would be to allow a temperature rise of 4 to 5 degrees Celsius, calling on everyone to reduce their individual carbon footprint and thoughtless consumption. His pitch was more pointed than I had heard before. One of the leading rabbis, Rabbi David Rosen, took it one step further, calling out meat-intensive diets as completely unsustainable given their massive contribution to greenhouse gas emissions.

The Vatican’s Turkson, meanwhile, pulled out all the stops, saying that “a crime against the natural world is a sin,” and “to cause species to become extinct and to destroy the biological diversity of God’s creation … are sins.” Turkson warned about how quickly we are degrading the planet’s integrity, stripping its forests, destroying its wetlands, and contaminating its waters, land, and air.

These declarations were not soft, feel-good, and vague speeches by politicos keen to be perceived as leading on the most urgent issue facing humanity. These were unequivocal, unwavering statements: “Decision mitigation is a moral and religious imperative for humanity” and the “summit in Paris may be the last effective opportunity” to keep the planet safe.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon gives a speech during the climate change conference at the Vatican on April 28, 2015

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon gives a speech during the climate change conference at the Vatican on April 28, 2015. Photo by Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images

The leaders of the conference were undeterred by the hecklers who crept onto the Vatican campus. Marc Morano, for example, who is associated with the climate-skeptical Heartland Institute, snuck into the Vatican and attempted, to no avail, to disrupt the press briefing with the U.N. secretary-general while Ban was reporting on his meeting with the Pope. Morano’s account of what happened, that he was maliciously shut down after offering a benign question, misrepresents reality. Standing beside him, I can attest to what was instead a hijacking of protocol and the microphone. He said a few words about “global warming skeptics coming to talk” but coming to disrupt would be more accurate. He interrupted the secretary-general and the moderator, and was later escorted from the premises by Vatican officials.

What’s troubling about moments like this is that they work. The U.S. media reporting from the Vatican meeting felt compelled to give Morano critical space in their stories. It’s not just that he was an unexpected and therefore newsworthy interruption—giving his “side” is part of American broadcast media’s history of false balance even when there are not two legitimate sides of a story to balance. To be clear, the verdict is not still out on climate change. There’s overwhelming consensus when it comes to the science behind global warming, yet some media outlets (fewer all the time, fortunately) continue to give voice to the small percent that disagrees. Standing beside Morano, surrounded by representatives of the most powerful institutions in the world, it was quite clear to me that the Heartland Institute, though well funded by the Koch brothers, is ineffectually extreme and ultimately a minority player in society’s overall push toward climate progress.

In many ways, the Heartland emissaries proved, through their apoplectic protest, how peripheral they were to the whole process. There was no need for anyone to fight them in that moment; the majority opinion, the moral call to act on climate, was already winning the day. The global response to our conversation at the Vatican has been unequivocally positive, with every major outlet in the Western world covering the talks favorably.

As we left Vatican City this week—which is carbon-neutral thanks to solar power—there was a palpable sense that history was made within the walls of Casina Pio IV where our deliberations took place. This was no typical conference. This was a Sermon on the Mount moment, wherein the beatitudes of a new era were laid down. And we left as disciples, renewed in our faith that we must and will act in time to save humanity from itself—an agenda that would be a worthy legacy of the Pope’s Jesus.

Pope Francis Says No to Fracking (Eco Watch)

 | January 12, 2015 9:07 am

We’ve been busy lately providing news on all the great ways Pope Francis is working to create a healthy, sustainable planet. In July 2014, Pope Francis called destruction of nature a modern sin. In November 2014, Pope Francis said “unbridled consumerism” is destroying our planetand we are “stewards, not masters” of the Earth. In December 2014, he said he will increase his call this year to address climate change. And, last week we announced that Pope Francis is opening his Vatican farm to the public.

Now, we learn from Nicolás Fedor Sulcic that Pope Francis is supportive of the anti-fracking movement. Watch this interview by Fernando Solanas where he met with Pope Francis soon after finishing a film about fracking in Argentina.

The movie, La Guerra del Fracking or The Fracking War, was banned in cinemas by the Argentinian government, so the filmmakers decided to post it on YouTube. We are awaiting translation of the film and then we’ll feature it on EcoWatch.

“When I was doing research for the film, every time I’d ask someone if they knew what fracking was they had no idea,” said Sulcic. The problem was that “the government didn’t call it fracking, they called it ‘non conventional gas’ so no one was making the link to what was happening in Argentina to what was happening America. I got really mad and knew something had to be done to make people aware of what was going on. I saw the website Artist Against Fracking and felt that was a very good example of what was needed to be done here to take the cause to more people rather than just environmental activists.”

With support by Peace Nobel prize Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Oscar winning Juan Jose Campanella and other very well known Argentinian intellectuals and social leaders, a website was launched to help raise awareness about the dangers of fracking Argentina.

What Can a Popular Pope Do About Climate Change? (The Atlantic)

The pontiff plans to issue a rare and controversial plea for Catholics to consider the environment. Recent polls show his message just might resonate.

Alessandra Tarantino/AP

Pope Francis has ambitious environmental plans for 2015. Come March, he will deliver a 50 to 60-page edict urging his 1.2 billion Catholic followers to take action against climate change. The Pontiff will make his announcement during his visit to the Philippine city of Tacloban, which was ravaged by typhoon Haiyan, which killed thousands in 2013.

But within his global congregation, many conservative Catholics are expected to oppose the pope’s environmental views.

The message comes months in advance of the next United Nations climate meeting, which is slated to begin November 2015 in Paris. The pope’s lead scientific adviser Bishop Marcelo Sorondo, said that the pope’s message to his bishops, called an encyclical, is supposed to influence world leaders as they make their final recommendations after 20 years of negotiating how to reduce global carbon emissions, The Guardian reported. “The idea is to convene a meeting with leaders of the main religions to make all people aware of the state of our climate,” Sorondo said to Cafod, the Catholic development agency, of the pope’s plans.

Francis has previously pointed to the environment as being “one of the greatest challenges of our time,” and he says that Catholics have a moral and scientific obligation to protect it. But the move to publish an encyclical goes beyond offering a soundbite. “A papal encyclical is rare. It is among the highest levels of a pope’s authority,” Dan Misleh, director of the Catholic climate covenant, said to The Guardian. The pope will distribute the lengthy document to 5,000 Catholic bishops and 400,000 priests, who will then share the message with their congregations in churches across the world.

In the United States, where climate change is a controversial topic, the majority of Catholics agree that the Earth is getting warmer, about a third of that group did not believe that the change is due to human activity, according to a 2012 survey by the Public Religion Research Institute. The same poll found that about 82 percent of Republicans doubt that humans cause climate change. Among the climate deniers include some influential Republicans like House Speaker John Boehner.

Pope Francis also faces fierce opposition from U.S. evangelicals. According to the  Public Religion Research Institute, 69 percent of evangelicals do not believe in anthropogenic climate change, and many vehemently oppose its existence. Calvin Beisner, the spokesman for the conservative Cornwall Alliance, believes that the idea of human-caused climate change is “un-biblical.” “The pope should back off,” he said to The Guardian. “The Catholic church is correct on the ethical principles but has been misled on the science.”

Globally only 11 percent of people see the pope unfavorably, and 60 percent approve of him, according to a 2014 poll by the Pew Research Center. Pope Francis is overwhelmingly accepted by heavily Catholic countries: 84 in percent Europe; 78 percent in the U.S., and 72 percent in Latin America. Now, with the pope’s environmental encyclical forthcoming, and his global support at astronomical levels, it’s still uncertain how much influence his environmental push will have with the most devout deniers of climate change.

Pope Francis and the psychology of exorcism and possession (The Guardian)

Endorsement of exorcism by the Vatican will do nothing to prevent future tragedies like the death of Victoria Climbié

Chris French

Wednesday 9 July 2014

Last week it was reported that Pope Francis had formally recognised the International Association of Exorcists, a group of 250 priests spread across 30 countries who supposedly cast out demons. The head of the association, Rev Francesco Bamonte, announced that this was a cause for joy because, “Exorcism is a form of charity that benefits those who suffer.” While Pope Francis, who frequently mentions Satan, no doubt agrees with this sentiment, this granting of legal recognition to the concepts of possession and exorcism has come as something of a shock to those who do not share this world view.

Belief in possession is widespread both geographically and historically and is far from rare in modern western societies. A YouGov poll of 1,000 US adults last year found that over half of the respondents endorsed belief in possession and 20% remained unsure. Only 11% said categorically that they did not believe people could be “possessed by the devil”.

Is it possible that the pope is right and demons can sometimes take control of their victims’ behaviour? Are exorcists really bravely battling against the most powerful, evil forces imaginable? Or are possession and exorcism best explained in terms of psychological factors without any need to postulate the existence of incorporeal spiritual entities? I would argue that the available evidence strongly supports the latter interpretation.

There can be no doubt that some forms of behaviour that would once have been seen as evidence for possession by demons or evil spirits would now be recognised as being caused by neuropathology. Hippocrates, in The Sacred Disease, declared that epileptic convulsions were caused by brain malfunction, not evil spirits. Belief in possession was still widespread some 400 years later, however, when Jesus encountered an individual believed to be possessed but who was, in fact, clearly suffering from epilepsy.

Another condition that would often have been interpreted in a similar manner is Tourette’s syndrome. Interestingly, the first recorded description of a case of Tourette’s may be in Malleus Maleficarum (or Witch’s Hammer) published in the 15th century by Jakob Sprenger and Heinrich Kraemer. This notorious book served as a guide for identifying witches and the possessed and included a description of a priest whose tics were thought to be a result of possession by the devil. Although the symptom that people most readily associate with Tourette’s syndrome is vocal outbursts of foul language, this symptom is in fact quite rare, affecting only around 10% of sufferers. Having said that, this is probably the main symptom that, in times gone by, would have led to suspicion of possession.

There are several other neuropathologies (eg certain forms of schizophrenia) that might also have been interpreted as possession in less enlightened times (and sadly sometimes still are) but it is not plausible to explain all cases of apparent possession in neuropathological terms. It should also be borne in mind that the type of phenomenon that would be the main focus for the International Association of Exorcists is but one example of situations where an individual appears to have been taken over by some agent, resulting in a dramatic change in behaviour, mannerisms, voice and even, allegedly, memories.

Other examples would include mediums “channelling” communications from the dead; shamans inviting possession by the gods, ancestors or animal spirits; individuals apparently reliving past-lives, having gone through a process of hypnotic regression; and volunteers during hypnosis stage shows apparently taking on the identities of celebrities, animals or even aliens.

The controversial diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder (formerly known as multiple personality disorder) is yet another example of this phenomenon, though many commentators, myself included, believe that it is not in fact a genuine psychiatric disorder but is instead a product of dubious forms of therapy.

The sociocognitive approach, as outlined by Nick Spanos in his posthumously published book, Multiple Identities and False Memories, has the potential to explain all the phenomena listed in the previous two paragraphs without the need to invoke disembodied spiritual entities. Essentially, this approach argues that all of these phenomena reflect learned patterns of behaviour that constitute particular recognised roles within specific cultural contexts.

Although it may not always be immediately obvious, there are often benefits to enacting the role of being possessed. Indeed, in many societies, certain forms of possession are welcomed. For example, glossolalia, or “speaking in tongues”, is encouraged in many western Christian societies and is interpreted as possession by the Holy Spirit. During glossolalia, the individual produces vocalisations of meaningless syllables. Although these may sound superficially like a foreign language, analysis shows them to have no true linguistic structure whatsoever. Glossolalia can sometimes involve dramatic behaviour such as convulsions, sweating and rolling eyes but can also be much more subdued. The actual form the glossolalia takes is entirely determined by the expectations of the particular religious community involved.

For less positive forms of possession, the benefits of taking on this role may be harder to identify but they still exist. As Michael Cuneo describes in his excellent book, American Exorcism, the phenomena of alleged possession and exorcism are much more widespread in the US than is officially recognised. For many people, the idea that all of their previous socially and morally unacceptable behaviour was not in fact their fault but due to possession by demons is appealing. Furthermore, once those demons have been exorcised, the repentant sinner is now welcomed back into the loving arms of his or her community.

Anthropologists have pointed out that in some cultures, those with little or no social influence can let off steam and vent their true feelings towards the more powerful members of their society while “possessed” without having to face any repercussions. They are not held to be responsible for their actions, the possessing spirit is. It is notable that historically in Europe, it was women who were much more likely to be “possessed” than men.

Of course, we must not forget that the outcome for the person who is labelled as “possessed” can sometimes be far from positive. To give one notorious example, the parents of 23-year-old Anneliese Michel and two West German priests were convicted in 1978 of causing her death (they received suspended sentences). They had starved the young epileptic as part of a horrendous 11-month exorcism. She weighed just 68 pounds (5 stone or 30 kilograms) at the time of her death. The Guardian has noted that belief in possession has been a factor in several child abuse cases in the UK, including the tragic death of Victoria Climbié in 2000.

The official recognition of such pre-Enlightenment beliefs by the Vatican will do nothing to prevent future tragedies of this kind.

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