Pope Francis Demands Attention To Climate Change From 1.2 Billion Catholics

Pope Francis is demanding that 1.2 billion Catholics wake up to the negative effects of climate change in an encyclical letter he is sending. The letter to be sent out by the Pope is regarded as unprecedented, calling for a “fundamental change of course to protect the earth and its people.”

However, not everyone is in favor of the Pope’s letter.

The Pope’s letter will be sent out on Thursday, and will be titled “Laudato Sii” (“Praised Be”). The Pope’s letter will be sent out to 5,000 Catholic bishops the world over and will be published in five languages via the Vatican’s website. The bishops are fully expected to share the encyclical with their congregations.

The head of the UN Climate Change Secretariat, Christiana Figueres, commented on Pope Francis’ position on climate changes.

“Pope Francis is personally committed to this issue like no other pope before him. I do think the encyclical is going to have a major impact. I believe that the transformation is on its way, it is irreversible and it is only going to pick up speed.”

However, not everyone is in favor of the Pope’s letter to the world’s Catholics. Joseph Bast, the president of the Heartland Institute, released a statement criticizing the Pope and his letter.

“The Holy Father is being misled by ‘experts’ at the United Nations who have proven unworthy of his trust. Though Pope Francis’ heart is surely in the right place, he would do his flock and the world a disservice by putting his moral authority behind the United Nations’ unscientific agenda on the climate.”

Marc Morano, from Climate Depot, went even farther, effectively calling Pope Francis’ letter immoral.

“The Vatican and the pope should be arguing that fossil fuels are the moral choice for the developing world.”

Earlier this month, Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum lambasted the Pope, telling him (about his opinions on climate change) to “Leave science to the scientists.” Santorum, who not only doesn’t believe in climate change but also denies evolution, was publicly ridiculed when he was informed/reminded that Pope Francis actually holds a degree in chemistry.

The release of Pope Francis’ letter is believed to be a “shot over the bow” in advance of the Pope’s address to the U.S. Congress and the U.N. General Assembly later this year.

[Photo by Lisa Maree Williams / Getty Images]