Another pronouncement from the most popular pope, Pope Francis, will definitely make everyone listen. But despite his popularity, there will always be people on the opposite side of the spectrum. While the speech has still to be made, predictions of entanglement with the conservatives is expected to take center stage in an important meeting in Paris this year. The topic: man’s responsibility for climate change.
The pope has a captive audience of about 1.2 billion Catholics all over the world. He will touch the issue of global warning. He will also deliver a speech at the UN general assembly. A summit will also be convened which will include representatives of the world’s major religions, reported by the Guardian. The Pope, according to the newspaper, is trying to make his position known in advance of the coming UN meeting to be held in Paris where world leaders will gather.
The Pope will be visiting the Philippines this January 15, 2015 and not March as reported by other newspapers. He will proceed to Tacloban City to visit the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, locally known as Typhoon Yolanda, which devastated the place in the year 2012. He will take the occasion to write another encyclical this time about climate change. The message will be sent to the 400,000 priest to be read in the pulpits of the Catholic churches via 5,000 Catholic bishops all over the world.
In September, the Pope will meet with the leaders of other religious denominations together with politicians in a general assembly for the purpose of discussing poverty related issues and environmental solutions. He has been an advocate for a new economic system to address inequality in human conditions, destruction of the environment, opposing economies which are “centered on the god of money,” which according to him said “needs to plunder nature to sustain the frenetic rhythm of consumption that is inherent to it.”
Pope Francis said that love of money has caused forest denudation, land monopoly, and many other disastrous effects on the ecology, not to mention climate change. He continued that loss of forest cover and disappearing biodiversity is “already showing their devastating effects.”
The discussion about climate change held in Lima, Peru stalled without the United States and China, two of the world’s biggest sources of emissions, first agreeing to reduce their own emissions. Pope Francis’ presence may help bring positive results and real action may at last happen.
While the Pope’s speech about the environment is awaited with much expectation by Catholics, it will definitely be met with different reactions from several quarters. Some will see it as a step in the right direction, while others will have nothing for it but condemnation. One of the most prominent persons who is not convinced by the Pope’s views is John Boehner, Republican leader of the House of Representatives. Another source of opposition are powerful U.S. evangelical movements.
Knowing Pope Francis’ resolve to solve problems even when the odds are really against him, he will not just watch on the sideline. He will have to tread carefully on the issue. Nevertheless, he will make sure that his views will be heard in the Paris conference next year. It could bring the long awaited solution to the nagging issues concerning climate change.