The Vatican will host an international climate change summit involving some of the world’s leading climate scientists and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, reported The Huffington Post.
Despite Vatican and papal involvement in the summit, conservative Catholics are alarmed at the Catholic church’s involvement in the issue.
According to the Vatican website, the summit’s goal is to “elevate the debate on the moral dimensions of protecting the environment in advance of the papal encyclical” and to “highlight the intrinsic connection between respect for the environment and respect for people – especially the poor, the excluded, victims of human trafficking and modern slavery, children, and future generations.”
The HuffPo defined an encyclical as being the pope’s “most authoritative documents.” However, American conservatives have been critical of the pope for focusing such authority and attention on climate change, which they feel is a hoax.
Conservative Maureen Mullarkey wrote that Francis “is an ideologue and a meddlesome egoist” and that his efforts are “premature, intemperate policy endorsements” of climate change.
The HuffPo reported:
Other Catholic conservatives have delivered similar critiques, while some, such as author George Weigel and Princeton political philosopher Robert George, have sought to downplay the import of any statements the pope might make on the environment.
The Vatican’s Council for Justice and Peace, which is led by [Cardinal Peter] Turkson and is spearheading the drafting of the encyclical, has been a special focus of lobbying by climate change skeptics who hope to influence the final version.
“It is man who has slapped nature in the face,” said Pope Francis. “We have in a sense taken over nature. . . . A Christian who does not protect creation . . . is a Christian who does not care about the work of God.”
The pope is trying to help advance the world’s efforts to combat climate change. And, once again, conservatives want to halt that progress and continue with business as usual.