Pope Francis Will Be a Powerful Voice on Climate Change
The forceful encyclical, reflecting the pontiff’s spiritual and personal views, aims to influence key world decisions on greenhouse gases.
The first-ever papal encyclical on the environment, though widely anticipated and foreshadowed by earlier Vatican communiqués, still landed with elemental force. The environmental treatise is an emotionally charged, at times scathing look at how humankind has forsaken its stewardship of the earth in favor of a “throwaway culture.” Yet again, Pope Francis has made the most of his bully pulpit.
The pontiff’s forceful language suggests he intends to launch an urgent campaign to press world leaders to attack global warming, possibly including an address to a U.S. Congress that is largely under the sway of climate change skeptics. His immense popularity, the vast goodwill he has inspired and his penchant for bracingly simple, straightforward statements about his beliefs will make him