Pope Francis has issued an encyclical on the Environment called Laudato Si in which he firmly and clearly outlines his views on global warming, climate change and pollution, while linking them with poverty, employment, economics, science and religion.
It is a courageous statement that has generated an hysterical response from the usual suspects who say he should stick to religion and stay out of politics.
Clearly, these guys are quite illiterate about the basics of Christianity. The truth is that Jesus Christ was a political revolutionary who spent his life taking up the cause of those inflicted with poverty, hunger, homelessness, illness and injustice. He disturbed the Jewish and Roman establishment to such an extent that they crucified him.
For Francis to be the leader of the followers of Christ today, he could do no other than attempt to follow His ministry.
The encyclical is worth reading. A twelve page summary of it is carried by most news services. It is well researched, carefully written and logically argued.
The only major fault I can detect is his brushing aside of the world’s massive overpopulation as being of little consequence in the overall picture of the future of humanity.
But, it is a major issue that he must address in another encyclical.
When I was born in 1931, the world’s population was 2 billion. Now it is 7.5 billion and projected to peak in a few decades at 9 billion.
This vast population is unsustainable economically and socially. All of us pollute the world daily. It will take a century of family planning to cause a reduction in human numbers because we are all living much longer than ever predicted.
However, the major question right now is what happens next as the result of the Pope’s statement.
My hope is that he will be invited personally to attend the forthcoming Paris Conference on Climate Change. He is the only leader of stature in the world who can broker a sensible solution to the deadlock of how all nations can work positively together to create a cleaner world.
My particular hope is that he can insist on there being an honest charter that controls how emissions trading schemes can be implemented without the financial engineers plundering them in the same disgraceful manner as they inflicted sub prime mortgages on the world.
May Francis continue to give leadership to the concerns of humanity. He has not exceeded his role as a religious leader. He has simply reminded the followers of Jesus that we are not confined by the old dogmas of the Church and we must be responsible carers of the earth.
Indeed, we have an undeniable calling to be crusaders for justice, equality and the good of the human race.
Yours at large
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