Will the Vatican Become a New Leader Against Climate Change?

As political leaders make only moderate concessions in the name of fighting climate change, will anyone emerge to apply the pressure necessary to enact legitimate policy change? Surprisingly, the planet’s savior could wind up being the Pope. The latest rumors indicate that the Vatican is planning to take a serious leadership role in trying to avoid our disastrous climate change problem.

While nothing has been made official, Father Federico Lombardi confirmed that an international group of cardinals assembled privately to discuss forming a new environmental think-tank of sorts. “We see a growth in the awareness and in the importance of reflection, commitment, and study of environmental issues and their relation to social and human questions,” Lombardi said. A formal announcement about the next steps the church will take is expected by this summer.

Say what you will about the Catholicism, but even environmentalists without a religious affiliation should be excited at this potential new alliance. With over one billion people in the world identifying as Roman Catholic, a papal decree could theoretically enliven the largest bloc of eco-activists yet.

Pope Francis isn’t dancing around the subject either. He’s not only acknowledging that climate change is real, he’s also assigning humans with the majority of the blame for said climate change. “It is man who continuously slaps down nature,” Francis said. It is expected that he will instruct Catholics to take care of the earth that God created. Assuming the pope’s followers take it as a legitimate, God-endorsed call-to-action, that’s the kind of sway that results in actual change.

Environmental advocacy by the pope is not unusual – even John Paul II encouraged his followers to take care of the environment back in the ‘90s. However, Francis appears poised to actually challenge the status quo. While he may have as many as a billion faithful Catholics in his corner, Francis’ call will directly oppose the agendas of powerful political and moneyed interests, which means that the Vatican is probably going to be in for a fight with this one.

Given that it took 350 years for the Vatican to acknowledge that the earth does in fact revolve around the sun and not the other way around, it’s nice to see the Catholic Church (comparatively) ahead of the game this time by accepting the overwhelming scientific evidence even when it’s not necessarily “convenient” for everyone involved. With the stakes of climate change so high, environmentalists need every advocate on their side as they can muster, including some unexpected ones like the folks at the Vatican.

Image credit: koreanet via Flickr


Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Paulinha Russell
Paulinha Russell4 years ago

Interesting. Thank you for sharing

Past Member 4 years ago


Fi T.
Past Member 4 years ago

There should be someone taking the lead

Amy L.
Amy L4 years ago

It makes sense.

Natasha Salgado
Past Member 4 years ago

I do admire this Pope 4 his efforts...but hope he realizes that our grotesque population is the real problem---need i say birth control is a must needs to be available to everyone.

Andrea Kenyon
Andrea Kenyon4 years ago

I'm not catholic, not even christian, but it's certainly good news (to me, anyway) to have this man on "our" side.

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola4 years ago

Thank you for posting.

Nikki Davey
Nikki Davey4 years ago

Ironic if the Pope helps save the world.

Jonathan Harper
Jonathan Harper4 years ago