Catholic groups rally against climate change amid intense church debate

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Shatter of blue iceberg melts in front of The Gray Glacier in Patagonia, Chile.

Photo courtesy of longtaildog via Shutterstock

Shatter of blue iceberg melts in front of The Gray Glacier in Patagonia, Chile.

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(RNS) Many Catholic conservatives view Francis’ ecological push as further evidence of the liberal tilt of his papacy.

  • Greg

    As with any pope, we need to keep all things in perspective. Yes the pope has called for man to treat the planet properly. And let’s face it, if this planet is no longer habitable, none of us will have a place to live. But the pope has been calling for an even bigger change of climate, which the press seems to drop like a hot potato. And that is the spiritual climate of Atheism; those who have forgotten God are destroying the world. On 10/28/14, Pope Francis said, “this system has removed humanity from the center and replaced it with something else! … the globalization of indifference — ‘What does it matter to me what happens to others. I’ll defend myself.’ Because the world has forgotten God, the Father: it has become an orphan because it has turned aside from God.” Now that is the principle climate change needed, and stressed by our pope.

  • Dan Bloom

    WWJD? The headline is a bit misleading “Catholic groups rally against climate change amid intense church debate” IT SOUNDS LIKE THEY ARE RALLYING AGAINST FIGHTING CLIMATE CHANGE. CAN FIX HEADLINE SIR!? – Religion News Service re WTF? Catholic groups rally against climate change amid intense church debate – Religion News Service

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  • Fr.DuffyFighting69th

    There is a huge difference between “stewardship of the Earth” and environmental radicalism. Roman Catholics need to remember the Earth will fall away when the New Jerusalem comes, and maintain their focus on Jesus Christ and the conversion of sinners.

  • J.C. Samuelson

    You may disagree with atheism, and dislike (or even hate) atheists – either as individuals or as a group – but your prejudice only gets in the way of doing some good while you are here.

    Being an atheist, I am concerned with this life, this Earth, and the people who live here. I am concerned about our collective future, in which my daughter, her children, and her children’s children, have a stake. As do yours. Simply put, our spiritual differences won’t matter if we don’t become better stewards of our shared environment.

  • mark

    Ok J.C if you really are an athiest then why worry? after all don’t athiests believe that we all just die anyway ?And once everyone dies it really doesnt matter then does it?

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  • Fennel

    mark, if you really have true faith that your sky fairy is going to swoop in and save you and fix things all up for you anyway, why worry about the state of the earth at all?

  • Carolyn

    How ironic that on the same day this article was published, I received the following one from a favorite blog.

    Talking about climate change in the early 1800s? This was something of a surprise to me at first. Then I realized that this piece was written only a decade after the Year Without a Summer, during what is known as the Little Ice Age. In that context, the theories become quite interesting. In the discussion of cold weather in North America and Europe, you’ll notice no mention of a volcanic eruption. And can you imagine 19th century naval vessels trying to move glaciers?* – See more at:

  • Greg

    I personally do not believe in Global Warming; the global warming theory is based upon first principles, but the “cause and effect” obviously doesn’t support the scientific theory. What I do agree with, however, is that we need to keep a clean planet. What are we going to do with all this nuclear waste when we become overrun with it? At some point we need to find a true alternative energy. And I do believe that if science begins to respect its Creator, and stops thinking that science is an end in itself, then God will bless the world of science so that it will overcome the energy crisis on the horizon. Global Warming, however, is bunk.

  • Sixtus

    Catholic Popes are suppose to defend the teachings of the Holy Church and to save souls not the Earth. The Earth is going to pass away but souls will exist for eternity either in Heaven or Hell !

  • Michael Riley

    From Noah’s flood to Jesus calming the Storm to the prophecies in Revelation, it is clear that God controls the weather. Hurricanes, floods etc. are part of God,s plan to punish us for turning away from him. Our only course of action is to repent of our sin and turn to God in humility and try to lead lives that are pleasing to him. Without that nothing we do will make any difference.

  • Dave Smith

    It seems that Man Made Global Warming and the good of geo-political and now religious opposition to our carbon footprint and such things is just another case of an “apparent” good which stems from vice and the sisters of vice. It is no different than the apparent good of limiting the humans on the planet by abortion or contraception to save the planet. The fact that these ‘fixes’ have created more evil and more problems than the ‘apparent’ good they hide behind is apparent to anyone who wants to evaluate the effect the latter has had on our society and the former on what the fallout of taxing carbon emissions would have on the economies around the world. It is the poor who will suffer most from the ‘fixes’ and the greedy who will profit.

  • J.C. Samuelson

    Mark, being atheist doesn’t diminish me as a human being. I have beliefs, values, hopes, and dreams just as you do, and I want the best for myself and others. The time I spend here is meaningful to me – as I’m sure yours is to you – and I derive a sense of purpose and fulfillment from what I do and the relationships I have. To my mind, death is an incentive to live, not an excuse for cynicism.

    Do our individual lives matter beyond death? Some people leave powerful legacies, yes. But you’re right – on a long enough timeline – say, 30 billion years, if our species is very, very lucky indeed – humanity is doomed. So what? What right do we have to expect the universe to honor our existence by granting any of us ultimate significance? No, I’ll take what I can get, thank you very much. To expect more seems desperately greedy and arrogant.

    Incidentally, asking disingenuous and dehumanizing questions does a disservice to everyone. I’m betting your time & talents would be better spent on other pursuits.

  • Jack

    It seems that you are wrong.

  • Greg

    Michael: you should read “On the Brink” Esper

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  • mark

    J.C Sorry im just having a go at atheism in general. just find it amusing how atheists on one hand say there is no creator, and usually suggest that we just appeared from the big bang and on the other say they are spiritual, If you don’t believe that there is no after life heaven/ hell you will believe when you go to one or the other. And for the record I don’t hate athiests, I just think they are the gullible ones that have swallowed this lie of ( no creation) hook line and sinker.

  • Fennel

    “you will believe when you go to one or the other” -basically, Pascal’s Wager, mark. Read up on it. Seriously, there are limitless possibilities other than the heaven and hell that your religion claims and has no evidence for.

    As for gullible, you are the one accepting the claims with no checkable evidence. Atheists generally are just saying that the evidence isn’t there to support the claims you are making. And in some cases that your stories contradict themselves or otherwise don’t make any sense. Your religious text does come from an age when people really understood much less about the world, and that text really does look man-made, with a truckload of errors in it.

  • mark

    Fennel because you don’t believe, doesn’t change anything they will be still there (heaven/ hell) when you pass from this life.

  • Elizabeth Weggesser

    I agree Dave Smith…And it goes even deeper …Its all about Greed…Power…and Control …as you mentioned …Evil…Climate and Global Warming is caused by man…Yes…But…its what’s happening behind the curtain of lies and deceit of confusion and chaos …that people in high places who are destroying our Weather …Climate…And Mother Nature…This all Belongs to God…But Scientists and those people in high places have become so arrogant as to blame the common mans footprint…Instead of its own…You’ve heard these people on the news…talking about all these things……..THEY ARE ACTUALLY GUILTY…Using our Tax money to geoengineer our weather…The’ve been doing it for years…And Mother Earth Their Laboratory and everything living on earth and we are their lab
    rats…Geoengineering our weather through Aresol spraying of our atmosphere…our Sky…with nano particulates of aluminum…barium and other toxic metals to manipulate weather patterns…They also use HAARP to control the Jetsreams…Check out the Site……And Pray…

  • Paul Faucher

    Thanks Greg for quoting something the Pope actually said. As for me, I am waiting to read the actual encyclical before sickened by the spin doctors.