Pope Francis’ carbon footprint: Does he practice what he preaches?

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Pope Francis boards a plane for his pastoral trip, at Fiumicino airport in Rome, Italy, on July 5, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Max Rossi 
*Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-POPE-CARBON, originally transmitted on July 9, 2015.

Pope Francis boards a plane for his pastoral trip, at Fiumicino airport in Rome, Italy, on July 5, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Max Rossi *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-POPE-CARBON, originally transmitted on July 9, 2015.

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(RNS) A quick glance at the pope’s 2015 foreign travel agenda -- 11 countries across five continents -- and the size of the pontiff’s carbon footprint starts to look quite large. But some say the travel is vital to spread his message on climate change.

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  • Larry

    The idea one can preach about environmental issues but leave out anything concerning population control is one of many reasons not to take the Catholic Church seriously on the issue.

  • Jack

    So says Malthus….er….Larry.

  • Larry

    Birth control is not Malthus. Better luck next time Ad Hominem Jack

  • The Pope, like the evil ‘Mother Teresa’, is against women’s emancipation.

    He obstructs women’s rights. He promotes Catholic breeding, not Human survival or sustainability.

    He promotes poverty with decrees against birth control, planned parenthood and equal rights for women.

    Wherever religion is strong, misery spreads.

  • dmj76

    Larry
    Half a loaf is better than none.

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  • C3

    The idea that one can talk about population control and the assumption that Church doesn’t address the issue is what I can imagine as only one of many reasons not to take you seriously on any issue.

  • C3

    This is really a disingenuous framing of the conversation. What would people have the Pope do, travel the world by rickshaw? I mean seriously…

  • Neon Genesis

    The pope could cut his carbon footprint by skipping his visit to sleazy American politicians who don’t really care about anything he might talk about and just want to make themselves look good.

  • Sabelotodo2

    Oh, but those leftist American politicians LOVE Francis’ brand of Argentinian Marxism and will embrace his moral support on climate change and income inequality. They’ll conveniently ignore his traditional Catholic teachings that would keep women barefoot and pregnant, and forget that the rulers of the Catholic Church have never really evolved past the days when they–alongside of dictators and kings, were the co-rulers of the temporal world . . . and they would love to be in that position again! Behind all this humility and concern for the poor, is a lust for power–what the pope has in common with those corrupt American politicians!

  • Travel, especially by air, has a huge environmental impact, and must be used sparingly. My agency, Eco-Justice Ministries, has a travel policy which requires an appreciable number of “people hours” of contact for each 100 miles of travel. I won’t fly 2 hours for a 30-minute meeting with 5 people, but I will take that flight for a weekend conference with 50 participants. When the Pope attracts crowds of millions, and engages them enthusiastically with his environmental theology, then his travel has a worthwhile effect that is far more ethical than — for example — a family jetting off for a 3-day vacation.

  • Kyle H. Davis

    He’s using his wealth to pay for carbon credits – it’s similar to buying indulgences.

  • nalani

    The perfect solution to the population explosion is adoption of kids without homes by legally married gay couples.