Critics Question Pope’s Competence to Meddle in Climate issues, urge Limitation to Religion

Pope-FrancisNot all that Pope pronounces is welcomed, as the recent comment on environment issues, released on Thursday has been received critically by several industrialists and politicians who contend Pope’s competence to comment on matters of environment.

Pope Francis encyclical named ‘Laudato Si’ or ‘Praise Be to You: On Care for Our Common Home’ ponders on the issue of threat to climate and the need to ameliorate the poor.

Richard A. Viguerie, a prominent political and religious rights activist criticized, said, “Pope Francis’ message on global warming was a confusing distraction that dilutes his great moral authority and leadership at a time when it is desperately needed to combat real and present crises in the Church and in Western culture”.

Pope Francis seems to be following footsteps of previous popes and bishops who had also written documents on solutions to pressing social problems by citing religious teaching. The intrusion of Papacy in social matters dates back to 1891 when Pope Leo’s encyclical ‘On the Condition of Labor’ or ‘Rerum Novarum’ stirred waves.

Pope John XXIII warning of the nuclear annihilation in ‘Pacem in Terris’ in 1963, Paul VI’s ‘Populorum Progressio’ in 1967, backing poorer nations and Benedict XVI’s ‘Caritas in Veritate’ in 2009 highlighting economic inequality from globalization are particularly sought after.

However, Austen Ivereigh, a papal biographer in England commended Francis’ encyclical stating that it is the most significant Catholic social encyclical since the very first, ‘Rerum Novarum,’ in 1891. Ivereigh added that Pope Francis encyclical differs from all previous church documents as it provokes action to make humans more conversant with their place and responsibility to a planet.

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