It’s refreshing to have a Pope who actually does God’s work. So many pontiffs in the past have been politicians rather than priests. So many members of the clergy – of all denominations – have supported the Establishment and preservation of the status quo at the expense of God’s word.
In his latest encyclical, Pope Francis unhesitatingly confronts the global powerbrokers – national governments, international institutions and multinational corporations. He reminds them of their duty to preserve the Earth that God gave us and to alleviate the suffering of the downtrodden.
He calls for a global authority that would tackle pollution and economic injustice. He urges development of poor countries combined with conversion to clean energy. He warns of the catastrophic consequences of global warming and urges mankind to change our ways before it’s too late. Here’s how the encyclical puts it:
Humanity is called to take note of the need for changes in lifestyle and changes in methods of production and consumption to combat this warming, or at least the human causes that produce and accentuate it. Numerous scientific studies indicate that the greater part of the global warming in recent decades is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases … given off above all by human activity.
As for the climate change deniers, here’s what he has to say about them:
The attitudes that stand in the way of a solution, even among believers, range from negation of the problem to indifference to convenient resignation or blind faith in technical solutions.
To nobody’s surprise, this Pope is being castigated by the Republicans, who – as I’m sure you know – represent the looters and polluters.
Rush Limbaugh, for example, brands him a Marxist. And that mob of GOP presidential hopefuls are in full voice. Jeb Bush is the latest Republican standard bearer to suggest the Pope stick to religion and butt out of global politics.
I can’t wait to see how the man and woman in the street react to this stand-off between the Republicans and the Pope. How, I wonder, will this impact next year’s American elections?
It seems to me that even if you do not belong to the Church of Rome, even if you do not belong to any religion – even if you do not believe in God – you would hesitate to vote for a politician who advocates the destruction of the Earth and the relentless oppression of the powerless.