Pope Francis and the Catholic Church are expected to release a document firmly placing the blame for the planet’s climate woes at the feet of mankind and calling on their followers to take better care of the planet.
Referred to as an encyclical, the document will be called Laudato Si (Be Praised), On the Care of our Common Home, and will be spread to Catholic churches across the world as an address from Pope Francis to be used as a religious teaching.
It has been expected for some time that the Argentinian pope was to address the issue of climate change through an encyclical and now it appears to be released imminently.
According to The Telegraph in the UK, Pope Francis is expected to say that we as a species are the leading cause of rapid climate change on the planet and that its effects will largely be felt by the world’s poor.
It is also expected to call on mankind to take the moral decision of reversing what has been done to the planet through excessive carbon emissions.
The head of the Catholic Church has been vocal on a number of occasions about the topic of climate change and even tweeted from his official account last April saying: “We need to care for the Earth so that it may continue, as God willed, to be a source of life for the entire human family.”
We need to care for the earth so that it may continue, as God willed, to be a source of life for the entire human family.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) April 21, 2015
Despite following the lead of many of the world’s leading climate experts, Pope Francis has understandably found himself in conflict with a number of climate sceptics from within the church itself, as well as prominent US politicians.
One such organisation funded by sceptics, the Heartland Institute in the US, said of his comments last April: “The Pope would make a grave mistake if he put his moral authority behind scientists saying that climate change is a threat to the world. Many scientists have concluded that human activity is a minor player. The Earth has been warming since the end of the last Ice Age.”
Pope Francis’s encyclical will be published later this week.
Pope Francis image via Martin Schulz/Flickr