A roundup of the news, views and ideas from the main stream press and the blogosphere.  Click on the headline link to see the full article.


Explosive intervention by Pope Francis set to transform climate change debate

John Vidal, The Guardian 
The most anticipated papal letter for decades will be published in five languages on Thursday. It will call for an end to the ‘tyrannical’ exploitation of nature by mankind. Could it lead to a step-change in the battle against global warming?

Pope Francis will call for an ethical and economic revolution to prevent catastrophic climate change and growing inequality in a letter to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics on Thursday.

In an unprecedented encyclical on the subject of the environment, the pontiff is expected to argue that humanity’s exploitation of the planet’s resources has crossed the Earth’s natural boundaries, and that the world faces ruin without a revolution in hearts and minds. The much-anticipated message, which will be sent to the world’s 5,000 Catholic bishops, will be published online in five languages on Thursday and is expected to be the most radical statement yet from the outspoken pontiff.

However, it is certain to anger sections of Republican opinion in America by endorsing the warnings of climate scientists and admonishing rich elites, say cardinals and scientists who have advised the Vatican.
(13 June 2015)


Pope Francis to Explore Climate’s Effect on World’s Poor

Jim Yardley, New York Times 
…On Thursday, Francis will release his first major teaching letter, known as an encyclical, on the theme of the environment and the poor. Given the pope’s widespread popularity, and his penchant for speaking out on major global issues, the encyclical is being treated as a milestone that could place the Roman Catholic Church at the forefront of a new coalition of religion and science.

… By wading into the environment debate, Francis is seeking to redefine a secular topic, one usually framed by scientific data, using theology and faith. And based on Francis’ prior comments, and those of influential cardinals, the encyclical is also likely to include an economic critique of how global capitalism, while helping lift millions out of poverty, has also exploited nature and created vast inequities.
(13 June 2015)


Environmental manifesto may confirm Pope Francis as ‘Benedict 2.0’

John L. Allen Jr, Crux(Covering all things Catholic) 
Mythology and media narratives to the contrary, Pope Francis has far more in common with Pope Benedict XVI than whatever separates them. Francis probably could be better understood as “Benedict 2.0,” supplying a warmer and more populist package for the same basic positions espoused by his more cerebral predecessor.

… Benedict was famously the pope who installed solar panels atop a Vatican audience hall and signed an agreement to make the Vatican Europe’s first carbon-neutral state in order to back up his strong ecological concerns.

In a speech to the German parliament in 2011 – a speech, by the way, that probably meant more to the German pontiff than most he delivered during his eight-year reign – Benedict said the rise of Germany’s Green movement in the 1970s was “a cry for fresh air, a cry that cannot be ignored or put aside.”

…Benedict believes that environmentalism is leading people back to the idea of natural law, because it proves that limits on what human beings can do without paying a price aren’t just arbitrary but absolutely, objectively real.

“Everyone can see today that … we can’t simply do whatever we want with this earth that has been entrusted to us, we have to respect the inner laws of creation, of this earth, if we want to survive,” Benedict said in 2007.
(14 June 2015)


Must-See Hilarious Spoof Trailer: ‘Pope Francis: The Encyclical’

Cole Mellinom Eciwtcg 
… this Hollywood-style spoof trailer of “Pope Francis: The Encyclical,” I knew it was going to be good. The video, which was posted yesterday by Observatório do Clima, a Brazil-based nonprofit advocating for action on climate change, is just as intense and dramatic as your standard Hollywood trailer. …


(12 June 2015)
Homage to Pope Francis and his coming Encyclical on the environment. Funny, but the underlying message is right on. -BA