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Over the past few years, Pope John Francis has offered many words of wisdom regarding what we citizens of Planet Earth must do to solve our current climate crisis. At a recent conference held at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, The Pope made perhaps his most urgent statement yet about climate change and how our dependence on fossil fuels is rapidly accelerating it.

Specifically, Pope Francis reportedly warned that climate change has the power to “destroy humanity” and emphasized the need for energy leaders to help the world’s population transition to using clean fuels so that we may avoid disastrous consequences.

The private conference was attended by around 50 oil executives, investors, and Vatican experts, all of whom side with Pope Francis and the countless scientific researchers who have proven that climate change is a direct result of human activity. Among the participants were Darren Woods, CEO of oil and gas giant ExxonMobil, Claudio Descalzi, head of Italian energy group Eni, and Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, the largest investment management corporation in the world.

In a speech at the end of the two-day conference, Pope Francis condemned the continued use of environment-destroying fossil fuels, stating, “Our desire to ensure energy for all must not lead to the undesired effect of a spiral of extreme climate changes due to a catastrophic rise in global temperatures, harsher environments and increased levels of poverty.”

Underlining the pressing need for an energy mix that will reduce pollution, end poverty, and foster social justice, The Pope urged top oil companies to aid in society’s transition from the dirty fuels of the past and present to cleaner energy sources that will bring about a sustainable future. He reportedly called this transition “a duty that we owe towards millions of our brothers and sisters around the world, poorer countries and generations yet to come.”

In recent years, the oil and gas sector has received mounting pressure from investors and activists to play a bigger part in working to limit greenhouse gas emissions to the levels outlined in the Paris climate agreement. The Pope’s recent statement is yet another call for change.

We sincerely hope that the words of Pope Francis will drive oil bosses to put the health of our planet and its citizens over their own profits by stepping away from fossil fuels and instead committing to renewable energy. After all, our future depends on it.

Want to learn more about how you can do your part to limit greenhouse gases and slow climate change? Check out the #EatForThePlanet book!

Image Source: Flickr

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0 comments on “Pope Francis Issues Foreboding Warning for World Leaders to Stop Using Fuels That Are Threatening the Future of Civilization”

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4 Months Ago

This Pope, like all the others before him, will never overturn Church teachings and policy regarding the moral status of nonhuman animals. So he focuses on climate change only because humanity is all that matters to the Church. For a little background on Church teachings:

“Brute beasts, not having understanding and therefore not being persons, cannot have any rights. The conclusion is clear. They are not autocentric. They are of the number of THINGS, which are another’s: they are chattels, or cattle. We have no duties to them…. Nor are we bound to any anxious care to make [their] pain as little as may be. Brutes are THINGS in our regard: so far as they are useful to use, they exist for us, not for themselves; and we do right in using them unsparingly for our need and convenience….” Jesuit Joseph Rickaby on the “so-called” rights of animals."

Tom Hayden\'s "The Lost Gospel of the Earth (1996):
... the Contemporary Catechism of the Catholic Church in the 1980s featured a chapter called "God, Man and the Universe," which declared that "the sun and the moon, worshipped as divinities by the Babylonians, are simply [God\'s] creations, and so far from having dominion over the human race, were made by God for the service of man." So, too, the beasts and birds worshipped by the Egyptians were "the work of God\'s hands and put by him under the control of man."

It was not until 1982...that a pope took note of the environmental crisis in an encyclical. He warned against our being "heedless exploiters," while still reaffirming the traditional Church view of human beings as "intelligent and noble masters and guardians of nature." [Post-1994] The U.S. Catholic bishops have also begun to take stands on certain environmental issues for the first time (though not on endangered species as of this writing; "they do not want to oppose anthropocentrism," says one informed religious insider).

The new Catechism reaffirms the traditional teaching of a hierarchy of earthly beings with man at the "summit." God has "destined all material creatures for the good of the human race," the text continues, citing the ancient claim of St. John Chrysostom that "for [humans] the heavens and the earth, the sea and all the rest of creation exist." Given the nature of original sin, it is inevitable that humans who believe the environment exists for them will succumb to selfishness rather than stewardship.

Like this pale green catechism, the environment remains a strictly secondary issue in popular Catholic thought and action. [Most religious views about animals are anthropomonic, meaning humans are God’s only concern, as opposed to being his primary concern, with other aspects of creation on the periphery of relevance.] For example, a 1990 volume on modern Catholics by Father Andrew M. Greeley contains not a single reference to the world of nature. In an excellent chapter comparing ideologies such as capitalism and socialism with a Catholic moral viewpoint, the environment is overlooked completely. ...

A form of "dominion" doctrine has long been shared by the traditional Roman Catholic hierarchy, as well. On Earth Day 1990, New York\'s Cardinal John O\'Connor admonished his flock to remember that "the earth exists for the human person and not vice-versa." In 1993 Pope John Paul denounced Catholic feminists in terms eerily reminiscent of the Inquisition. In a story headlined JOHN PAUL CRITICIZES \'MOTHER EARTH\' RITUALS, the New York Times reported that "senior cardinals have expressed concern about worship of such concepts as the earth goddess by some feminist American Catholics, saying the practice creates an unacceptable blend of Catholicism with animist faith [and] such worship veers toward witchcraft." Two years later Pope John Paul opposed the democratic election of an ex-Communist in Poland on grounds that he represented a "neo-pagan" philosophy. To be fair, the Pope now decries the "culture of domination" toward the environment. ****What is missing is a realization of how the Christian tradition has fostered this culture of domination and condemned nature mysticism as sinful or subversive. *****

So Francis, your Church needs to do penance for its anthropocentric sins against Nature and nonhuman animals and for boosting human power over them all!

I take a knee to what you and your Church stand for!


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