Climate change is a prominent and contentious topic in our current political sphere. Pope Francis offers a perspective on the issue, but church leaders have expressed differing opinions. As Christians, how should we approach environmental concerns?
WABE, a radio station in Atlanta, Georgia, and an affiliate of National Public Radio, published an article titled, “Atlanta Seen as a Leader in Catholic Response to the Pope’s Environmental Message”. In the article, several Catholic leaders respond to Pope Francis’ Laudato Si, the 2015 encyclical in which the Pope addresses climate change, pollution and other environmental concerns, urging Catholics to consider these as moral issues.
According to the article, some Catholic individuals and parishes responded positively and enthusiastically to the Pope’s encyclical and have put forth efforts to combat environmental issues. Others have expressed a less enthusiastic response. The article provides some insight from Rev. Robert Sirico, president and co-founder of the Acton Institute.
“The church exists to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and when all these other kinds of political and temporal concerns blot out that message, the church loses herself,” says Sirico. “I don’t think the church needs to become Greenpeace. I think we have some very serious issues in the Catholic Church, and I don’t see this question of environmental activism as being at the top of that list.”