Much ado has been made about Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment. Most think it’s all about global warming. Having read the encyclical, I can tell you nothing could be further from the truth. The Pope did not establish an 11th commandment: “Thou shalt not deny global warming”.
The encyclical was very well written and dealt with a variety of topics. Each was encrusted with our Biblical beliefs and nothing was contrary to Catholic doctrine. This is a well-written document which tackled existing ills of the earth, their solutions and how those solutions are part of our Catholic faith.
The Pope acknowledged that we were given this earth by Almighty God but that we had been poor stewards in its care. He wrote about biodiversity and animal cruelty. He wrote that animal cruelty is never good; however, if an animal must lose its life to save a human being, then it’s right for the animal to die.
He wrote about overpopulation. He stated that population control is never a way to control pollution or global warming. He addressed science and technology… the good and the bad. He concluded that science and religion can peacefully coexist and that neither should dominate nor supplant the other.
Pope Francis’ exact words: “If we are truly concerned to develop an ecology capable of remedying the damage we have done, no branch of the sciences and no form of wisdom can be left out, and that includes religion and the language particular to it.”