Cruising along on this wonderful thing called the Internet, I found an interesting little ditty about our current Pope, Benedict XVI. In April, there are plans for the Pope to make his first visit to the United Nations.
While this in and of itself is not particularly note worth to me, his planned topic blows my mind. Is he going to talk about the evils of gay marriage and evolution? Ohh no, he plans on talking about climate change. That's right, the man who many people deemed too conservative to be Pope - and think about that, it's not like the Catholic Church is the most liberal of organizations - is going to take a progressive stance on an incredibly important issue.
The higher ups in the Church claim that we are "stewards of creation" and have a responsibility to save the planet from potential catastrophe. As such he will make action against climate change a moral obligation for all billion or so Catholics out there. Not only are they talking the talk, but they are walking the walk, as the Vatican City is the first, and only, carbon neutral nation in the world. Sure they are tiny and don't exactly have factories or a lot of cars, but it is still impressive.
May I just point out that the Pope is now more liberal, modern, and in touch with current concerns than many of the worlds leading political and economic figures. Think about that for a second, right now the head of an organization that thinks birth control, homosexuals, and Charles Darwin are the spawn of Satan is more modern than Stephen Harper and George Bush, who are still waiting for "more evidence".
I hope that after this announcement other Catholic Churches will follow the lead of the Vatican by also going carbon neutral in their business, and maybe, just maybe, can inspire their believers to do the same. What makes this extra promising is that the majority of Catholics live in developed, and therefore polluting, nations.
Perhaps, if we are lucky still, that other churches will follow the Vatican's lead and start addressing climate change as a serious moral concern of theirs and people of all faiths will start to actually take this thing seriously, because we don't have a ton of time.
From the Inquisition to The Troubles, there is a lot that can be said for the actions of men in the name of God. This time, however, the pious and the agnostic can come together and support the steps Benedict XVI is making, because whether you believe God made this earth or not, we all need to believe that he is not going to help us now. We can only help ourselves.
Until next time,