Is the Pope Right on Climate Change?

Pope Francis talks to journalists during a press conference held on board the flight to Rome, at the end of a five-day visit to Colombia, on September 11, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Andrew Medichini

Is the Pope Right on Climate Change?

The bishop of Rome tells governments to seize more power to stop future weather disasters.

After Hurricane Irma hit Florida, Pope Francis condemned those skeptical of the notion that greenhouse gas emissions cause hurricanes and other weather disasters. He noted that history would judge politicians who fail to act on advice from climatologists.

“You can see the effects of climate change with your own eyes, and scientists tell us clearly the way forward,” he told journalists on September 11 while returning from a trip to Colombia. “All of us have a responsibility. All of us. Some small, some big. A moral responsibility, to accept opinions or make decisions. I think it is not something to joke about.”

He paraphrased a chapter from Psalms as saying: “Man is stupid, a stubborn, blind man.”

While Pope Francis’s words were direct, they were hardly new. Earlier this month, he issued a joint statement with Eastern Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew condemning apathy toward environmental issues, and urging people to “listen to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor, who suffer most because of the unbalanced ecology.”

In this statement, Francis and Bartholomew expressed deep suspicion of free-market economics and its role in harming the environment, saying: “Our propensity to interrupt the world’s delicate and balanced ecosystems, our insatiable desire to manipulate and control the planet’s limited resources, and our greed for limitless profit in markets—all these have alienated us from the original purpose of creation. We no longer respect nature as a shared gift; instead, we regard it as a private possession. We no longer associate with nature in order to sustain it; instead, we lord over it to support our own constructs.”

Pope Francis has called for a new world political authority empowered to impose economic sanctions against nations that fail to do their part in the fight against climate change.

“The same mindset which stands in the way of making radical decisions to reverse the trend of global warming also stands in the way of achieving the goal of eliminating poverty,” the pope wrote in his 2015 encyclical Laudato Si. “A more responsible overall approach is needed to deal with both problems: the reduction of pollution and the development of poorer countries and regions. The 21st century, while maintaining systems of governance inherited from the past, is witnessing a weakening of the power of nation states, chiefly because the economic and financial sectors, being transnational, tends to prevail over the political. Given this situation, it is essential to devise stronger and more efficiently organized international institutions, with functionaries who are appointed fairly by agreement among national governments, and empowered to impose sanctions.”

Of course, the new world political authority that Pope Francis has in mind would be guided and directed by the Roman Catholic Church.

Mankind does have a sacred responsibility to be good stewards of planet Earth. Yet the same Bible that Pope Francis paraphrased during his press conference says that weather disasters are actually curses sent by God to punish people for their sins.

“If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:13-14).

Rather than telling individuals that they need to repent of rebellion against God, the bishop of Rome is telling governments that they need to take more control over people’s lives.

Many Catholics don’t grasp that the Vatican is more than the headquarters of a religion; it is a nation-state participating in the political affairs of empires. As British political economist Rodney Atkinson wrote to late Trumpet writer Ron Fraser in 2013, “Imperial politics rather than the religion of the Roman Catholic Church have been its critical characteristic.”

Biblical prophecy describes a church existing in the end time that holds significant political influence with “the kings of the earth.” It will have particular power over a political-military union of nations described in symbolic terminology as a “beast” (Revelation 17).

This description can only apply to one church in modern history: a church that meddles in the affairs of nations and considers itself mother to all—a church that has repeatedly aligned with a particular empire in order to exercise political authority!

To learn more about this power that is increasingly throwing its weight around the world, read our free book The Holy Roman Empire in Prophecy.