Pope Frances made big news when he decided to make a major church statement on climate change. Media outlets all over the world jumped on the news that the pontiff would criticize human behavior for harming the earth and causing global warming.
Apparently, when the head of the one-billion strong Catholic church decides to make a statement on a contentious political issue, people listen.
While those who worry about global warming were happy the pope weighed in, not everyone was impressed. Rick Santorum, a Republican candidate for president and climate change skeptic, said that the pope should stay out of the debate and leave science to the scientists.
As somewhat of a climate change agnostic, allow me to disagree.
Perhaps "climate change agnostic" is a little misleading. Although I'll readily admit that I'm no scientist and don't have an informed opinion on whether humans are causing climate change, I am a realist who acknowledges that most scientists, indeed, think that the earth is getting hotter and that we are the cause.
But I do have sympathy for the skeptic.The predictions of a future world with flooded out major cities often times seem, what's a polite way to put this, like mass-media hysteria.
But no matter your opinion, we should be able to agree on a few things. The earth is important. Disruptive climate change, if it does happen, would be bad for everyone, but especially the most vulnerable of us.
All politics aside, if you're the leader of a 1-billion strong church who has some concerns about some of these things, why wouldn't you speak out about it?
Whether your science is legit, and whether apocalyptic predictions come true, taking good care of creation and leaving it better for the next generation is the absolute Christian thing to do.
I don't have all of the answers, but I'm glad the pope is speaking out.