Eerder schonk ik uitvoerig aandacht aan de Pauselijke encycliek, ‘Laudato Si’, die opriep tot steun voor de klimaatovereenkomst van Parijs. Het was een voorbeeld van religieuze inmenging in wereldlijke zaken, waarvan we dachten dat we die sinds de secularisatie achter ons hadden gelaten. Ik schreef daar onder meer over:

De nieuwe Pauselijke encycliek, die gisteren is verschenen, heeft inmiddels internationaal tot veel commentaren aanleiding gegeven, zowel instemmende als meer kritische. De prominente aandacht die de Paus aan het milieu en het klimaat schenkt (zij het niet meer dan enkele procenten van een tekst van bijna 200 bladzijden), waarbij hij in nauwelijks bedekte termen lobbyt voor een positieve uitkomst van de klimaatconferentie in Parijs in december dit jaar, heeft hem veel krediet bij de milieubeweging opgeleverd. Omgekeerd hebben de meer kritische commentatoren in dit verband fijntjes herinnerd aan de affaire Galileo Galilei, waarin de RK Kerk zich eveneens anti–wetenschappelijk opstelde.

Ik pik er enkele commentaren uit.

Onder de titel, ‘Swiss ‘Weltwoche’ Magazine Fires At Activist Encyclical … ”Somewhere Galileo Is Chuckling”’, rapporteert Pierre Gosselin op zijn blog:

The latest 17 June 2015 edition of Weltwoche from Switzerland has a commentary on the Vatican and its encyclical on climate titled: “A Matter of Faith“. The commentary believes the Vatican is out of place with Its recent encyclical on climate science, reminding readers that the Vatican hardly has a stellar record when it comes telling Catholics what true science really is, and that today It is wrong with Its claim there is a consensus on the issue. …

The Weltwoche article writes in its introduction: With an encyclical the Pope is attempting to teach correct climate policy. The Catholic Church has long since always proven its sense for true science. Somewhere Galileo is chuckling.”

Weltwoche recounts the Church’s debacle surrounding Galileo, writing that it took the Catholic Church over 300 years to apologize for having falsely accused the 17th century physicist, who claimed the Church had been wrong in thinking the earth was the center of the universe. …

Yet under Pope Francis the Church appears to have learned nothing from its long history of intellectual blunders, and Its Little Ice Age and bad-weather witch-hunts. Weltwoche writes:

Pope Francis is now sending the encyclical “Laudato Si” to his bishops, which reads as the Amen to the reporters of the IPCC and the capitalism critics, such as Naomi Klein.”

Weltwoche describes how Pope Francis claims there is a “scientific consensus” and that as a result “mankind has to change its lifestyle“.

Lees verder hier.

Het is moeilijk vast te stellen welk effect deze encycliek op de klimaatdiscussie heeft gehad. Maar aanhanger van de menselijke broeikashypothese, George Marshall, denkt dat de invloed gering is geweest, zelfs op katholieken.

Onder de titel, ‘Pope’s climate essay won’t convince Trump, it didn’t even work on Catholics’, schreef hij:

Pope’s encyclical on climate change appealed to liberals, but conservative Catholics were driven away by the values it invoked

Following their tense and grumpy meeting this week the Pope cheekily presented Donald Trump with a parting gift: his 165-page Encyclical on Care for our Common Home, better known as Laudato Si, in which he outlines his commitment to action on climate change.

Trump’s face, shared widely on social media, hardly suggests any great delight and we cannot expect that a dense theological text will trigger his climate epiphany.

But then Trump was never the intended audience. The critical question is whether, in the two years since it was released ahead of the Paris climate conference, the papal encyclical has shifted opinion among Catholics. And unfortunately the answer is “probably not”.

On the face of it the encyclical should have been a key moment in galvanising global action. Climate change is a complex issue around which people require clear guidance – what social theorists call “elite cues” – from trusted high profile figures. And who could be more trusted to the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics than the leader of their church?

But climate change is also an exceptionally politically divided issue. A team at the University of Queensland recently reviewed surveys in over 56 countries and concluded that political orientation was by far the largest determinant of attitudes to climate change. Nowhere is this more the case than in the United States where attitudes to climate change are more strongly divided between left and right than any other single issue – including such hot button topics as gun control and abortion. …

Scanning the language of Laudato Si reveals one of the fundamental problems: in every way it speaks to and embodies left-wing values and frames. Growth and affluence are condemned at every turn and the transformative opportunity of renewable energy (indeed, the word “opportunity” itself) are mentioned only once. The framing of “justice”, which research by Climate Outreach and University of Wales has found to among the most politically polarising, is used throughout.

Maybe this is understandable: after all “social justice” is one of the key terms in Catholic social teaching. Less explicable is the abstruse focus on what Pope Francis calls “integral ecology” – the word “ecology” is used over 80 times. ….

So maybe on reflection this [de communicatie] should, and still could, have been done better. The encyclical is, I fear, far beyond the influence of any communications professional. But it should be supported by a wide range of more engaging materials to communicate its meaning to individual Catholics, and, most especially, to enable individual priests to speak on the subject from the pulpit.

All wider research confirms the critical importance of conversations between trusted peers in forming attitudes. The Catholic Church has greater influence than any other organised religion over the conversations that take place within its network. It should use this power to require all churches to openly discuss and consider the arguments of the encyclical.

Thankfully politicians like Donald Trump fade with each election cycle and the battle against climate change will ultimately be won by reaching the public who vote for them. The struggle to energise the world’s Catholics has only begun, and requires a far more creative and energetic approach than a single heavy report.

Aldus George Marshall.

Lees verder hier.

Marshall is dus van mening dat de Kerk haar boodschap beter had moeten communiceren met de gelovigen. Dat de boodschap inhoudelijk niet deugt, komt kennelijk niet in hem op.

Voor mijn eerdere bijdragen over klimaat en aanverwante zaken zie hierhier, hier, hier en hier.

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