But he didn’t have time for Asia Bibi…

Too Much Hot Air:
Francis Signs “Catholic” Climate Petition

Image Source: http://catholicclimatemovement.global
Credit: Fotografia Felici

Weeks before the expected release of his encyclical letter on the environment, which we have nicknamed Summa Ecologica, “Pope” Francis has endorsed a petition of the so-called “Global Catholic Climate Movement” (GCCM) that attempts to keep the earth’s temperature from rising by more than 1.5ºC.

The short petition is addressed to “World Leaders” and reads:

Climate change affects everyone, but especially the poor and most vulnerable people. Impelled by our Catholic faith, we call on you to drastically cut carbon emissions to keep the global temperature rise below the dangerous threshold of 1.5°C, and to aid the world’s poorest in coping with climate change impacts.

(“Pope Francis endorsed our Catholic Climate Petition!”Global Catholic Climate Movement; accessed May 15, 2015)

Not only did Francis endorse the petition, he also signed it, though he had to do so in an indirect way for reasons of protocol. He designated his master of ceremonies, “Mgr.” Guillermo Karcher, to sign on his behalf. An article on the GCCM’s web site jubilantly recounts:

“Pope Francis was very supportive of the work we are doing to engage Catholics around the world in a coordinated response to climate change,” said Tomás Insua, a co-founder of the GCCM from Argentina. “Francis even joked that we were competing against his encyclical. His endorsement of our work is very important to raise awareness within Catholic circles globally, and to collect more signatures.”

Pope Francis asked the Pontifical Ceremonieri, Monsignor Guillermo Karcher, to sign the petition on his behalf as a way to show his endorsement (given that popes don’t sign petitions because of protocol).

The Pope also gave the GCCM the book “The Sun’s Energy in the Vatican” as a gift, to emphasize the Holy See’s commitment to renewable energy as a means to address the climate change crisis.

(“Pope Francis endorsed our Catholic Climate Petition!”Global Catholic Climate Movement; accessed May 15, 2015)

Photos of the climate petition circus can be viewed here.

By the way, recently several family members of Asia Bibi, the Christian woman who is on death row in Pakistan for allegedly “blaspheming” Islam, tried to get a private audience with Francis to ask for his help — and were refused. When they showed up at the Vatican to speak to Francis after his Wednesday audience on April 15, Francis gave them his attention for an entire 15 seconds before hurrying on to greet more of his fans. Here is a video of the sad spectacle:

We wish Francis good luck in getting the earth’s temperature contained. For starters, we suggest fewer trips by airplane, to save on carbon emissions, no more printing of endless encyclical letters, to save the trees — and an end to the daily homilies, to save on hot air.

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