Nicole-Anne Boyer has posted a thought-provoking, wide-ranging essay on WorldChanging titled “A Green Pope?” While Boyer’s essay ranges beyond environmental concerns, her questions about the positions of the Catholic Church on environmental issues deserve special attention. Most of us here truly believe that issues such a global warming, overpopulation and access to clean water will play major roles in near- and long-term global development, and these are certainly areas that a new pope could/should speak to. Can we look towards a greener Catholic church? Can we look for the new pope to take a page from the emerging “creation care” movement among evangelical Protestants? Will a pope from a developing region such as Central/South America or Africa be more or less likely to include such issues in his agenda? Finally, how should those of us in the environmental and sustainability movements address religious issues and institutionalized religions (which are, no doubt, powerful forces for change) in our day-to-day discussion, debates and activities?
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