Is this a fair assessment?
From City Journal:
Shortly after the Argentinian cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was consecrated Pope Francis in 2013, news stories reported that the new pontiff wanted to build a stronger relationship between the Catholic Church and science—one that saw science not in opposition to, but compatible with, religious belief. Some months later, the pope declared that evolution and the Big Bang theory of creation are real and don’t conflict with belief in God. Now, in the wake of the pope’s encyclical on climate change and the environment, Laudato Si (or, Be Praised), the press has exulted in the pope’s apparent effort to find even more “common ground” with science.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The encyclical, whose title is derived from a line from St. Francis of Assisi’s Canticle of the Sun (“Be praised, My Lord, through all your Creatures”), is being welcomed by some in the scientific community because it proclaims that climate change is real and that humanity must address it. But the nearly 38,000-word document—most of which is not about climate change—actually reads like a giant step backward for the Church’s social teaching: a rejection of technological progress; a dark, narrow vision of human nature that ignores the enormous gains the world has made in alleviating human suffering; and an almost antihuman call, reminiscent of the most radical environmentalists, to reduce human activity drastically as the only way to save the planet. As Michael Shellenberger, president of the Breakthrough Institute and co-author of An Ecomodernist Manifesto, observed: “When [the] Pope speaks of ‘irrational faith in human progress’ I want him to visit the Congo to see what life is like when there is no progress.” More.
Also: Is the Pope making the same mistake that the Church did in the Galileo controversy? Getting involved in a science controversy that depends fundamentally on evidence, not values?
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