Despite widespread media reports that Pope Benedict XVI has expressed concern about global warming and climate change, the pontiff never mentioned either term in a recent speech.
According to the Acton Institute, a number of media reports covering the pope's speech at the World Youth Day event in Sydney, Australia, characterize him as being alarmed about global warming and climate change. In fact, the Acton Institute reports that the pope's nearly 2,700-word speech used neither term.
What he did say was: "Perhaps reluctantly we come to acknowledge that there are scars which mark the surface of our earth erosion, deforestation, the squandering of the world's mineral and ocean resources in order to fuel an insatiable consumption." The pope's words reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church's teaching on environmental stewardship, which decries pollution and consumerism.
What was left out of most of the media coverage of Benedict's speech, Acton noted, was his discussion of the loss of the "moral structure with which God has endowed humanity" and his sharp criticism of secularism.
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