Pope Francis is getting out of his league with a planned encyclical on warning about climate change in March
, says conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer.
"I wasn't aware that he was a scientist," Krauthammer said Tuesday on Fox News Channel's "Special Report."
If the pope wants to talk about ethics and dogma "you have to respect that," he said, but "the minute he steps outside of that and acts as a scientist or politician which he is on climate change, I think he opens himself up to the criticism you would give to anybody else who does."
Krauthammer, who has said he is neither a global warming advocate nor denier,
said he thinks Francis will be an advocate for one side. Krauthammer disagrees with those who say climate changes is "settled science."
"I have to say that the Catholic Church has a somewhat checkered history when it comes to how to handle new science: heliocentrism, for example," Krauthammer said.
Taking a stand on a controversial issue comes with risks, he said, pointing to when the U.S. Catholic Bishops in the early 1980s opposed nuclear deterrence as immoral.
"It actually kept us safe and avoided war for 50 years," Krauthammer said.
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