A growing number of U.S. conservatives are becoming concerned over Pope Francis' views on climate change, according to a report.
The New York Times
reports that top Vatican officials will meet Tuesday to work on a campaign aimed at promoting Francis' effort to persuade world leaders to pass climate-change laws later this year.
Tuesday's meeting, reports the Times, will be centered on how climate change is linked to poverty and economic development. Climate scientists and religious leaders will give speeches, while U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will give the opening address.
According to the Times, the Vatican's goal is to lobby for passage of a sweeping piece of legislation
backed by the United Nations that would help decrease greenhouse-gas emissions in 200 countries. The legislation is due to be signed into law at a Paris conference in December.
Conservatives in the United States, however, are not thrilled about the Pope's decision to tackle the topic of climate change,
as it goes against what many of them believe. Vatican officials have reportedly helped the Pope form his message on the subject over the last year.
"The Holy Father is being misled by 'experts' at the United Nations who have proven unworthy of his trust," Heartland Institute president Joseph Bast said, reports the Times.
"Though Pope Francis' heart is surely in the right place, he would do his flock and the world a disservice by putting his moral authority behind the United Nations' unscientific agenda on the climate."
The Pope will bring his message to Washington, D.C., in September during a trip to the U.S. He is scheduled to address a joint session of Congress and could speak about climate change, which could potentially cause some awkward moments for the Roman Catholics in Congress. A study earlier this year
found that 92 percent of Congress is Christian, with 31 percent being Catholic.
House Speaker John Boehner, who invited the Pope to speak to the lawmakers, is Catholic.
"I think Boehner was out of his mind to invite the Pope to speak to Congress," the Rev. Thomas Reese, an analyst at the National Catholic Reporter, told the Times. "Can you imagine what the Republicans will do when he says, 'You've got to do something about global warming?'"
Pope Francis partially addressed climate change on his Twitter account last week:
On Monday, the Wall Street Journal
reported that President Barack Obama will discuss climate change with the pope during his visit to the nation's capital.
"We're going to talk about climate change I'm sure because he is very clear that part of the Church's teachings, and part of my faith, is that we have to be good stewards of this incredible planet we've been given, and there are steps that can be taken there," Obama said.
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