With Pope Francis poised to release a document that spells out his beliefs on climate change, Republican candidates for president who happen to be Catholic could be put in an awkward position on the campaign trail because of it.
A New York Times piece
focuses on former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, two of the main contenders for president on the Republican side. Both are Roman Catholic and do not agree with the argument that global warming is caused by man.
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The Vatican, however, will release the Pope's encyclical, also known as a teaching document, Thursday. It suggests humans should do more
to protect the environment because they are causing global warming.
Bush, who entered the presidential race Monday, spoke the following day about the encyclical
during a campaign stop in New Hampshire.
"I hope I'm not going to get castigated for saying this by my priest back home," Bush said. "But I don't get my economic policy from my bishops or my cardinals or my pope."
Religion, Bush added, "ought to be about making us better as people and less about things that end up getting into the political realm."
Rubio has not spoken about the encyclical, but his feeling on global warming is that it's a natural phenomenon.
"I believe the climate is changing because there's never been a moment where the climate is not changing," Rubio said on the CBS program "Face the Nation" in April.
To go along with the Pope's encyclical, bishops in Florida, Iowa, Ohio, New Mexico, and California are planning events to spread the pope's message on the changing climate, from themed sermons and homilies to press conferences, reports the Times.
Critics of the Pope's feelings on global warming say he should not be getting involved in the matter.
"I don't care whether it's Pope Francis or his predecessors or his successors someday. Once you get outside the domain, of faith and morals, be careful and be careful particularly when you get into the weeds and get very specific," Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, told Newsmax TV last week
"Catholics will offer him respect, but in terms of accepting what he has to say as guiding their thoughts, no, it's not going to happen."
House conservatives said this week
they're concerned about the Pope's directives on global warming.
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