Is Pope Francis Going Green?
The meeting between Pope Francis and a group of Argentinean environmentalists made headlines this week. A picture of the Pope holding an anti-fracking shirt and standing next to environmental activist, Fernando “Pino” Solanas, went viral. The Pope is also pictured holding a shirt that said “Water is More Precious Than Gold.”
During the hour-long meeting the Pope was reportedly concerned about an agreement between the Argentine government and Chevron to develop shale oil and gas. According to EJOLT, the Pope also mentioned to the activists that he is preparing an encyclical about nature, humans, and environmental pollution.
The Pope is not shy about taking up progressive issues, so it is not surprising that he is taking up fracking and mining. Pope Francis took his name from St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and ecology. During his inaugural Mass he described the church’s mission as “respecting each of God’s creatures, and respecting the environment in which we live.”
According to many environmentalists, fracking and mining cause significant damage to natural resources. Environmentalists struggle against better-funded and politically-connected, anti-environmental companies. The Pope’s support would help environmental activists, like Solanas, in predominantly Catholic countries.
It’s good news that the Pope has decided to make fracking his next progressive issue.
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