The Catholic University of America

Chad Pecknold, associate professor, theology, was interviewed by the Washington Post on the Pope's expected encyclical on climate change. See below.

Pope Francis poised to weigh in on climate change with major document

From: Washington Post
Date: April 27, 2015
Author: Michelle Boorstein


These are the areas that have the potential for controversy – how strongly he links human behavior to climate change and whether he sets forth an idea of creation that doesn’t have humans alone at the center.

Chad Pecknold, a theologian at Catholic University, predicted Francis will do neither, particularly the former.

“The moment he would make a strong claim about humans’ role, those Catholics who would dissent from that view would have a claim within the tradition to say the pope has overstepped his bounds,” which would squander a chance to broaden how believers think about the environment, Pecknold said.

He believes Francis will characterize “the human role” in global warming in Biblical terms: That our disconnect with the environment began with Adam and Eve, and the “turning away from our dependence on the order of Creation.” That turning away would include divorce, gay marriage, “and most especially abortion and euthanasia as evidence of a ‘throwaway culture,’” Pecknold said, using a term Francis often says about everything from treatment of the elderly to addicts.


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