Hot Times at the Vatican, As Pope’s Climate Change Encyclical Is Leaked to the Media Four Days Early

Hot Times at the Vatican, As Pope’s Climate Change Encyclical Is Leaked to the Media Four Days Early June 16, 2015

Facade of St Peters Basilica - cropped

There’s trouble at the Vatican, where Pope Francis’s much anticipated encyclical Laudato Sii was leaked four days early to the Italian magazine L’Espresso.

It’s not immediately clear where the leak originated. The bootleg release was in Italian, not in English—leaving American reporters scrambling to cut and paste the nearly 200 pages of text into Google Translate.

Then, the Vatican Press Office stepped up to insist that it was only a draft, hence not worthy of media attention and analysis. A Vatican official later told Bloomberg that the release of the draft, which broke the embargo set for Thursday, was a “heinous act.”

As the day passed, passages of the text—particularly a portion of the document which dealt with climate change—were published in English; and there was plenty there to excite global warming’s true believers.

A translation published by The Guardian opens by saying that climate change is the Earth’s way of protesting “irresponsible use and abuse of the goods that God placed in her.” It continues:

“We have grown up thinking that we were her owners and dominators, authorized to loot her. The violence that exists in the human heart, wounded by sin, is also manifest in the symptoms of illness that we see in the Earth, the water, the air and in living things.”

One possible point of contention appears in Section 20, which implies that carbon dioxide—the byproduct of a normal human bodily function—is a pollutant:

“It is true that there are other factors (such as volcanism, and the variations of the orbit of the Earth, the solar cycle), but numerous scientific studies indicate that most of the global warming of recent decades is due to the large concentration of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and other) issued mainly because of human activity.”

In Genesis 2:15, God directs Adam to care for the Earth and cultivate it. Indeed, the world—the ambient air and our entire ecosystem—have been entrusted to our benevolent care; and mankind must soberly reflect upon how an industrialized society will accept God’s challenge to exercise dominion over the planet.

Some worry, however, that adherents to a politicized “climate change” ideology will value conservation over human life, reducing effluents by reducing human population—either through contraception and abortion, or through euthanasia. But the draft does reject population control as a solution:

“To blame demographic growth and not the extreme and selective consumption of some is a way of not facing the problem.”

On Thursday, Laudato Sii is expected to be officially released by the Vatican.


Image: By Jolly Janner (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons





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  • ozonator

    What was a Cardinal Pell type to do – change the topic of hiding child abusing priests or breaking a Commandment of stealing …

  • JohnnyVoxx

    How sad. I guess we can increasingly see that the “Novus Ordo” “church” is a stool pigeon for the Satanic New World Order. As Our Lady of La Salette warned us, “Rome will lose the Faith and become the seat of the Anti-Christ.”

  • Dan13

    “One possible point of contention appears in Section 20, which implies that carbon dioxide—the byproduct of a normal human bodily function—is a pollutant:”

    In a simple breakdown, carbon dioxide is, of course, necessary for photosynthesis. Photosynthesis produces oxygen, which animals use to break down food for energy. When animals break down food, carbon dioxide is produced and the cycle continues. So carbon dioxide is a necessary part of life on earth.

    But by burning too many fossil fuels (thus releasing more carbon dioxide in the air) and by cutting down forests (thus reducing how much carbon dioxide is used in photosynthesis), we’ve unbalanced the carbon cycle and now we have too much carbon dioxide. It is like with most things, too much of something is usually bad. Thus, we need carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but not as much as we currently have.

    • mikehaseler

      “Too much” – the reality is that we live in what should be described as a “CO2 desert” where the few species able to survive only do so because they can tolerate the extremely low levels of CO2. So, it’s no wonder that all plants thrive when CO2 levels increase or that globally harvests are at a record high because of CO2

  • mikehaseler

    As a climate sceptic I was naturally interested but quickly realised that it’s just the same tired propaganda that’s been circulating for decades whilst the world has stubbornly refused to warm.

    But then I realised that the real story here is the splits, divisions and various shenanigans in the Vatican and suddenly it really did look like news.

    I can’t wait to start reading the views from those “church” journalists who were preparing articles to coincide with the official release. I can’t believe they will be happy with all the environmentalist correspondents who have wrecked their work by jumping the gun

    Could we see all out civil war in some papers?

    • Will
    • ElRay

      the world has stubbornly refused to warm.

      OK. You can turn in your skeptic badge. Being a “skeptic” is not equivalent to just going against consensus. The data clearly shows that global temperatures have been rising. To claim otherwise is ignoring reality and that is not skepticism.

      • mikehaseler

        The earth has stubbornly refused to warm as predicted.

        Not one temperature dataset shows even the lowest predicted warming given by the IPCC in 2001.

        In real science if you have a theory which predicts something and it does not happen, then in real science it is what we real scientists call “INVALID”.

        But in this bogus “science” – it becomes the delusional “overwhelming consensus”.

        • ElRay

          You’re still playing the climate change deniers game. You’re not a skeptic by any proper use of that word.

          Models are estimates. Models are not 100% exact. Just because some old long term models are not matching today’s data to your irrationally strict tolerances is only relevant in terms of the accuracy of 10 – 15 year old models. It has no bearing on the rest of the data that supports anthropogenic warming.

          The facts are that average global temperatures have been on a steady rise. The facts are that global ocean temperatures have been on an even more rapid, steady, rise. Whether or not a particular decade plus old model accurately represents today’s data has no bearing on the FACT that global temperatures have been rising. To claim otherwise is ignorant solipsistic nonsense.

          But, that’s even less meaningful because the facts are that the models are not significantly inaccurate. You’re showing your irrational climate change denier in skeptics clothing. Here’s a decent summary for the scientifically inept/biased that you’re showing yourself to be:

          If you’re so sure it’s all bogus science, cite your EVIDENCE that proves otherwise. Cite the peer-reviewed scientific journal articles that contradict the entire body of evidence that supports anthropogenic warming. Heck, just start here: and refute everything listed that shows your claim that the models are worthless isn’t true.

          The only ones spewing bogus pseudo-science are the deniers.

          • Gillemar

            Dear ElRay, you are right that recent years are important. Sadly (or happily!) the most up-to-date, recent trend is global cooling, believe it or not! (60’s deja vu!) Borne out, I might add, by our own experience… How much snow did you shovel out of your driveway last winter? Heck of a lot more than a few years ago, I bet! And remember the recent accident of that Russian ship, carrying an Australian scientific expedition to study the retreating South polar ice? They got stuck and had to be rescued b/c the ice was not only farther out than they expected, but miles farther out even than the original maps indicated! Turns out the ice wanes and waxes, the earth warms and cools — scientists are starting to realize now that the trends are rhythmic, not continuous, and far pre-date industrialization. Basically, any effect we humans have had on global temperatures is minimal. I think that’s why they’re starting to talk about ‘climate change’ now as opposed to specifically ‘global warming.’

          • ElRay

            Again, more scientific illiteracy. There’s a difference between a short-term observation and a trend. See: , and

            Actually, we did shoveled more snow last year than this year. But again, local effects from one year to another are irrelevant. To make the claim you’re making is pure scientifically illiterate denial, or abjectly dishonest denial. Either way, your claim proves that you’re opinion regarding anthropogenic climate change flies in the face of reality.

            Also, the fact that you’re playing the “climate change” vs. “global warming” word game is further evidence you’re a scientifically illiterate denier and not a true skeptic. First off, it was the anti-scientific GOP politicians that started using the phrase “climate change” to soften the blow of “Global Warming”. Second, it’s irrelevant. The data shows a consistent warming trend. The only way to show an average temperature drop is to cherry-pick ranges of data and ignore the entire data set.

            Here’s and animated graph that should make it more clear:

            Please show where on this graph is a cooling trend.

            Also, if there is a cooling trend, please cite your evidence that it will bring us back to 1950’s levels, let alone pre-industrial era levels.

          • Gillemar

            So which data sets are important: recent ones, or long-term (decades, as your page says)? When a commenter raises the issue of the incompatibility of long term data with the models, you say it’s not fair to talk about 10 or 15 year old models, and yet more recent years are too recent for their model incompatibility to be a problem? So, if the old MODELS are too old for their inaccuracy to matter, and the new DATA is too new for its ill fit to matter, what model-data correlation do we actually have which scientifically proves global warming?

          • ElRay

            Again, more sophistry. You’re intentionally confusing a long-term prediction of a model with original data used to produce the model. Again, the accuracy of the model has no bearing on the validity of the original data.

            In addition, the claim that the models are inaccurate is another myth. Again, cite your sources that prove wrong.

            The trends are clear. To claim otherwise is lying.

            The simple fact that you keep cherry-pcking and insisting inaccuracy in the models disprove the entire body of evidence that supports anthropogenic global warming, is proof that you are too scientifically illiterate to argue against anthropogenic global warming.

          • Gillemar

            It’s not me who says the models are inaccurate. It’s climate experts like the scientists at the University of East Anglia. Call them liars if you want to, but kindly remain civil in this discussion.

            Here are a few pebbles from the mountain of scientific evidence which casts doubt on global warming:

            1) Simulations conducted in advance of the 2013–14 assessment from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggest that the warming should have continued at an average rate of 0.21 °C per decade from 1998 to 2012. Instead, the observed warming during that period was just 0.04 °C per decade, as measured by the UK Met Office in Exeter and the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in
            Norwich, UK. ( )

            2) The Pacific Ocean has been cooling since about 1998. ( ). This despite the fact that more than 90% of global warming is supposed to go into heating up the oceans ( ). Btw your scepticalscience website loves to attribute these “myths” to people like Bob Carter ( ) instead of the scientists who came up with the data (such as those mentioned in the Nature article). The fact that a non-scientist repeats what they have read does not make the facts unscientific.

            3) If we want to talk about model accuracy and climate change scientists’ credibility, how about we start with Michael Mann and the Al Gore-endorsed hockey stick graph. (
            ) The Nature article cited above also devotes a long section (right about the middle of the article) to all the controversy even among climate change scientists over a lot of “hotly contested” models.

            4) Here are some research-based graphs that plot the big picture of global temperatures:

            5) The UN says CHINA is a leader in fighting global warming (Jan 2014)??? OK, that one’s not scientific, I just had to say it! 🙂

            6) Canadian researcher Qing-Bin Lu is a classic case study of how scientists are sidelined and ridiculed when their research leads them non-global warming conclusions. (

            7) The Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change and The Heartland Institute note that “The IPCC has retreated from at least 11 alarmist claims promulgated in its previous reports or by scientists prominently associated with the IPCC. The SPM [IPCC Summary for Policymakers] also contains” at least 24 other misleading or inaccurate statements. More details here:

            8) If you prefer watching to reading, check out the BBC documentary “The Great Global Warming Swindle.”

            I could go on and on.

          • Neko

            I have to give you credit! You have the classic climate-change denialist routine down. Simulations, hockey sticks, modeling, oh my!

            Well, it can all get quite confusing for the layman, can’t it? That’s why I appreciate reading clear scholarly writing by researchers in the field instead of flim flam in blog threads, you know? For example, an article at The New York Review of Books by William D. Nordhaus, “Why the Global Warming Skeptics Are Wrong.”

            Read it for free!


          • Gillemar

            Thank you, I have saved the link you provided. I am not afraid of examining all opinions!
            Do you imply that you not a layman but a scientist? Just curious.
            I did not quote a single blog, as you would know if you had looked at the scholarly sources I linked to. Ridiculing rival science does not invalidate it.

          • Neko

            I’d think it was clear from what I wrote that I’m not a scientist. And I wasn’t referring to your links, but to familiar tropes in your post.

          • Neko

            Hey ElRay, here’s another site you might like:


            It’s maddening, isn’t it?

          • Gillemar

            I said temperatures are cyclical. I made no claims about where in the cycle we are right now relative to the 1950’s or pre-industrial times.
            It is also unscientific (cherry-picking the data?) to assume that pre-1950’s temperatures did not spike (and dip) naturally in a similar way. This old planet has lived through ice ages and ages of global jungles, and we humans had nothing to do with it!
            Btw permit me to observe that even with an average rise of a tenth of a Celcius degree a decade, it would take 100 YEARS for global temperatures to rise by an average of a single degree! You can’t even FEEL that difference when it happens in a single afternoon! The numbers we are talking about here are so miniscule that it is amazing anybody can be worried about them. It is never going to affect your life, or your children’s lives, or your great-great-grandchildren’s lives. Why are you so concerned?

          • ElRay

            Nobody is denying there are cycles. Look at the trend. There is a statically significant rise. To claim otherwise is either willful ignorance or outright lies.

            And again, you’re cherry-picking, distorting and now Gish-Galloping.

            First you claimed that since the models were used to prove global warming and the long-term predictions are not exact, then global warming is false. Then, after it was pointed out to you several times that the models don’t prove global warming, that the data does, you drop your initial claim, and now want to play the “it’s so small it’s insignificant” game, intentionally confusing the scientific use of significant with the colloquial use meaning “large”.

            Again, cite your reverences that disprove the data. You haven’t yet. You’ve only demonstrated yourself to be a cherry-picking, Gish-Galloping denier, not anybody that actually understands what they’re talking about.

            I even made it easy for you. Cite your reference that prove that global temperatures haven’t risen is not a myth. cite your references that prove that this page: is incorrect. You haven’t cited one single piece of evidence. You’ve only played solipsistic word games.

            You’ve more than demonstrated yourself to be scientifically illiterate, and choosing to remain willfully ignorant.

          • Gillemar

            Hi ElRay, did you actually read my comment? I did not even use the word significant, let alone play silly games about its meaning.
            Sorry to have been slow about detailing my scientific sources, I saved those for a separate comment in the interests of space (there are a lot of them). Judging by the Gish-Galloping accusation, you already felt I had enough arguments in one comment as it is. 🙂

          • Gillemar

            Solipsistic – “I don’t think that word means what you think it means.” LOL
            Also this scepticalscience website is starting to look like a one trick horse. With respect, you have not shown a single other source for your beliefs.

          • ElRay

            Yup, you’re right. I’m stumped now for the word I was looking for. Basically somebody who jumps around between different logical fallacies, thinking they’re actually refuting and argument. Not quite a deconstructionist, not quite a nihilist, not quite Gish-Galloping, etc.

            As for referencing Skeptical Science, it’s an easy site for the scientifically illiterate to vista and attempt to learn something.

            There’s plenty of sources on that site for anybody who actually wants to learn about the evidence. Anthropogenic global warming is what the science supports. The data is there. I have no need to re-hash all the evidence that exists. It’s not a “belief”, because that’s what the body of evidence supports.

            The deniers (they’re not skeptics, because skeptics use data, facts and logic), on the other hand, are the ones trying to disprove the consensus. They’re the ones that need to provide counter evidence and so far none of them have. Anti-anthropogenic global warming is a belief, because the data doesn’t support it.

          • Neko

            Sophistic? Never mind, well done with with your comments.

          • Gillemar

            Big words like deconstructionist, nihilist, solipsist and so on make an argument sound very imposing. Unfortunately none of these terms have the slightest bearing on the conversation. They refer to philosophical ideologies, not scientific positions or even debate tactics. Deconstructionism, for instance, is an approach you often come across in theatre and drama studies, and refers to a particular genre of literary criticism. Nihilism is the philosophical belief that existence is an illusion, or a psychiatric condition in which a person believes they do not exist. Solipsism is the opposite, the belief that the self is all that exists. When throwing all these irrelevant and contradictory terms into the discussion is your standard of scholarly literacy, it cannot help but discredit the rest of your argument or at least your implied claim to be more educated in these matters than your fellow debater.
            Regards, a university student

          • mikehaseler

            “denier” is such a childish term.

            How old are you?

          • ElRay

            As I’ve clearly pointed-out several times in this thread, they are “deniers”, because they keep denying, despite all the evidence against their beliefs. They’re not skeptics, because skeptics follow the evidence and logic wherever it goes. The Climate Change Deniers, ignore any evidence that doesn’t support their preconceived notions. They’re in the same league as Anti-Vaxers, Holocaust Deniers, Flat-Earthers, Creationists/Anti-Evolutionists, World-Wide Flood Believers, etc.

          • mikehaseler

            Those who deny climate change are denying 1billion years of the earth’s history during which the climate has constantly changed.

            Otherwise I see no point responding to your childish rantings.

      • ElRay….read what mikehaseler has to say. He’s right, you’ve been sucking too much PC coolaid.

        • ElRay

          I did read what he said. He’s playing solipsistic word games to falsely equate imperfect models with the data the models were based on being false.

          The only kook-aid drinking is by the deniers. The data shows otherwise. The scientific community says otherwise. The majority of the deniers are theists that have already demonstrated their scientific illiteracy, politicians that are using denial to boost their chances of getting re-elected and pseudo-scientific shills for petroleum and other industries. Sad thing is, most of the deniers fall into two or three of the preceding categories.

          As I said to mikehaseler, put your citations where your mouth is. Cite peer-reviewed research that disproves what’s listed here: and that the myth that the models are unreliable is actually true.

          • ElRay: I know the industry. I’m a PhD in social science, with an undergraduate in Physics, and I worked at NASA for years. The deal is how can we justify our existence, get grant money and keep our jobs. One of the subtle techniques is to mettle with the statistical assumptions which all such climate research depends. You take averages, look for trends, but since you have so little over all data you have to make grand assumptions about what data you do have. Journalists don’t read the error analysis, but just the conclusions. They want to sell newspapers and NASA needs money to stay alive as a whole…so the global warming fiasco is exaggerated so the government will give them money etc… Here’s a recent article (like many others) that explains the process and how results are manipulated in such subtle ways that only an open minded scientists would recognized the shell game. The concluding line is: ““It’s the same story all over again; the adjustments go towards cooling the past and thus increasing the slope of temperature rise,” Tisdale and Watts added. “Their intent and methods are so obvious they’re laughable.”
            Read more:

          • Neko

            Read more by Michael Bastasch at the Daily Caller…

            You mean, this Michael Bastasch?

            “Scientist Slams Daily Caller For Distorting His Research To Suggest Climate Change Is Fake”


      • Gillemar

        Consensus is only consensus when people agree about the issue. Apparently there are a lot of us out there who do not agree about this one!

        • ElRay

          Yes, a lot of ill-informed, non-scientists. There is indeed scientific consensus: Please cite your evidence to prove otherwise.

          Also, If you’re so sure that the consensus is wrong, please cite your evidence that proves all of the myths listed here: are indeed true.

          • Gillemar

            Michael Crichton, author of Jurassic Park, gave a speech at CalTech in 2003 in which he said:
            “Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the other hand, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science, consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with consensus.
            “There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.”

          • ElRay

            True. Cite your evidence that refutes the existing scientific consensus. The nonsense spewed is just that nonsense. It does not refute the existing data. You’re still playing solipsistic word games.

            Cite your evidence that proves anthropogenic warming wrong.

            Start here: At least prove the myth that there is no scientific consensus correct.

          • Gillemar

            Glad to. “Science achieves a consensus when scientists stop arguing.” ( The fact that even 3% (according to this article) of scientists are still arguing disproves the consensus, according to this definition of consensus. (Oh, and that figure relies on the number of peer-reviewed articles published, which is awkward when politically correct journals refuse to publish the findings of ‘denying’ scientists.)
            By the way there used to be a scientific “consensus” of this nature on the topic of spontaneous generation, until a couple of maverick scientists like Francesco Redi and Louis Pasteur convinced people that the scientific law was nuts.

          • ElRay

            Again, more cherry-picking and solipsism.

            First off, the claim of “politically correct journals refuse to publish the findings of ‘denying’ scientists” is pure nonsense. You’re not going to see this across the board, and definitely not for 97% of over 12,000 articles published over a decade.

            Second, there was no scientific consensus over spontaneous generation, because there was not scientific study of it prior to Pasteur. It was a philosophical proposal, without any supporting evidence, dating back to Aristotle, that was accepted as fact. As soon as there was a scientific study, and evidence disproving the claim, it rapidly fell-out of favor. This is in no way comparable to the HUGE body of evidence supporting anthropogenic climate change. Brining this up is yet another piece of solipsistic, Gish-Galloping diversion.

            As further proof of your intellectually dishonest cherry-picking, you left out facts like “A survey of 928 peer-reviewed abstracts on the subject ‘global climate change’ published between 1993 and 2003 shows that not a single paper rejected the consensus position that global warming is man caused (Oreskes 2004). ” and “Several studies have confirmed that “…the debate on the authenticity of global warming and the role played by human activity is largely nonexistent among those who understand the nuances and scientific basis of long-term climate processes”. (Doran 2009).”

            Again, CITE YOUR SOURCES that prove the myth that there is no consensus is actually correct. You have yet to cite any sources that prove any of your points.

            You’ve more than demonstrated yourself to be scientifically illiterate, and that you are choosing to remain willfully ignorant.

          • Gillemar

            You are entitled to your rose-tinted opinions about journal editors’ goodwill and objectivity. Those of us who have come across many instances of such PC pressure on scientists (not just in this field) are less generous in our assessment.

            Similar to spontaneous generation, global warming is a political proposal, without any real evidence (there are tons of examples of IPCC’s and climate change scientists’ intellectual dishonesty and double standards), that is accepted as fact. There is huge money in green industry and global warming has the backing of nearly every major head of state at Kyoto, Copenhagen, etc., not to mention personalities like Al Gore and David Suzuki, who talk the talk but do not walk the walk. As soon as it becomes more profitable to support global cooling than global warming, the flip-flops will announce some stunning new revelation that “we had it all wrong but NOW this is definitely what everybody should believe…” LOL.

            To be credible for extrapolation purposes, a study must have a fairly large sample size. I am surprised you would focus on the survey of merely 928 (why such a specific small number, I wonder?) abstracts when by your own claim over 12,000 articles on the topic were published in that time. The second quote measures global warming support in totally unquantifiable and therefore unscientific terms. How does on define “those who understand the nuances and scientific basis of long-term climate processes”?

            Did you read the comment where I DID cite eight bullet points of authoritative examples and said I could go on and on?

            FYI you will boost your image as a promoter of scientific literacy if you don’t just rely on one (condescending and unreliable at that) website.
            I am happy to discuss the issue with anyone who is interested in a serious discussion (and who will address my sources instead of saying that they are still waiting for citations), but this does not appear to be the case, so cheerio!

  • George Kafantaris

    The Pope nailed it: We don’t have the luxury to get it wrong on climate change.

    • …even if the Pope is channeling its mistakes with Galileo???? The earth is more robust that this pope understand science.

  • Is it still ex cathedra if it’s leaked early? Maybe there will be changes made?

    • Encyclicals are not ex cathedra. Read up on the concept.

  • ElRay

    Is the Pope infallible or not? Catholic doctrine says he is.

    • Encyclicals are not infallible. And it’s a good thing on this one. It’s a Galileo moment for the Church. The teachings may be infallible, but encyclicals do not defining doctrine.

  • If the final copy of the encyclical blames man for so called global warning, the encyclical will be a prime example of another Galileo moment, which I had assumed the Church would have learned by now to stay away from.

  • Gillemar

    All due respect, Pope Francis should stick to running the Church and let science (real science, not Photo Op Night with Al Gore) run global warming out of town.