Pope Spurs Colorado Catholics To Discuss Climate Change

June 18, 2015
Photo: Pope Benedict (AP)
Pope Francis delivers his speech during his weekly general audience, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, June 17, 2015.

A 184-page message the Vatican released Thursday should get Colorado Catholics talking about their role in addressing climate change. That's the conclusion of Jerry Kotas, a board member with Colorado Interfaith Power and Light--a nonprofit focused on environmental issues across religions.

“What I think the impact of this encyclical will have is that it will really cause that conversation to happen in many more congregations--not only in Archdiocese of Denver, but probably in many other faith communities as well,” he says.  

In his encyclical, Pope Francis called for sweeping changes to politics and individual lifestyles to confront global warming.

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"Those who possess more resources and economic or political power seem mostly to be concerned with masking the problems or concealing their symptoms," Francis wrote of the impact of climate change in the encyclical titled "Laudato Si," or "Praise Be."

He called on humanity to collectively acknowledge a "sense of responsibility for our fellow men and women upon which all civil society is founded." And he wrote that climate change "represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day."

Environmental groups praised the Pope for stressing many of the points they have made for years. Critics say the Pope is outside of his field of expertise.