Excerpted From The Washington Examiner: Pope Francis’s landmark message on climate change failed to convince conservative members of the Catholic faith that taking action against global warming is a moral imperative, according to a study issued Monday.
The pope’s thoughts instead may have pushed more people away from his message than increased their acceptance of it, the study from the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center concluded.
“While Pope Francis’s environmental call may have increased some individuals’ concerns about climate change, it backfired with conservative Catholics and non-Catholics, who not only resisted the message but defended their pre-existing beliefs by devaluing the pope’s credibility on climate change,” said Texas Tech professor Nan Li, lead author of the study.
The study found that 62 percent of Democratic Catholics accepted the science of climate change well in advance of the pope’s 2015 encyclical on the subject. Twenty-four percent of Catholic Republicans believed climate change was occurring when the the statement on it was made. Those differences only became more pronounced after the climate encyclical was issued by the pope. Keep reading