When the world first witnessed Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s ascendance to the papacy, it was obvious that the first ever Pope from the Americas was sure to enact new reforms to revitalize the message of the Catholic Church. Sure enough, Pope Francis began to speak out against problems in the Catholic Church, such as the numerous child sex abuse scandals concerning prominent clerics. Pope Francis also advocated a message of humility and contentedness when addressing concerns over the fact that various bishops and cardinals used church money to purchase expensive attire. The Pope has also expressed concern over poverty and human trafficking, both of which pose a solid threat to our world today. For his efforts in trying to address the numerous social problems that people face, Pope Francis was named as TIME Magazine’s 2013 Person of the Year. Yet, the pope continues his efforts to unite people in the name of peace and love today.
Across the world, many believe that The Big Bang and The Theory of Evolution are a reasonable explanation for the formation of the universe and the existence of the myriad of animals we see today. Historically, the church has backed creationism and intelligent design, which support the belief that God created the universe and all life on Earth according to his design. Pope Francis attempted to bridge the divide between these two theories when he spoke at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on Oct. 27, 2014. The Pope stated,”The Big Bang, that is placed today at the origin of the world, does not contradict the divine intervention but exacts it. The evolution in nature is not opposed to the notion of Creation, because evolution presupposes the creation of beings that evolve.” His statement expresses support for the scientific aspects of Creation and Evolution while simultaneously preserving the belief that there was a divine part in the process. Pope Francis has shown a willingness to acknowledge scientific theories and I congratulate him for that.
Additionally, Pope Francis has also been seen as a strong supporter of the Theory of Climate Change. In May, he argued that Catholics must,”Safeguard Creation. Because if we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us! Never forget this!” Pope Francis also spoke at the Lima, Peru Climate Change conference in December and said,” that the time to find global solutions is running out.” By expressing this viewpoint, he earned the ire of many fundamentalist climate-change deniers, who deny that climate change and global warming are man-made problems. However, he has gained the support of renowned scientists like Bill Nye and Dr. Neil Degrasse-Tyson, along with many moderates who support his message of global cooperation to solve this problem. The pope is set to release a papal encyclical, or announcement, to the 1.2 billion Catholics of the world concerning the future ecological impact of climate change and why it is necessary to prevent the problem from becoming more serious than it already is.