Naomi Klein at the Vatican

Religion News Service reports: Anti-capitalism activist Naomi Klein on Wednesday praised Pope Francis for standing up to Republicans who are warring against environmentalists, as the Vatican continues its battle against climate change with a high-level conference at the Holy See.

“I do believe that given the attacks that are coming from the Republican Party and fossil fuel interests in the U.S. it was a particularly courageous decision to invite me here,” Klein, who lives in Canada, told journalists at the Vatican. “It indicates that the Holy See is not being intimidated and knows that when you say powerful truths, you make some powerful enemies.”

A high-profile campaigner who identifies herself as “a secular Jewish feminist,” Klein arrived at the Vatican on Wednesday ahead of a two-day climate change conference. The “People and Planet First” meeting brings together top Vatican officials and laypeople, including scientists and civil society activists, to discuss the pope’s environmental encyclical released in June.

Klein’s comments on Republicans follow the release last month of a Pew Research survey that found that of 51 percent of Republican Catholics who believe the Earth is warming, only 24 percent believe it is caused by human activity. Comparatively, 85 percent of Catholic Democrats believe in global warming and 62 percent of those said it’s a man-made problem.

But climate change denial could change with the pope’s September visit to the U.S., during which he will address Congress, Klein said: “This could mean real trouble for American politicians who are counting on using the Bible as cover for their opposition to climate action.” [Continue reading…]

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