The Church claims special authority to speak only about matters concerning faith and morals, but also asks Catholics (and all those of good will) to consider its arguments about other matters. Though it isn’t a question of faith or morals, the Church clearly and overwhelmingly sides with the scientists who argue that climate change is happening. Pope Benedict has written about this numerous times, and especially because of his focus on ecological concerns in Caritas in Veritate he is now being called “The Green Pope.”
On a moral level, the pope asks each of us to radically question our own consumerist lifestyles and have a concern for others first — and not just those that exist today, but also for future generations. He calls this “intergenerational solidarity.” Every time we decide to consume something it is a moral act; and at least if we care about imitating the life of Jesus, we need to think hard about how our acts affect others — both those who are currently living and those yet to be born — especially the most vulnerable, who are hurt most deeply by the destruction of the environment.
From Charles C. Camosy and the Busted Halo Question Box.