NYT Eagerly Cites Pope on Climate Change, Cheers His 'Blistering Criticism of 21st-Century Capitalism'

June 19th, 2015 4:24 PM

Strange new religious respect: The formal release of Pope Francis's long-anticipated encyclical on global warming dominated Friday's New York Times, which avidly covered it from both environmental and religious angles -- quite unlike the paper's hostile treatment of the Vatican's stands on abortion and birth control.

Laurie Goodstein's news article made the front page: "In Footsteps of Popes Seeking Worldly Change." Goodstein, the paper's chief religion correspondent, seemed to thoroughly enjoy seeing political conservatives "fuming" about the document's hard critiques of capitalism, just like they did in the bad old unregulated days of capitalism, while breathing not a word about the encyclical's condemnation of abortion:

When an elderly Pope Leo XIII released a document in 1891 on the rights of workers to unionize and of owners to hold private property, European capitalists and socialists alike cried foul. Why should we listen, they fumed, to a pope’s pronouncements on economics and politics?

Now, 124 years later, Pope Francis has set off an uproar over his document on the environment and the threat of climate change, an encyclical released Thursday called "Laudato Si' ," or "Praise Be to You: On Care for Our Common Home."

Once again industrialists, politicians and critics are fuming, contending that the pope should stick to religion and stop meddling in matters in which he has no competence.