Pope Francis has been making numerous headlines in recent months by revealing a new approach and attitude on key issues like creationism, women’s role in the catholic church, the bible, homosexuality, and divorce. His recent selection of 20 new cardinals from very diverse backgrounds signals a very strong out with the old and in with the new mentality which seems to be at the core of his mindset. Stating that “God is not afraid of new things” and going on to speak about the Catholic church’s changing views on these topics has disappointed some conservative traditionalists, but appears to be effectively starting the process of navigating the Catholic church in to a more modern era.
Most recently, Pope Francis stated that he would be releasing an encyclical (Catholic doctrine letter) on climate change and human ecology. Indications are that this encyclical, which will make its way to all Catholic bishops, priests, and eventually parishioners, will urge action on climate change and preserving the earth. During the Peru climate change conference Pope Francis had stated that the time to find global solutions is running out. While it remains to be seen what exactly the doctrine says, it is refreshing to see someone with influence of over 1.2 billion people publicly bringing forward modern views on numerous important topics.