Rudd attacks Pell over climate change

Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has launched a stinging attack on Cardinal George Pell’s views on climate change.

In a lecture, Mr Rudd said the cardinal needed an “ecological conversion”.

This was a phrase used by Pope Francis in Laudato Si’.

Mr Rudd said the Cardinal’s view that the Church should stay out of politics and climate change policy was deeply at odds with the ethical imperative to protect the environment as well contradictory of Pope Francis’s views.

“The Pope says the science on climate change is sufficiently clear. Cardinal Pell says it is not and further that the purported science is without foundation,” Mr Rudd said.

Cardinal Pell has previously said that the Church has “no particular expertise in science” and “no mandate from the Lord to pronounce on scientific matters”.

Mr Rudd said Cardinal Pell’s comments were illogical.

“To contend that a necessary prerequisite for engagement in these ethical debates in the public square is to be a professionally qualified climate scientist . . . would render his own contribution to these debates null and void, as Cardinal Pell is qualified in none,” he said.

Mr Rudd said Christians should not be prevented from forming ethical views on public policy just because they don’t have a science degree.

He added that climate change was the “greatest moral challenge of our time”.

In Laudato Si’, the Pope took aim at “committed and prayerful” Christians who “ridicule expressions of concern for the environment” using “realism and pragmatism” as an excuse.

“What they all need is an ecological conversion,” the Pope said.

“Perhaps the Pope had Cardinal Pell in mind when this paragraph was written,” Mr Rudd suggested on Tuesday.


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