The Catholic Church has been plunged into political controversy over climate change, with Pope Francis demanding swift action from world leaders to hear ''the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.'' Jillian Kitchener reports.
Pope Francis says it's time to act to save the planet from environmental destruction. In his encyclical, the first papal document dedicated to the environment, the Pope calls for "decisive action, here and now," to stop environmental degradation and global warming. But it's a highly controversial document. Conservatives are attacking the Pope for backing scientists who say climate change is mostly man-made. Vatican journalist, Marco Politi: (SOUNDBITE) (English) VATICAN JOURNALIST FOR NEWSPAPER IL FATTO QUOTIDIANO MARCO POLITI SAYING "Certainly there are enemies against Pope Francis within the church and outside of the church and especially now we see some political circles or business circles who say that the church has not to deal with such issues..." Eastern Orthodox Metropolitan John Zizioulas disagrees. He says ecological degradation is a spiritual problem: (SOUNDBITE) (English) EASTERN ORTHODOX METROPOLITAN JOHN ZIZIOULAS SAYING: "The church must now introduce in its teachings about sin, the sin against the environment, the ecological sin. Repentance must be extended to cover also the damage we do to nature both as individuals and as societies." And it's wealthy societies that bear the brunt of the Pope's criticism. He's calling for a lifestyle change in their (quote) "throwaway" consumer culture.