Bishop and Cardinal in row over climate change

In Australia this week, the Anglican general synod in Canberra has passed a canon “recognising that climate change was a serious threat to present and future generations and seeking to reduce the environmental footprint of the church and its agencies,” according to The Age. But what’s more curious about the matter of climate change is the public argument going on between the Anglican bishop of Canberra, George Browning, and the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, George Pell.

Bishop Browning, the world’s top Anglican environmental spokesman, and Cardinal Pell had a sharp exchange on Wednesday after Bishop Browning said the cardinal was out of step with his church and made no sense on global warming.

Cardinal Pell replied that radical environmentalists needed no help from church leaders to impose their agenda by fear, and that church leaders should be allergic to nonsense.

Yesterday Bishop Browning said the challenge was serious because the issue was so important. “The moral consequences of climate change are of such an order that the church cannot remain outside the debate, and cannot do other than want to be part of the solution.”

Bishop Browning said on Wednesday that Cardinal Pell’s contribution as Catholic leader was muted because of his environmental stance. “I frankly don’t know where he’s coming from or why he says what he does.”

Cardinal Pell said he was sceptical about extravagant claims of impending man-made climatic catastrophes and that uncertainties on climate change abounded.

With the passing of the canon, Browning challenged Pell to participate in a public debate on the issues at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney.

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