Earth & Conservation

How Powerful Is The Vatican?

Recently, a number of terrorist threats have been directed at the Vatican and the city of Rome. So, can the Vatican protect itself? How powerful is the Vatican?

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The Vatican Calls On Politicians, Civilians to Act on Climate Change

Earlier this week, the Vatican hosted a summit titled Protect the Earth, Dignify Humanity, focusing on climate change and poverty. Among attendees was the UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, who delivered a keynote address. Another major speaker was Cardinal Peter Turkson, a top Vatican official, who made the case that an ever-growing use of fossil fuels is hurting the earth on an "almost unfathomable scale."

Mr. Turkson's remarks are part of the Pope's ongoing mission to bring attention to the connection between the environment and socioeconomic troubles. His appeal to confront our environmental impact will likely be echoed in Pope Francis' much-anticipated encyclical on the environment, which will be released in June. Encyclicals are authoritative doctrines historically sent only to bishops, but, in the past 50 years, have been distributed to the general public. They establish the Church's official stance on issues and are not to be criticized.

Mr. Ban said that the encyclical, combined with the Pope's upcoming speeches before the UN general assembly and a joint session of the U.S. Congress, would help the world do more to tackle climate change. Activists who attended the summit hoped it would build more momentum to influence the next round of international negotiations on greenhouse gas emissions. That conference will take place in Paris in November.

Learn More:

ISIS vow to take over Rome and 'throw homosexuals off of your leaning tower of PIZZA' (Daily Mail)
"Hapless Islamic State militants have vowed online to take over Rome - and 'throw homosexuals off the leaning tower of pizza.'"

Vatican City State (The Vatican)
"Vatican City State was founded following the signing of the Lateran Pacts between the Holy See and Italy on February 11th 1929."

Church or State? The Holy See at the United Nations (The Center for Research on Population and Security)
"The Roman Catholic Church is uniquely positioned to influence international deliberation on a wide range of issues, including population, family planning, and women's rights."

U.S. Relations With the Holy See (U.S. Department of State)
"The Holy See is the universal government of the Catholic Church and operates from Vatican City State, a sovereign, independent territory."