A crack unit of climate deniers, including the great James Delingpole (remember him?) and the possibly even greater Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, has been sent to accompany Joseph Bast, President of the Heartland Institute, to the Vatican. There they hope to persuade the Pope that climate change is a hoax, or not a big deal, or something.
This is because the Pope is about to release an encyclical which is rumoured to claim that climate change is not a hoax, and is actually quite a big deal.
I expect they will be warmly welcomed, as Monckton at least used to be very clear about his respect for the church's vital role in adjudicating scientific disputes. Here he is in 2010:
"Perhaps, therefore, no one should be allowed to practice in any of the sciences, particularly in those sciences that have become the mere political footballs of the leading pressure-groups, unless he can certify that he adheres to one of those major religions – Christianity outstanding among them – that preach the necessity of morality, and the reality of the distinction between that which is so and that which is not. For science without the morality that perhaps religion alone can give is nothing."
Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, 2010
Strong stuff. But it appears the Pope’s activism has caused Monckton to have a Damascene conversion. Here he is this week:
“The main reason, Your Holiness, of why we are here today, is it is not the business of the church to stray from the field of faith and morals and wonder into the playground that is science… it is not the business of the church to pronounce on science.”
Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, 2015
Of course, if the Pope were to show a bit of humility and just admit that he's wrong, I think Monckton would welcome him back into the magisterium with open arms. There is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents...