Pope Francis, unsurprisingly given the name he has chosen, devoted quite a bit of time to the environment in his inaugural homily.
We shall have to see whether the conclusions drawn by this reporter (for Religion News) reflect his own biases or is indeed what the pontiff does have in mind.
The pope’s homily was striking for its repeated references to environmental protection, highlighting what is likely to be a central theme of his papacy and setting up the 76-year-old pope as a leading activist against climate change.
The reporter is engaged in wishful thinking. Look at the totality of the pope’s inaugural homily and you will see that his concern for the environment is actually a concern for “creation” — there is a lengthy passage where he speaks about natural law and that true concern for creation is not simply taking care of the earth but involves the quest for truth, living in accord with natural law ethics, and avoiding relativism. While this pope is certainly different when it comes to style and presentation, nothing in his statements thus far indicates that he is going to deviate from the basic approach that Catholicism has taken since end of the reign of Paul VI. There has been a very consistent approach by the last three popes (John Paul I, John Paul II, Benedict XVI) to dealing with the basic crisis of modernity affecting the Church. I very much doubt that Francis will deviate in substance with that approach.