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Hosannas to Pope Francis ! He is emerging as the greatest leader in the world. A genuine champion of the poor (why he chose Francis as his papal name) and big promotor of interfaith dialogue, his latest encyclical contains a brilliant concise statement of the environmental, political, economic and moral meltdown we’re undergoing. He gets it : Global warming is mainly caused by human activities, richer countries owe an ecological debt to developing countries whose resources they are extracting and ecosystems they are devastating; He rejects the contention of proponents of this “structurally perverse” relationship that economic growth alone can solve global hunger and poverty and restore the environment. They have “a magical conception of the market.” Every activity that affects nature has to take into account the fundamental rights of the poor and the underprivileged. Unethical consumerism has fuelled a level of consumption that allows environmental degradation to continue. Humanity needs to make a dramatic moral change before we fall victim to our unrestrained delusions of grandeur. Sign me up ! I am not a Catholic or an afficionado of organized religion in general, but this man is a sophisticated and compassionate thinker, he really comes across as someone who is trying to do what he can for the world and mankind and is not out for himself or his own glory. And what he could do could be a lot. He could be the man of the hour, the voice the world needs to listen to.

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