“The church has gotten it wrong a few times on science, and I think that we probably are better off leaving science to the scientists,” he told the pope. “I think when we get involved with controversial political and scientific theories, then I think the church is probably not as forceful and credible. And I’ve said this to the bishops many times when they get involved in agriculture policy or things like that, that are really outside the scope of what the church’s main message is.”Despite what the linked article says, this isn't a stupid point. It's also not limited to global-warming/climate-change arguments. It's a generalized approach to the relationship between the Church and science that isn't foolish. If God is the author of the world, then finding out about the world is a way to know something about God by knowing something about his works. It would be irreligious to bias that process, as if trying to tell God how he had to have set things up.
It turns out the Pope probably agrees with that sentiment: he has a Master's degree in chemistry, and was a working chemist in his youth.
Being a scientist means that you have to embrace the fact that you don’t know everything. That you need to be constantly searching for the truth. It’s hard to stay humble as Pope in the extravagant confines of the Vatican. But from all accounts, the new Pope has humility in spades. He lived in an apartment rather than the Archbishop’s palace. He traveled by bus rather than chauffeured limousine. Humility makes one open to change – and change is something that the Church desperately needs now.That seems to be the considered opinion of every generation. They forget, or perhaps simply reject, that part of the function of the Church is to restrain passion in favor of proven virtue. If your change is right, it will eventually win the day. But it will have to test itself and prove its rightness against a bulwark of wisdom that has done the same, in its time. Many passionately-believed ideas arise, flourish an hour, and then perish. Many such are flourishing right now. Some of them may prove out, but many such ideas will fade in popularity once their consequences become better known.