Funny, isn't it? Right-wingers tend to be just fine with religion dictating politics, as long as it's their own religion. The separation of church and state? No such thing, right? Well, not when it comes to their religion, at least.
But even when it's their own religion, it has to be their own politics, too. Even for Catholics, the Pope needs to keep his nose out of climate science (and into birth control, gay marriage, abortion, and wherever else right-wing Catholics want him).
Clearly, religion is what they use to browbeat other people to their way of thinking. And they're faith-based, so they're going to believe whatever they want to believe, even when the 'infallible' head of their own church says otherwise. It really is pretty funny.
On the Pope's side, this still demonstrates the problem with faith-based thinking. Remember in school, when you were taking a multiple-choice test? If you just guessed at the answers, you'd get some of them right. However, that didn't mean that guessing was the best way to determine the right answer.
It's the same way here. The Pope got this one right - and I'm very glad of that - but he's still wrong, wrong, wrong about many other things because his mechanism for determining right from wrong is... well, pretty much nonexistent. Faith is indistinguishable from delusion and wishful-thinking, and so it's a terrible way of separating reality from fantasy.
Liberal Christians get many more things right than the Pope does, but faith is still a terrible way of determining the truth of anything. We need to listen to science on scientific matters, because science is evidence-based. Science has clear mechanisms for separating reality from delusion and wishful-thinking.
(And it's absolutely hilarious hearing right-wing Republicans claim that we need to leave science to the scientists when they reject the scientific consensus themselves. Hell, I would love it if Republicans actually left science to the scientists. The whole problem is that they don't.)
Finally, that last part - Exxon sending a lobbyist to the Vatican - is the perfect encapsulation of what's wrong with our world, don't you think? Big Oil sending a lobbyist to convince a religious leader to change his mind about a scientific issue? How does it get any more ridiculous than that?
I have a radical suggestion: When it comes to scientific issues, let's listen to the worldwide consensus of scientists working in their own field of expertise. Too extreme for you? Well, I did say it was radical, didn't I? :)
Instead, I'm sure we'll continue with this model: