RickSantorum

Rick Santorum

Rick Santorum, one of the Republican Party’s most recent entrants to the 2016 presidential race, issued some sharp words to the pope about climate change, saying in no uncertain terms the state of the atmosphere ought to be left to scientists, rather than religious leaders, to decipher.

“I understand and I sympathize and I support completely the pope’s call for us to do more to create opportunities for people to be able to rise in society and to care for the poor,” Santorum said, during an interview with WPHT.

His comments come as the pope – who has a master’s degree in chemistry – is preparing an encyclical that presses for action to combat climate change, based on moral arguments, the Huffington Post reported.

Get the hottest, most important news stories on the Internet – delivered FREE to your inbox as soon as they break! Take just 30 seconds and sign up for WND’s Email News Alerts!

Santorum also said he’s a “huge fan of his” and embraced the pope’s call for a healthier world. But when it comes to the environment and matters of climate change, the pope should back off, Santorum said.

“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 said, Raw Story reported.

Santorum, who’s Catholic, said the church is much better positioned to focus on “theology and morality,” rather than global warming or climate change.

“I think when we get involved with controversial political and scientific theories, then I think the church is probably not as forceful and credible,” he said. “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 of the scope of what the church’s main message is.”

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.