As Pope Francis advances his call to action against climate change and dependence on fossil fuels, some in the flock are faced with a dilemma.
Many U.S. Catholic churches and institutions lease land out to oil and gas companies—and make good money doing it. County documents reveal that dioceses in Texas and Oklahoma have signed 235 leases in oil and gas since 2010, according to Reuters. The pope made a formal call to action in June, saying, "There is an urgent need to develop policies so that, in the next few years, the emission of carbon dioxide and other highly polluting gases can be drastically reduced, for example, substituting for fossil fuels and developing sources of renewable energy."
But at St. Gregory's University, the only Catholic university in Oklahoma, the quandary goes beyond possibly defying the pope's position on climate change. It's also a question of whether to help pay tuition for students who otherwise may not be able to afford it.