Bruce It's the irony, and it's like this: The Church has been riddicled too many time in the past (denigrating its moral authority), by the non-republicans ( and I am now using terminology similar to the poster's own terminology). So, for me to now take a non-republican endorsement of the pope as anything other than being opportunistic when he/they suddenly start quoting the self-same object of their former riddicule, is rather difficult.
There are certainly many other authorities the poster may have sited and still gotten the point accross. Afterall, it's not as if the pope is a climatologist or anything, why should anyone, including republicans, listen to any non-spiritual commentary the pope espouses?
Conversely, if the poster believes that the pope is indeed such a reliable leader as to be worth quoting and be listenened to by one and all for guidance, why then limit the pope's authority to only AGW. Why not extend his authority to other matters like abortions as well?
Would the poster ever quote the pope on moral dogma to democrats? Somehow I doubt that he would. Shall we then infer that the pope only makes sense on matters to which the poster and democrats wish him to make sense, or only when he seems to buck republicans?
From the direct reference to "republicans" in the comment, one would suspect that the author is a democrat, and as with other democrats he may have tended to be historically dismissive of much of The Church's dogma.
In any case I believe that the pope is less likely to sway republicans (or anyone else for that matter), than would a scientist who does not act or sound like he/she has an ulterior leftist agenda in tow, such as knee-jerk opposition to nuclear power.
I say this because that is how I personally came to terms with the reality of AGW. I feel certain that I can persuade most unconvinced conservative lawmakers if I got a chance to talk to them in a non-threatening and non ideological manner. AGW endangers us all after all.