Says Nate Silver: "The institution of the Catholic Church is often unpopular with liberals for its position on issues like family planning, but it can also be a force for social progress." He cites data showing that Catholics have more progressive views on global warming than other groups. Sure, hooray Catholics, but I don't know if the Church deserves any credit.
People should be careful about crediting the views of lay Catholics to the Church hierarchy (or blaming lay Catholics for the views in the church hierarchy). Here's Gallup showing us that Catholics have basically the same abortion and stem cell views as everybody else. Given the extent to which lay Catholics make up their own minds regardless of what the Church hierarchy says, I don't know if the global warming results can be credited to its good position on those issues.
If I was looking for moral guidance on some issue or other, I'd trust some random Catholic guy or gal off the streets of Boston long before I'd trust Benedict XVI. I wonder if any ordinary Catholics out there are upset about the way the Pope flies around like some kind of Holy Roman Vampire, draining them of their credit for good deeds and using it to energize himself for more wicked schemes.