WASHINGTON — Pope Francis’ call for dramatic action on climate change drew a round of shrugs from congressional Republicans this week, while a number of the party’s presidential candidates ignored it entirely.

“I don’t want to be disrespectful, but I don’t consider him an expert on environmental issues,” said Texas Rep. Joe Barton, a senior Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee, in a comment echoed by others in his party.

Even Capitol Hill’s Catholic Republicans, despite their religion’s reverence for the holy father, seemed unmoved by his urgent plea to save the planet. The reactions suggested that the pontiff’s desire to translate his climate views into real action to combat greenhouse gases could fall flat, at least as far as the American political system is concerned.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, a Catholic who invited the pontiff to address Congress later this year, said the pope is not afraid to challenge thinking on various issues.

“I respect his right to speak out on these important issues,” Boehner said, but he demurred when asked whether Pope Francis’ views, made public in an encyclical released Thursday, might spur legislative action by the Republicans who run Congress.

“There’s a lot of bills out there. I’m not sure where in the process these bills may be,” Boehner said.

Pope Francis is scheduled to address lawmakers in September in the first speech by a pontiff to Congress.

In the encyclical, a landmark foray by the Vatican into the area of environmental policy, Pope Francis called for a bold cultural revolution, framing climate change as an urgent moral issue and blaming global warming on an unfair, fossil fuel-based industrial model that harms the poor most. He urged people of every faith to save God’s creation for future generations.

Francis enjoyed a 70 percent popularity rating in a poll by the Pew Research Center earlier this year; Congress, by contrast, routinely polls in the teens.