It looks like Pope Francis has embraced think tanks so much that he decided to create a couple of his own.
Here is more from Jason Berry in the Global Post:
And drawing down Rome's propensity for theological battles of scant interest to most Catholics, Francis rejuvenated two offices that had been around for years: the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Peace and Justice. He has turned them into think tanks for a church looking outward at the wider world.
Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana runs Peace and Justice, and guided the drafting of the ecology encyclical.
Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo of Argentina runs Sciences, and oversaw this month's conference with the mayors on climate change.
Think Tank Watch should note that the official English name for the above-mentioned "think tank" is the Pontifical Council of Peace and Justice. A link to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences can be found here.
Here is a previous Think Tank Watch post on how one think tank sought to block the Pope's climate encyclical.
Think Tank Watch has heard rumors that Pope Francis may visit at least one think tank when he visits Washington, DC later this year. Is American Enterprise Institute (AEI) a likely courter?