June 1, 2017 (Steven O’Reilly) – Under President Trump, the United States will now exit the Paris accord on climate change. This is excellent news for the country and the American worker. Yet, word comes via Crux that Argentine Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, says such a policy change by President Trump would be a “slap” in the face of this Pope. From the Crux article, we read the following:
One of Pope Francis’s closest collaborators in the Vatican’s fight against climate change has called President Donald Trump’s reported plan to pull out of the Paris accord a “disaster” and a “slap in the face for the Vatican.”
Argentine Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, said that if Trump takes the United States out of the Paris deal, signed in Dec. 2015, “it would be a disaster for everyone. There’s little else to comment on.”
Sorondo is quoted by the Italian newspaper La Repubblica coming back from a summit at the United Nations devoted to climate change.
“I don’t know what Trump spoke about with the pope,” Sorondo said. “I don’t believe, however, that the conversation was very detailed on climate. I know, however, that the President of the United States spoke about this in the conversation he had with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state.”
In that sense, the bishop said, Trump pulling out of the accords would be “a slap in the face also for us,” referring to the Vatican.
Let me get this straight. The President speaks to Pope Francis and Cardinal Parolin a couple of weeks ago, and somehow that should cause the President of the United States to discard his own views on climate policy in favor of theirs? This a “a slap in the face” to the Vatican? What hubris! How dare Trump not share the Vatican’s policy view on the climate after hearing them directly from the Pope! Did the Pope and Cardinal think they were that persuasive? Good grief. At least the Pope will not have to wait for President Trump to answer a dubia from him. The Pope, at least, recieved a decisive response. Unfortunately, this “climate change” fiasco is instructive as to the nature of this pontificate and the counsel which this pope surrounds himself.
For many Catholics who care about the Church, the sad reality this anecdote reveals is as follows. The Pope – moonlighting as an NGO policy wonk – can muster the drive, determination, and sense of responsibility to unequivocally advocate and politic for policies, binding on mankind, to combat “climate change.” Yet, he cannot seem to muster even a smidgen of the responsibility requisite for his day job, as Successor to Peter, to “confirm the brethren” with regard to the ongoing confusion over Amoris Laetitia. Amoris Laetitia, depending on the bishop or conference one references, either does or does not allow communion for the divorced and remarried. The same exhortation allows Cardinal Mueller, the pope’s Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to decry the fact there are opposing interpretations of it in play, while it also allows Cardinal Schonborn, the pope’s unofficial interpreter of the exhortation, to seemingly suggest various interpretations of it are a good thing. Amoris Laetitia is a masterpiece of doctrinal ambiguity and confusion. If Salvador Dali had been a pope, Amoris Laetitia would have been his Exhortation – a written form of one of his paintings (e.g., the melting clocks)…imagine the texts of Familiaris Consortio, the Catechism and of the Council of Trent hanging limply over a barren branch, or melting off of a coffee table. Amoris Laetitia.
Sadly, what I once noted with regard to the US bishops on climate change (“The Road to Hell is Traveled by Bishops in a Prius“), pretty much applies to the Vatican of this age. It is easy to talk about climate change – the political, social and media elites love it! The benefit of opposing “climate change” is that it takes absolutely zero moral courage to do so, while allowing one to exert maximum moral outrage. Unfortunately, it is a movement that makes one sanctimonious, not saintly. I am sure that will offend my parish’s “Green Team” (yes – eye roll – we do have one). Thankfully, the Lord did not give up the doctrine of Eucharist (cf John 6) after hearing that some of the disciples thought it a “hard teaching.” He didn’t go running after them, “wait, okay, it is hard…so, instead, I have some climate change here for you instead!” or “Did I say ‘adultery’. . .I meant to say ‘irregular relationship!'” But, this is what we have in many of today’s successors of the apostles. A limp-wristed lot, for the most part. Jiminy Cricket. . .out of the entire College of Cardinals, only four Cardinals addressed the Pope on the question of Amoris Laetitia!
As with climate change, the Pope speaks frequently and favorably about Muslim immigration into Europe, even while the threats to Europeans have significantly increased. This is clear to anyone with an iota of rational thought in their head – or just a television and a remote control. We must face the truth. This is not a pope with the common sense or courage to have sent the Holy League’s fleet to Lepanto to defend Christendom – indeed, Pope Francis might have sent the fleet to bring back Muslim “refugees” (i.e., invaders)! We recently marked the anniversary of the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman hordes on May 29, 1453. Had Pope Francis been in that great city at the time and talked his nonsensical tripe about “not building walls,” the defenders would have happily tossed him over the wall to the raucous applause of the city’s besieged populace. The dangers to the Church and western civilization are grave. Unfortunately, Pope Francis is not up to the challenge. He is the pope for whom his time will never come.
The Pope often beats up on “rigid” Catholics. But, I thought Peter was supposed to be “rigid,” at least rigid like a rock. The Pope and bishops need to stop worrying about global warming, climate warming, or whatever, and start worry about eternal warming. Forget political causes. . .teach the Faith! Yet, while we get papal firmness (dare we say rigidity?) on climate, immigration, and other causes over which there may be reasonable, prudential disagreement; we then get papal equivocation and fuzziness on communion for the divorced and remarried, and apparently commissions studying matters once thought settled, such as Humanae Vitae and the question of ‘deaconesses.’ Given the Pope’s political and theological agenda, one cannot help but wonder if the motto of this pontificate should have more aptly been: “Climate change bad. Doctrinal change good.”