This past September, Pope Francis held a World Day of Prayer that was almost entirely dedicated to the global problem of climate change. On Thursday, surrounded by plants that will surely die in the White House’s Rose Garden, unpopular President Trump announced that the United States would be pulling out of the Paris Climate agreement. A short while before Trump’s official statement, Reuters reported on Vatican Bishop Marcelo Sanchez’s feelings about the reports that the United States was going to do just this.

“If he really does (pull out), it would be a huge slap in the face for us,” said Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, head of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, which has hosted numerous international conferences on climate change.

“It will be a disaster for everyone,” he told the Rome newspaper La Repubblica. In a telephone call with Reuters, Sanchez Sorondo confirmed the comments in the newspaper.

Well, he has pulled out and it is a slap in the face.

Sanchez Sorondo said he believed the U.S. oil lobby was behind the decision and that the industry had “maneuvered” Trump.

A withdrawal “would not only be a disaster but completely unscientific,” he said. “Saying that we need to rely on coal and oil is like saying that the earth is not round. It is an absurdity dictated by the need to make money.”

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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