Vatican frets over Trump climate stance
VATICAN leaders who are confidants of Pope Francis have expressed their dismay regarding reports that US President Donald Trump will pull the US out of the Paris climate accord, just days after Pope Francis personally handed the president his writings urging care for the planet.
“This for us is something we hoped would not have happened,” said Cardinal Peter Turkson, who led a Vatican delegation that was influential in brokering the Paris agreement in 2015. “Certain issues should be taken out of the political discussion domain and not be politicised… The truth is: climate is a global public good and not limited to any country.”
Though neither the Vatican nor the White House would disclose what Francis and Trump discussed in their half-hour private meeting last week, observers believed the environmentally-minded pontiff pressed the president to stick to the Paris agreement, as other European leaders also urged during Trump’s trip to Rome.
On Wednesday, Vatican officials came to believe through news reports that their advice had apparently not persuaded Trump.
“The Vatican would always respect the decision of a sovereign state,” Turkson said. “We will continue to still talk about climate change and all of that, and hope that some change can occur midstream.”
Turkson, a Ghanaian cardinal who leads the Vatican’s efforts on a long list of issues, including ecology and social justice, is among Francis’s closest advisers and has been talked about as one of his most likely successors as the next pope someday.
US President Donald Trump and Pope Francis meet at the Vatican last week.