Vat­i­can frets over Trump cli­mate stance

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

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.

Washington Post

PIC­TURE: REUTERS

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and Pope Fran­cis meet at the Vat­i­can last week.

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