Unconditional Holy See support for COP26 raises concerns | Catholic National Register


VATICAN CITY – As the Holy See publicly supports a major United Nations climate change conference wholeheartedly, concerns are growing that it is lending its weight to “climate alarmism” which is being used to usher in policies and ideologies contrary to the teaching of the Church.

Otherwise known as COP26, the intergovernmental summit that takes place in the Scottish city of Glasgow from October 31 to November 31. 12 is billed as the most crucial round of climate talks since 2015, when countries signed the so-called Paris Agreement requiring them to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees above levels pre-industrial.

COP26 should generate even more ambitious goals on the back of peer review UN Climate Studies, growing concern over the frequency of natural disasters and rising climate alarmist rhetoric.

“We are out of time,” President Joe Biden noted in September on a tour of the devastation caused by Hurricane Ida. The world is on “a one-way ticket to disaster”, warned UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, two weeks before the Glasgow summit.

For his part, Pope Francis has noted COP26 “represents an urgent summons” to face “the unprecedented ecological crisis and the crisis of values ​​that we are currently experiencing, and thus offer concrete hope to future generations”.

The Holy Father, who hoped to visit COP26 but decided not to go for undisclosed reasons, hosted a Vatican meeting of religious leaders and scientists in October that called on world leaders meeting in Glasgow to step up action on climate change. Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who will lead the Holy See’s delegation to the summit, also added his voice to the chorus of world leaders, story the United Nations General Assembly in September, “It is high time to act. The international community, he said, is “compelled” to act after “decades of inaction”.

Ambitious targets

COP26 is expected to bring about significant changes in people’s daily lives, mainly by forcing 200 countries to reduce their carbon emissions by 2030 with the goal of reaching the 1.5 degree temperature increase limit.

Included in this overall goal are other measures, including accelerating the shift to electric cars, phasing out coal-fired power, cutting down fewer trees and protecting nations from possible climatic disasters through measures such as the financing of coastal defense systems. Developed countries will also need to mobilize at least $ 100 billion in climate finance per year, a commitment made at the 2015 summit with an unmet target of 2020.

The Vatican Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development reiterated the message of the call of religious leaders and scientists on October 4, strongly urging nations to respect the commitments of the Paris Agreement: to limit global warming to 1 , 5 ° C, ensure that high-income nations deliver money to the Green Climate Fund and end fossil fuels with a just transition.

“We have a moral obligation to recognize that the cry of the poor and the cry of the Earth are the same cry, and to respond to it – that we must act now,” said Fr Joshtrom Kureethadam, responsible for the sector of the earth. ecology and creation. of the dicastery, said the Register.

But critics warn that these lofty goals also pave the way for excessive anthropocentrism, utopian visions, and ecologism – ideologies that Pope Francis denounced in his environmental encyclical. Laudato Si (Take care of our common home) as various groups cling to the so-called “climate crisis” to advance their own agendas.

One of them is the World Economic Forum (WEF), an international NGO of political and business elites, and its controversial “Great Reset” initiative that some critics see as the model of a centralized digital technocracy leading to “ a dechristianized society ”. WEF is one of the COP26 leading partners.

Other groups building on sweeping proposals on the climate agenda are abortion providers and other family planning organizations, which are claim a share of climate funds. USAID, the federal government’s development agency, announced that it integrate gender ideology in climate policies.

“Clear danger”

John Klink, who was a Holy See negotiator at the Rio Environmental Summit in 1992 and played a key role in the Church’s pro-life battles in other major UN discussions in the years 1990, told the Register on Oct. 25 that he saw a “clear danger” that billions of dollars in the Green Climate Fund – a United Nations body aimed at financing developing countries to adapt and fight against climate change – “will be directed to abortion providers”.

He also pointed out that the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) link programs reduce the impact of climate change on Africa with universal access to abortion and contraception under the guise of “reproductive health”.

The UN agency says its goal is to build “climate resilience” – “the latest nomenclature to be used by an ever-greedy UNFPA and its pro-abortion allies to access seawater from the international government and the United Nations. ‘UN,’ Klink said.

Stefano Gennarini, vice president of legal studies at the Center for Family and Human Rights (C-Fam), an organization that lobbies the UN on pro-life issues, noted “a resurgence of population control in international level in recent years “, including after the 2015 Paris Agreement. “Many Catholics, especially those working on development and climate policy, remain oblivious or not sufficiently concerned about this,” he told the Register. “It would be helpful if the Holy See often repeated Pope Francis’ concern about population control in Laudato Si. ”

The Holy Father warned in his 2015 encyclical on the environment against “blaming population growth” for environmental damage “instead of extreme and selective consumerism on the part of some”, saying it is “A way of refusing to face the problems”.

Gennarini insisted that the Holy See did not hesitate to speak out against abortion and contraception at the United Nations, but he fears that UN climate policies will harm the poor through a “new industrial revolution descendant promoted by rich countries “.

The Church, he added, should therefore be “very careful and avoid endorsing” such policies.

Holy See too uncritical?

Another problem that critics cite in the climate change debate is a weakness in the Holy See’s approach, particularly what they see as being too accommodating to the UN worldview and allowing itself Getting too involved in the details of the science of climate change at the expense of resisting false ideologies and approaches. Father Paul Haffner, author of Towards an environmental theology, said he believed the Holy See should “state principles” rather than “give too much detail”. Climate science, he warned, “is not an exact science; it’s very rough and constantly changing.

Father Haffner, who teaches systematic theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, also warned that this science has, for many, turned into a “climate religion”, a kind of “new-age religion” that is “Basically cosmo-centrism, where the cosmos is placed at the center, the human being is a nuisance, and you want to put it aside.

“Therefore,” he added, “abortion, euthanasia and depopulation, of course, are all part of this wicked agenda, which obviously wants the person to be put in second and third place and l exaltation of animals, putting them on the same level as human beings. ”

“The hierarchy in creation does exist,” Father Haffner said, “and that is forgotten because what is being promoted is essentially environmentalism, as we call it – a socialist or communist ideology that wants to level everything and forget about it. ‘there is a hierarchy in which the human person is the apex, under God, under Christ, exercising priestly stewardship over creation.

Practical issues

The Holy See also faces other more practical problems in defending the Church’s position in the face of climate change, according to sources close to the Holy See. These include the fact that countries listen less to the Holy See than in the past; that Rome is slow to react, having “lost the war of cultures in the world politics of the United Nations”; and that developing countries have lost respect for the Holy See because he is often seen as a “cheerleader for the European Union” – a bloc imposing ideological colonization on poor nations.

“The Holy See is a subject of international law which exercises its sovereignty and engages other sovereign states and international persons,” said Jane Adolphe, professor of law at the Ave Maria law school.

Adolphe, who also worked as the UN’s expert adviser on international human rights issues for the Vatican from 2003 to 2020, added: “Due to his spiritual and moral mission, in a certain sense he represents the “soul” of the United Nations, offering a supernatural and moral vision through the eyes of faith for all the peoples of the world.

But Adolphe said: “Many Catholics wonder if this mission has become politicized with a corresponding dimming of the light.”

More vigilance

Despite these major questions and headwinds, including recent Vatican appointments that appear to run counter to Church teaching, there remains hope that the Holy See will effectively address these concerns.

“The Church continues to talk about these issues,” Gennarini said. “It never stopped. And I think it will do so even more as the threat of population control becomes clearer to all. “

Klink said he was “very happy” that Pope Francis referred again to abortion as a “murder” recently, adding that he was “confident that the Holy See will be more alert than ever to the continuing attempts of the pro-abortion lobby to graft and link climate change to pro-abortion mandates under the guise of reproduction and sexual rights and health.

He also appreciated the presence of Cardinal Parolin at COP26, recalling the efficiency with which Pope Saint John Paul II used his head of diplomacy, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, at the Rio summit in 1992.

Klink believes that the cardinal’s presence and the pope’s own meeting with President Joe Biden on October 29 would provide an opportunity to “ensure that Pope Francis’ pro-life policies are duly reflected in the Glasgow outcome document.”

But at the same time, he stressed that it was “essential that the allocation of vast international funding to Glasgow does not become another trough to nurture abortion or abortion-related programs rather than address real concerns. relating to climate change ”.

“Let us pray,” said Adolphe, “that the Holy See will continue to illuminate everything with the light of Christ and the grace of God, always encouraging good, pointing out errors with truth and charity and opposing evil.

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