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Cardinal Turkson sees China as model for environmentalism. Seriously?

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Mar 30, 2017

Cardinal Peter Turkson has suggested—apparently with a straight face—that when it comes to protecting the environment, the US might look to China for leadership. This astonishing statement came during a meeting with reporters, at which the prefect of the Vatican’s new dicastery for Intergral Human Development expressed his concerns about White House policies.

In Beijing, where residents routinely wear masks to protect themselves from toxic smog, China’s leaders have finally decided to take action to ease the pollution that is literally choking the country’s industrial centers. Cardinal Turkson welcomed that development, saying:

While Trump is moving in the opposite direction, there is another great power in the world, China, which is showing different signs, as if America is creating a vacuum that China is filling.

Baiting Trump may be a popular pastime in Rome these days, but here Cardinal Turkson has become unintentionally comical. If China is a good model for environmental policy, then Saudi Arabia is a model for religious freedom. If the US creates a vacuum, and China fills it, it won’t be filled with clean air.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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