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Pope calls world leaders to end divisions to fight climate change

December 04, 2023

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CWN Editor's Note: Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Holy See’s Secretary of State, traveled to Dubai to deliver the Pope’s address to COP28, the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference.

Pope Francis had been scheduled to deliver the December 2 address in person, but cancelled his trip because of a bronchial ailment.

“I am with you to raise the question which we must answer now: Are we working for a culture of life or a culture of death?” the Pontiff wrote. “To all of you I make this heartfelt appeal: Let us choose life! Let us choose the future! May we be attentive to the cry of the earth, may we hear the plea of the poor, may we be sensitive to the hopes of the young and the dreams of children!”

During his address, Pope Francis criticized the ideology of population control.

“Particularly striking in this regard are the attempts made to shift the blame onto the poor and high birth rates,” he said. “These are falsities that must be firmly dispelled.”

“It is not the fault of the poor, since the almost half of our world that is more needy is responsible for scarcely 10% of toxic emissions, while the gap between the opulent few and the masses of the poor has never been so abysmal,” he continued. “The poor are the real victims of what is happening ... Births are not a problem, but a resource: they are not opposed to life, but for life, whereas certain ideological and utilitarian models now being imposed with a velvet glove on families and peoples constitute real forms of colonization.”

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  • Posted by: grateful1 - Dec. 05, 2023 7:39 PM ET USA

    Is Francis really so ignorant that he doesn't realize fossil fuels are & always have been essential to the economic development of poor countries? It is the poorest who will suffer most if the West continues to follow his leftist prescriptions, while China & India--the 2 greatest polluters in the world, with no environmental protections of any kind--ramp up their fossil-fuel production unabated? The utter cluelessness of this man is a travesty--he is damaging humanity, body and soul.

  • Posted by: feedback - Dec. 04, 2023 10:41 AM ET USA

    "Let us choose life! ...May we be attentive to the cry of the earth" Those who claim to care about the lives of the poor cannot be silent on abortion while lamenting "climate change." Pro-abortion politicians and their pro-death policies are directly responsible for ongoing destruction of millions of lives of the children of the poor, and not some esoteric "climate." The term "culture of death" frequently used by Pope St. John Paul II meant destruction of human life in abortions and euthanasia.