LUXEMBOURG CITY, Luxembourg (ChurchMilitant.com) - A Francis-appointed cardinal and key heterodox ally is claiming climate change will cause more problems than the pandemic and "solidarity" is essential for defeating "populists" like practicing Catholic Matteo Salvini.
While reports indicate nearly 400 thousand people worldwide have died from the Wuhan virus, Cdl. Jean-Claude Hollerich, archbishop of Luxembourg and president of the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Union, alleged the virus "is nothing compared to the difficulties that will be caused by climate change."
His claim was made in an interview with Nederlands Dagblad on Monday, an interview which news website Novena summarized in five points:
"This crisis has given us time to think," said Hollerich. "This offers us the opportunity to make ecological choices and not to continue the economy as usual."
Lamenting Europe's response to the virus, the cardinal said, "All of the countries thought of themselves and closed their borders. The image of Europe has suffered greatly from this. The northern countries initially watched silently how Italians died, I read in a newspaper comment. That really affected me."
"All countries must understand that it is not national egoism but solidarity that which serves their interest," he added. "I am glad that I hear more and more that we need to act 'more jointly.' This is necessary in order to provide an adequate European response to the crisis."
Picking up the theme of "solidarity" again, Hollerich said, "Without solidarity, the risk of populists coming to power is all the greater."
The cardinal then decried the possibility of devout Catholic politician Matteo Salvini rising to power again in Italy.
"Suppose the right-wing politician Matteo Salvini becomes prime minister of Italy," he said. "We can't put our money in his hands. But without solidarity between countries, the risk of populists coming to power is all the greater, so we have to act."
Pope Francis elevated fellow Jesuit Jean-Claude Hollerich and 12 others to the College of Cardinals in October 2019, stacking the deck with those who share the pontiff's vision for the Church.
Two other notable appointments include pro-migration activist Fr. Michael Czerny, who has denounced those who back border security, accusing them of "xenophobia and isolationism," and homosexualist Abp. Matteo Zuppi, who officially endorsed pro-LGBT Jesuit James Martin's book titled "Building a Bridge."
Hollerich once gushed to Martin that his country's leader is in a "wonderful" gay relationship, referring to Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, who is in a so-called same-sex marriage with Belgian architect Gauthier Christian Destenay.
Hollerich was on the roster for the Amazon Synod, which took place in October 2019. To the question of married priests on the agenda at the time, he answered the question with a rhetorical question: "If there [in the Amazon] viri probati are a solution, why not?"
The Latin term viri probati means "proven men" and refers to those married men who could theoretically be ordained as an exception to the rule of priestly celibacy.
In early May, the cardinal told Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano that nationalism is a virus: "Let us combat the virus of COVID, and let us combat the virus of nationalism and egoism."
In that interview, the cardinal also said it is "so important to show the world that human society can be in solidarity, that such a global crisis, this pandemic, can only be fought on a global level, and that the European Union is an instrument for world peace."
Hollerich went on to discuss "solidarity" and open borders, saying it is "a great pleasure, I think, for all Europeans to see how the pope who came from afar — as he himself said — has the 'European sense,' has truly understood in depth what the European ideal is — solidarity."
"And solidarity does not stop at the borders of Europe," he continued. "We have problems with borders — borders in Europe and borders of the European Union with other countries. There are people who die on the borders of the European Union and we cannot tolerate this."
Hollerich has been parroting the political Left's talking points for some time.
In December 2019, he said, "I find it outrageous that we're letting people drown in the Mediterranean; that our hearts have become so hard; that politics no longer dares to act for fear of right-wing parties."
The cardinal also said it is important to defend the environment "because the first to suffer from climate change are the poorest people from the poorest countries."