White House Silent on Pope’s Trump, Climate Change Comments

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by Stephen Wynne  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  September 12, 2017   

Francis casts doubt on Trump's pro-life commitment, climate change skeptics

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DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - Pope Francis' questioning of President Trump's pro-life credentials is being met with silence from the White House.

Speaking to reporters at the end of his apostolic visit to Columbia Monday, Francis was asked about Trump's repeal of President Obama's "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" (DACA) program, which has allowed 800,000 illegal immigrants to remain in the United States.

Responding to the question, the pontiff seemed to suggest President Trump's pro-life position is questionable.

"I have heard it said that the president of the United States presents himself as a man who is pro-life," Francis said, "and if he is a good pro-life [man] then he will understand that the family is the cradle of life, and that it must be defended as a unit."

But, he conceded, "I heard about the abolition of this law, but I could not read the articles, how and why this decision was made. I do not know the situation well."

Though President Trump has not responded to Pope Francis' remarks, he did address ongoing media campaigns against him Tuesday.

Senior White House leadership has yet to respond to Pope Francis' remarks. But Patrick Carolan, executive director of the Franciscan Action Network, told The Washington Times that Francis was correct in his assessment of the President's pro-life commitment, arguing that pro-life advocacy shouldn't end with opposition to abortion — a common liberal argument.

"You can believe what you want to believe, but you're not pro-life if you're in favor of nuclear weapons," Carolan asserted. "You're not pro-life if you're in favor of the death penalty. You're not pro-life if you're not welcoming of the stranger."

Francis' comments Monday were not the first directed against Trump. During the 2016 presidential campaign, in reference to Trump's plan to erect a barrier along the U.S. and Mexican border, the pope remarked that someone "who thinks only about building walls ... is not a Christian."

Trump responded by calling Francis' statement "disgraceful."

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The pope also had sharp words for climate change skeptics Monday. According to Francis, everyone has a "moral responsibility" to combat the shift in climate.

Francis girded his position by pointing to scientists who support climate change theory. "These aren't opinions pulled out of thin air," he said. "They are very clear."

"Those who deny this must go to the scientists and ask them. They speak very clearly," he said, contending that "history will judge" world leaders on their response to climate change.

The pope was asked his opinion on why governments take "so long ... to gain consciousness on this question, while in other areas, like on the question of arms, they can decide quickly?"

"There's a phrase in the Old Testament, I think in one of the Psalms," Francis replied, "where it says man is stupid; he's stubborn and does not see."

The love of money, he continued "has effects on creation and also on so many other questions, like that of arms. There are many contradictions linked to money."


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