U.S. Bishops Call Withdrawal from Paris Climate Agreement ‘Deeply Troubling’

by Rodney Pelletier  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  June 2, 2017   

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WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is opposing President Donald Trump's June 1 decision to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement.

On the same day that President Trump announced the United States would withdraw from the agreement, the USCCB issued a statement lamenting the decision.

Bishop Oscar Cantú, the chairman of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace, calls the move "deeply troubling," asserting, "The USCCB, along with Pope Francis and the entire Catholic Church, have consistently upheld the Paris agreement as an important international mechanism to promote environmental stewardship and encourage climate change mitigation."

The USCCB statement also adds that in 2015, both it and the presidents of Catholic Charities and Catholic Relief Services, encouraged President Obama to sign the Paris agreement, which he did in August 2016.

It also includes a letter titled, "Our Shared Obligation To Care For The Environment," addressed to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, National Security Advisor Gen. H.R. McMaster and Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin.

Paris Climate Agreement signed by Pres. Barack Obama

The Vatican's Bp. Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, has a stronger reaction to Trump's announcement, saying, "If he really does (pull out), it would be a huge slap in the face for us," adding, "It will be a disaster for everyone."

The Daily Wire's Ben Shapiro commented the climate accord is actually an illegal treaty. According to the U.S. Constitution, the president has the power to form and negotiate treaties but in order for it to be legally binding, the Senate must approve of it by a two-third vote.

Even liberal organizations like Vox, however, have admitted that the agreement is voluntary and non-binding, noting the idea of keeping the earth's temperature rise no more than 2 degrees in the next 100 years "is arbitrary, or even too low, to make a difference."

In March, the U.S. bishops objected to President Trump's executive order dismantling Obama administration's Clean Power Plan (CPP), which placed heavy restrictions on coal power and other fossil fuels. The New York Times commented the CPP was the administration's attempt "to show other countries that the United States was serious about taking meaningful action on climate change."

The USCCB has applauded President Trump for pulling taxpayer money away from the United Nations for abortions and sterilizations, for promoting religious liberty and removing the imposition of transgender politics on schools. The overwhelming amount of comments, however, criticize the president on political, social and economic matters like illegal immigration and healthcare — matters on which the Catholic Church has always left up to the state.


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