Vatican Official: Trump Pulling Out of Paris Climate Change Deal a ‘Slap in the Face’

by Christine Niles  •  •  June 1, 2017   

Bp. Marcel Sanchez Sorondo also calls move "unscientific"

You are not signed in as a Premium user; we rely on Premium users to support our news reporting. Sign in or Sign up today!

VATICAN CITY ( - A high-ranking Vatican official is calling President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Change Treaty a "slap in the face."

Speaking Thursday to Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Bp. Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, said, "If he really does (pull out), it would be a huge slap in the face for us." He added, "It will be a disaster for everyone."

Reuters is reporting that Sorondo confirmed his remarks in a phone call Thursday, only hours before Trump announced that the United States is officially pulling out of the Paris accord.


Bp. Marcel Sanchez Sorondo with Bernie Sanders

(Photo: CNS/Paul Haring)

Michael Hichborn of the Lepanto Institute spoke with Church Militant. "Bishop Sorondo's claim that this is a slap in the face is absurd and hypocritical." Hichborn said.

He continued:

Not only is so-called manmade global climate change not settled science, but let's not forget that it was Bp. Sorondo who betrayed the Church and the entire pro-life movement by hosting a cadre of population-control enthusiasts in a Vatican-sponsored meeting; it was Bp. Sorondo who invited pro-abortion socialist Bernie Sanders to attend a Vatican meeting during the U.S. presidential campaign.

"Just exactly who is slapping whom in the face here?" Hichborn asked.

Pope gave Trump a signed copy of Laudato Si, his 2015 encyclical on climate change, at their meeting several weeks ago, and Vatican Secretary of State Cdl. Pietro Parolin also encouraged Trump to stick with the Paris agreement.

The Paris climate change accord is a multinational effort involving almost 200 countries to reduce carbon emissions, often cited as a source of global warming, in spite of the debated science over the precise cause of climate change.

Treating theory as fact, Sorondo remarked that Trump's decision to pull out "would not only be a disaster but completely unscientific. ... Saying that we need to rely on coal and oil is like saying that the earth is not round. It is an absurdity dictated by the need to make money."

He speculated that Trump had been "maneuvred" by the oil industry.

Sorondo made no mention of Trump's recent pro-life measures, his religious liberty executive order or his plans to roll back Obamacare's birth control mandate — a mandate that has been the source of continuing controversy in the United States, and has left Catholic groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor locked in protracted legal battles over their right to refrain from participating in a birth control regime for employees.

Hichborn told Church Militant, "As the head of the pontifical academies of science and social sciences, you would think he would have something to say about the crisis of abortion and contraception. That he cries about environmental treaties while remaining silent on the estimated 137,000 babies violently murdered in their mothers' wombs on a daily basis speaks volumes."

Sorondo is a well-known advocate of the theory of manmade climate change, once reportedly saying "he didn't care what the science said," and that the issue would serve as a useful tool in bringing about a new world order.

As organizer of the April 2015 Vatican global warming summit, Sorondo systematically kept out climate change skeptics, intervening to ensure French scientist Philippe de Larminat could not get in — even though de Larminat had registered for the conference and bought a plane flight to Rome, assured by Cdl. Peter Turkson he was welcome.

Five days before the event, de Larminat was told there was no room for him. Reports surfaced that Sorondo had been the one to veto the French scientist's presence. When asked why, he wrote, "because he's not an academic authority in this field, neither a religious authority nor a UN authority."

Other climate change skeptics met the same fate, screened out and prevented from attending. "They didn't want to hear any other opinion," de Larminat said.

Sorondo was responsible for inviting to the summit abortion and population-control advocates Jeffrey Sachs as keynote speaker along with UN general secretary Ban Ki-Moon, who offered the opening speech. The Pontifical Academy for Science came under heavy criticism from Catholic media for the prominent role these abortion advocates played at the climate change conference.

Lord Christopher Monckton, a British journalist and former policy advisor to Margaret Thatcher, was the only skeptic to make it through — but only based on his press credentials as a journalist. Once Sorondo discovered Monckton's position against manmade climate change, he promptly had him removed.

Journalists have noted the Argentine bishop is a dominating figure in the Pope's close circle of advisors, and exercises a heavy influence over Vatican affairs. Sorondo is widely acknowledged as the guiding hand behind Laudato Sí, the Pope's encyclical on climate change — notable for its scant mention of Church doctrine in favor of a lengthy exposition on environmentalist concerns.

Sorondo is also speculated to be the main force behind the choice of Hans Joachim Schellnhuber — an atheist population control advocate — to author the encyclical's portions on climate change. Schellnhuber was among four speakers present for the roll-out of the encyclical in Rome, and was shortly afterwards inducted into the privileged circle of members of the Pontifical Academy of Science, headed by Sorondo.

"The mission of the Catholic Church is the salvation of souls," Hichborn told Church Militant, "not the regulation of commerce, the passage of treaties, or the promotion of a neo-pagan cult regarding the environment. If Bp. Sorondo cared as much for souls as he seems to care for trees, perhaps the Church wouldn't be facing the crisis of faith She now faces."


Have a news tip? Submit news to our tip line.

We rely on you to support our news reporting. Please donate today.
By commenting on you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our comment posting guidelines