Vatican to host interreligious climate conference ahead of UN summit
June 22, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — The Vatican will host an interreligious “Faith and Science” event in October in preparation for the COP26 climate conference that will take place one month later, with world leaders meeting in Glasgow November 1–12 at the invitation of the U.N. to agree on how to tackle “climate change.”
The Holy See presented its support for the preliminary event launched by the U.K. and Italy at a press conference in the Vatican featuring Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with the States, and the British and Italian ambassadors to the Holy See, Sally Axworthy and Pietro Sebastiano.
The Vatican is to offer the venue for the event and will welcome some 40 leaders of the “world religions” and ten “leading scientists” who, together, will set out their vision for combating “climate change” both on moral grounds and following the scientific “consensus” that the representatives of alarmist climate science will share.
At the press conference, Archbishop Gallagher stated that he could not formally announce that Pope Francis himself will join the “Faith and Reason” conference at some point during the four-day meeting October 1–4, but he added that it was “highly likely that the Pope will participate together with other religious leaders.”
Gallagher did not rule out that the Pope might travel to Glasgow one month later to join the COP26 U.N. conference, but noted that papal voyages are not in his domain.
Clearly, the Vatican is stepping up its already heavy involvement in the “climate” narrative, the latest twist being the aim to commit all faithful (of all religious persuasions) in a global, unified movement that will lead to “courageous decisions” made in Glasgow, Gallagher said.
“Courageous,” in this context, means difficult and unpopular: the aim is to lead people to adapt their “lifestyles” in the name of fighting climate change, while presenting developed — or, to put it more bluntly, overbearingly Christian — nations as responsible for the catastrophes that proponents of climate change have predicted will hit poorer nations, especially “indigenous peoples” and island nations. As the presenters of the press conference made clear, it is up to the developed nations to pay for the cost of the damage done and the transition to an economy with fewer carbon emissions.
Leaving aside the fact that the science behind these predictions is controversial, as is the degree of human beings’ responsibility in “climate change,” the objectives of the proponents of climate change are quite revealing. They include more or less open population control, a redistribution of wealth worldwide (in other words, global socialism), global solutions for global problems — that is, widespread abandonment of national sovereignty, and things like worldwide funding and taxation, the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations (including so-called “reproductive health” services for all), and the general viewing of man as the main predator of nature.
To date, the Vatican has already invited a number of supporters of population control to “scientific conferences” organized by the Pontifical Academy for Science, such as Paul Ehrlich, author of the widely off-mark 1968 book The Population Bomb, Dr. John Bongaarts, vice president of the (Malthusian) Population Council, Partha Dasgupta, and many others.
In 2015, the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences already hosted a conference preparing the COP21 in Paris, inviting the U.N. and pro-abortion personalities such as Jeffrey Sachs. It has never hosted an outspokenly inter-faith reunion aimed at setting up a common religious “climate” framework under the auspices of U.N. bodies.
Perhaps Donald Trump’s presidency put a temporary halt on the acceleration towards a global spiritual movement with the Earth — Gaia — at its center, leaving the Amazon Synod and episodic scientific conferences to pave the way. Trump rejected the COP21 narrative and commitments; Joe Biden has put the weight of the United States behind them. Within this new context, the Vatican is stepping up its support.
But it has not been revealed who will be the Holy See’s religious and scientific guests next October: Despite the fact that six monthly online meetings have already been held by faith and science leaders at the initiative of the U.K. and Italy, it was clearly stated at the press conference that their names would be kept secret for the time being, in particular because some of the personalities invited to join have not yet responded.
According to Archbishop Gallagher, the “Faith and Reason” meeting in the Vatican is a sign of the Catholic Church’s commitment to respond to Pope Francis’ “sensitivity to these issues” in view of the “care for our common home.”
Gallagher added that due to the COVID crisis, “the sense of urgency is rising.” “More and more crises affect us, everything is sort of coming together in a sort of perfect storm.”
How is this storm “perfect”? Probably in its usefulness to promote a global approach. Interestingly, Gallagher repeated after Pope Francis that “everything is connected,” the recurring words of the ecological encyclical Laudato si’, and stressed that having recourse to faith in order to face these problems is a good idea because “religion is a sort of integrated vision.” Because religion touches on so many aspects of daily life, it would appear to be a perfect vector for the promotion and imposition of new rules, lifestyles, and climate-sensitive action.
“These issues can not be dealt with alone,” repeated Gallagher with reference to the globalist mantra that calls for a world governance to tackle world problems, over and above people and countries. Referencing “human fraternity,” he added that “the approach should not be sectarian, denominational,” and stressed that Pope Francis’ idea of “ecological conversion” could serve as a motivator. “We are invited to rethink the world in which we live, our lifestyles,” he explained.
He also revealed that the hope is that the religious leaders from all “world religions” will call on political leaders to “make courageous decisions”: “Perhaps COP26 will be a key moment in the history of humanity; there will be difficult decisions to be made.”
Ambassador Sally Axworthy also showed herself convinced that religions should be used in the fight against climate change with the objective of slowing down global warming — already up “one percent” (but it was warmer in the Middle Ages) — by half a degree so that it does not go higher that one and a half degree. She stated that it will be necessary to raise money for developing countries, quoting a grand total of 100 billion dollars a year to be spent by these nations against “global warming” and its effects, with most of that sum to be allocated as “grants.”
“Climate change is not yet going in the right direction. Faith leaders played a key role in building momentum for COP21 in 2015 and they can make a similar contribution to COP26,” she said, adding: “All the faiths and belief systems see nature as sacred, and our duty as being to protect the environment. The leaders have drawn on their own traditions to suggest solutions; the dialogue with the scientists has been creative — facts and values coming together.”
She underscored that not only Laudato si’, but also the Abu Dhabi Document on Human Fraternity were inspirational, and that many religious speakers at the six virtual conferences already held insisted on the “interconnectedness of humans and nature.” We need to “moderate our desires,” she said: Moral language indeed, but with an objective that has nothing to do with the goal of asceticism, which in Catholicism is renouncing the good things in Creation in order to become closer to the supreme spiritual good, God Himself.
In fact, the moral overtones and the call to a spirit of sacrifice — so rarely mentioned now in relation to the atonement for our sins and those of the world — have the Earth and nature as their horizon. As Axworthy said, they want the faithful to commit to contributing to bringing the globe’s temperature down, as if “eating less meat,” committing to “use electric vehicles” and “heating homes” more efficiently, “in a whole society approach,” will change the big balances of nature.
Once again, even if Pope Francis is seen as taking the lead in the support for the religious fight against “climate change,” the insistence upon the common factors between different faiths regarding the so-called “sacredness” of nature with work towards yet more relativism, where all denominations and beliefs will be deemed equal or at least equivalent in their understanding of nature. Such relativism is deeply misleading, for different religions see the world around us, and the distinction between the Creator and the created very differently, while the nature of man who is body and soul, and invited to share God’s bliss in the hereafter, is hardly understood by the oriental belief systems.