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Vatican Downplays Political Involvement in Climate Debate While Joining Forces with Radical Leftist Naomi Klein

Kathryn Jean Lopez reports on NRO’s The Corner that Cardinal Peter Turkson downplayed the political intentions of Pope Francis’s encyclical, Laudato Si’, when he spoke to a “high level discussion” in New York City Tuesday night (June 30).

According to Lopez, Turkson said that the encyclical was, “Rather than a political or doomsday document, it’s a call to better stewardship.” Moreover: “He also insisted that Pope Francis is not against business and never puts them down in it or elsewhere but challenges business and technology to always be used to help the poor.”

Cardinal Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the Vatican’s point man on climate action, was apparently speaking to a group of prominent Roman Catholics, many of whom were probably concerned about what they had read about the papal encyclical. And apparently the cardinal thought that he could get away with what he said because few in the audience had read the encyclical. 

But earlier in the day, the cardinal addressed the United Nations’ High Level Meeting on Climate Change, convened by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. To that very different audience, Cardinal Turkson had a very different message: “Overcoming poverty and reducing environmental degradation will require the human community seriously to review the dominant model of development, production, commerce and consumption…. Such a courageous review and reform will take place only if we heed ‘the call to seek other ways of understanding the economy and progress’ (quoted from paragraph 16 of the encyclical). The political dimension needs to re-establish democratic control over the economy and finance, that is, over the basic choices made by human societies.”

Much of what Cardinal Turkson said was in the political code used by leftist international bureaucrats. If anyone doubts that Pope Francis’s Laudato Si’ is a political rant that advocates dismantling modern industrial civilization, then consider the climate conference that the Vatican is hosting this week. Cardinal Turkson invited Naomi Klein to co-chair the conference.

Naomi Klein is neither a climate scientist, policy expert, nor Roman Catholic. Rather, she is a shrewd leftist polemicist. Her career has been devoted to promoting (herself and) one cause after another that will rally the left against consumerism and free markets. Her latest favored cause is unsurprisingly global warming alarmism. The title of her 2014 book says it all: This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate (excerpts available here).

Here is what Klein said at the beginning of the Vatican’s climate conference, according to a Vatican press release: “[A] new kind of climate movement is fast emerging. It is based on the most courageous truth expressed in the encyclical: that our current economic system is both fuelling the climate crisis and actively preventing us from taking the necessary actions to avert it. A movement based on the knowledge that if we don’t want runaway climate change, then we need system change. And because our current system is also fuelling ever widening inequality, we have a chance, in rising to the climate challenge, to solve multiple, overlapping crises at once. In short, we can shift to a more stable climate and fairer economy at the same time.”

The Vatican appears thrilled to have the world’s most glamorous anti-captialist crusader co-chairing their climate conference. The rest of us might want to consider her hypocrisy. While it has been noted before, Klein has reached a new height of hypocrisy by flying in a jet airplane, no doubt manufactured by Boeing or Airbus, from Toronto to Rome to participate in a conference devoted to promoting global warming alarmism.