And, from America, not one Republican conservative—as reported by Catholic Culture—at the climate change summit, which is another word on the sign labeling the Holy Father.
If we had the name of a Republican politician who was invited to attend last week’s Vatican conference on climate change and human trafficking—any Republican, just one Republican—we might feel just a bit better about the result. But the strongly partisan cast of the final statement that issued from that conference, together with the strongly partisan cast of characters in attendance, creates the impression that this event was not so much a conference as a political rally.
California’s Governor Jerry Brown was there. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio was there. Boston’s Mayor Marty Walsh was there. But among the American pols in attendance, not a single Republican could be found.
The Vatican conference was organized to follow up on the papal encyclical Laudato Si’. So were the organizers looking for sympathetic politicians, who were known to share the views of Pope Francis on key public issues? Not likely; among the American participants, Governor Brown and Mayors di Blasio and Walsh (all baptized Catholics) all favor legal abortion on demand and same-sex marriage. They are clearly not in sympathy with the pro-life message woven through the encyclical.
Yes, all three of those American politicians agree with the Pope about the scientific case for climate change. Governor Brown thinks that skeptics about climate change should be dismissed as troglodytes. (It’s enlightening that Brown, who is so very certain on that issue, isn’t sure whether or not he wants to be described as a Catholic.)
To be fair, most big-city mayors in the US are Democrats. If the Vatican just issued invitations to the mayors of the largest 20 or 30 cities in the country, the results would no doubt produce a Democratic majority. But if the conference organizers wanted to maintain at least a semblance of political balance, they might have stretched a bit, to include a few American politicians who were not big-city mayors. After all, they included Governor Brown.
Unfortunately, we have good reason to believe that the organizers were not interested in political balance. The Pontifical Academy of Sciences, which sponsored the event, is led by Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, who demonstrated a shocking ignorance of American political realities in a June statement suggesting that oil corporations, through the Tea Party, a stirring up opposition to Vatican initiatives. Insofar as Bishop Sanchez Sorondo dismissed the concerns of pro-lifers about the political alliances he is forming, it would not be surprising that he sees no point in reaching out to Republican politicians who might wish to work with the Vatican.
Retrieved July 25, 2015 from http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/otn.cfm?id=1102