One of Pope Francis’s close friends, Argentine Bishop Marcelo Sorondo, can always be counted on to blurt out what is whispered within the halls of the Vatican. He didn’t disappoint yesterday, allowing himself a series of demagogic remarks at Trump’s expense in anticipation of a U.S. pull-out from the Paris climate accord.
“I don’t know what Trump spoke about with the pope,” Sorondo said to the press. “I don’t believe, however, that the conversation was very detailed on climate. I know, however, that the President of the United States spoke about this in the conversation he had with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state.” In light of that, he continued, Trump’s withdrawal would be “a slap in the face also for us.”
He chalked up Trump’s views to the influence of the “oil lobby” and said that resistance to the anti-fossil fuels agenda is akin to “saying that the earth is not round.” He called that resistance” an absurdity, motivated solely by the need to make money.”
Pope Francis has salted the Vatican with radicals like Sorondo, who treats his chancellorship for the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences as his personal ideological hobbyhorse. Riding high on it, Sorondo made a great show in 2016 of inviting Bernie Sanders to speak at the Vatican, the only presidential candidate to receive an invitation. “We invited the candidate who cites the pope most in the campaign, and that is Senator Bernie Sanders,” explained Sorondo, who added that Sanders’s agenda is “very analogous to that of the pope.”
Bernie will get a return invite to the Vatican, but Trump won’t.