The Pope’s Climate Letter Urges ‘Dialogue with Everyone,’ ‘So Why Did Vatican Single Out and Harass Us?’


In the letter, “On Care for a Common Home,” Francis emphasized the importance of considering “a variety of opinions” about the problems we face:

Given the complexity of the ecological crisis and its multiple causes, we need to realize that the solutions will not emerge from just one way of interpreting and transforming reality. … No branch of the sciences and no form of wisdom can be left out … this Encyclical welcomes dialogue with everyone.

Nice sentiment.

But not only has the Vatican failed to meet this standard, the members of the Heartland Institute delegation that traveled to Rometo urge the Vatican to reconsider its position on climate change and sustainable development in fact received the polar opposite of the encyclical letter’s recommended treatment.

Says international child’s rights attorney Elizabeth Yore, a participant in the April 28 Heartland outreach:

Our opinions were not only ignored, but we were scoffed at and demeaned by high-level Vatican officials who called us deniers, Tea Partiers, and funded by oil interests.

Three members of the Heartland team were approved to take part in the news conference associated with the Vatican’s April 28 climate meetings. One, Marc Morano of the Climate Depot news service, described the experience:

The Vatican failed to treat Delingpole, Monckton, and myself with the same decorum as the other journalists. We were singled out and harassed at the April 28th climate summit in Rome.

Concerning the pontiff’s assertion in his encyclical that he wants to “encourage an honest and open debate,” Yore responded:

Based on our personal experience in Rome, there is no interest in hearing the other side of the science debate by the Vatican.

In his encyclical, Francis acknowledged the Vatican’s lack of expertise about climate change, writing:

On many concrete questions, the Church has no reason to offer a definitive opinion; she knows that honest debate must be encouraged among experts, while respecting divergent views.

The Vatican’s contradictions extend beyond its behavior: they even appear within the encyclical letter itself. The Pope stresses open dialogue, as in the quote above, but then the pope references “obstructionist attitudes” ranging “from denial of the problem to indifference,” supporting Yore’s contention that he in fact has no patience for divergent views on the topic.

Francis also contradicted himself by including numerous definitive opinions about climate change in his letter. After describing …