Archbishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, who heads the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences, appeared to infer that the denial of the much-debated narrative about manmade climate change equates to flat earth mentality. "From the scientific point of view, the sentence that the earth is warmed by human activity is as true as the sentence: The earth is round!” said Sánchez. Despite Catholic teachings that concern for the environment is a prudential matter rather than an article of faith, Sanchez has been a zealous promoter of the notion of anthropogenic climate change as a non-negotiable issue for Catholic believers.

In a recent interview on Vatican Radio, Sanchez dismissed critics of global climate change theory as "a small, negligible minority." Conducted in German, the interview focused on how Pope Francis environmentalist encyclical Laudato Si’ has been received two years after its release. Sanchez claimed that the notion of human-affected climate change is scientific. The Pope, he said, has the right and the duty to rely on science in addition to Catholic doctrine and philosophy in seeking out truth.

Sanchez said that if the Pope speaks about such a matter, then the his words are not arbitrary and not restricted to the area of "doctrine of faith and morals."  He said that the Pope uses science and philosophy, not only to explain how believers are to reach heaven but also inform them how to live their lives. Sanchez, who is an Argentine as is the Pope, said that all human activities have an ethical element and thus fall within the scope of the Pope.

Sanchez is an adviser to Pope Francis, and serves as Chancellor of both the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. He has piqued pro-life Catholics in the past because he has repeatedly invited pro-abortion and population control advocates to the Vatican for conferences on the environment. 

It was Sanchez who said that withdrawal from the Paris environmental accord under the pretext of the climate issue, saying it "would not only be a disaster but completely unscientific."  He added, "Saying that we need to rely on coal and oil is like saying that the earth is not round.” Finally, Sanchez stated, “It is an absurdity dictated by the need to make money." His remarks came just before President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the controversial Paris Climate Agreement. 

Sanchez also smeared climate-change skeptics, repeatedly saying that those who do not  subscribe to the manmade climate change theory are subsidized by the petroleum industry. He repeated the charge in the Vatican Radio interview.

"Of course, some sectors that depend on the oil lobby — including some Catholic institutions! — do not agree with Laudato Si’,'” Sanchez said. “And with this they are causing serious damage, because the climate is deteriorating — even the opponents of climate change will be among their victims, in the short or long term.”

Archbishop Sanchez was criticized during a December 2015 conference in Rome on Laudato Si’ when he claimed that Pope Francis’ statements on global climate change are equivalent in seriousness to the Church’s teachings on the unacceptability of abortion. by claiming that the pope’s pronouncements on  global warming expressed in his document are magisterial teaching with the same gravity as the Church’s teaching on abortion.

Italian journalist Riccardo Cascioli objected to Sanchez’ implication that Catholics must submit to scientific theories versus faith and morals, prompting a retort from Sanchez. “When the Pope has assumed this, it is magisterium of the church whether you like it or not,” he stated. “It is the magisterium of the church just as abortion is a grievous sin – equal …  it is magisterium of the church ... whether you like it or not.”



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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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