Pope Meets Biden: Urges World Action on Climate, Vaccines, and Poverty

Pope Meets Biden: Urges World Action on Climate, Vaccines, and Poverty

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Pope Francis has been active lately discussing a number of issues such as climate change, vaccine sharing, persecution, abortion, conflicts, and more, as he meets with world leaders and US president Joe Biden.

Pope Francis urges a “radical” climate response

“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.”

–Genesis 2:15

Pope Francis has been speaking out for action on climate change for some time. With world leaders poised to meet at the UN Climate Conference in Glasgow, in a radio message recorded for the BBC, the Pope called on leaders to provide “effective responses” to the environmental emergency and urged “radical” responses and not to “waste opportunities” to respond to the present challenges.

“We can confront these crises by retreating into isolationism, protectionism and exploitation,” the supreme pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church said, “or we can see in them a real chance for change.”

“A renewed sense of shared responsibility for our world,” was emphasized by the Pope. “Each of us – whoever and wherever we may be – can play our own part in changing our collective response to the unprecedented threat of climate change in the degradation of our common home.”

Isaiah’s climate change warning?

When it comes to whether or not climate change and its devastating results were foreseen in the Bible, a prophecy from the prophet Isaiah is often referenced…

“The earth lies defiled under its inhabitants; for they have transgressed the laws, violated the statutes, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore a curse devours the earth, and its inhabitants suffer for their guilt; therefore the inhabitants of the earth are scorched, and few men are left.”

– Isaiah 24:5-6

Pope meets with President Biden

On Friday, US President Joe Biden met with Pope Francis at the Vatican. Biden is only the second Catholic president in US history; the other was John F. Kennedy.

Despite the criticism of the president for his support of abortion rights in America, Biden, who considers himself devout, was declared to be a “good Catholic” by Pope Francis,” NPR reported.

The two leaders discussed climate change, the pandemic, and global poverty.

“In his audience with Pope Francis today, President Biden thanked His Holiness for his advocacy for the world’s poor and those suffering from hunger, conflict, and persecution,” the White House said in a statement.

The White House statement added that the president lauded the Pope’s leadership “in fighting the climate crisis, as well as his advocacy to ensure the pandemic ends for everyone through vaccine sharing and an equitable global economic recovery.”

Biden, abortion and communion

In terms of abortion, in September, US bishops were working on drafting a “teaching document” that would rebuke Catholic politicians, including Biden, for receiving communion while supporting abortion rights. At the time, Francis declined to give an answer on the subject, saying he did not know the case well enough. However, he reiterated that abortion was “homicide” and that Catholic priests cannot give the Eucharist to someone who is not in communion with the church, the Associated Press reported.

During the meeting with Biden at the Vatican on Friday, Pope Francis told him he should continue to be allowed to receive communion, Politico reported.

“Abortion is more than an issue – abortion is homicide,” Pope Francis declared in mid-September, the Catholic News Agency reported. “It’s a homicide. No middle terms. Whomever does an abortion, kills.”

“Scientifically it’s a human life,” the Pope added. “The textbooks teach us that. But is it right to take it out to solve a problem? And this is why the Church is so strict on this issue because it is kind of like accepting this is accepting daily murder.”

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