Pope Francis said the coronavirus pandemic may be nature’s response to people’s failure to take climate change seriously.
His comments came in an interview posted by The Tablet on Wednesday. He was asked if he saw the crisis as an opportunity for ecological conservation.
He said: “There is an expression in Spanish: ‘God always forgives, we forgive sometimes, but nature never forgives.’ We did not respond to the partial catastrophes.
“Who now speaks of the fires in Australia, or remembers that 18 months ago a boat could cross the North Pole because the glaciers had all melted? Who speaks now of the floods?
“I don’t know if these are the revenge of nature, but they are certainly nature’s responses.”
And he was critical of certain unnamed political personalities and their responses to the coronavirus pandemic.
“This crisis is affecting us all, rich and poor alike, and putting a spotlight on hypocrisy,” he said. “I am worried by the hypocrisy of certain political personalities who speak of facing up to the crisis, of the problem of hunger in the world, but who in the meantime manufacture weapons. This is a time to be converted from this kind of functional hypocrisy. It’s a time for integrity. Either we are coherent with our beliefs or we lose everything.”
Pope Francis had kicked off Holy Week on Sunday in an empty St. Peter’s Basilica and urged people living through the pandemic to ease the suffering of others.
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