Vatican officials are dismayed by President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the global Paris climate agreement despite their efforts to convince him otherwise, according to Reuters.
In comments provided to Italian newspaper La Repubblica and confirmed by Reuters, Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, head of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, said: “If he really does (pull out), it would be a huge slap in the face for us.”
“It will be a disaster for everyone,” Sorondo added.
The Vatican strongly supported the Paris climate agreement, which was agreed on by nearly 200 countries and signed by Trump’s predecessor President Barack Obama in 2015.
During Trump’s meeting with Pope Francis last month, the Pontiff gifted him a weighty encyclical he wrote urging action in response to climate change.
According to Reuters, “Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin urged Trump in a separate meeting not to quit the Paris accord.”
The agreement, which calls on participating countries to cut their greenhouse gas emissions, was a frequent punching bag for Trump during the 2016 campaign, used as a rallying cry against supposed government overregulation. Trump has frequently called man-made climate change a hoax created by the Chinese.