Perhaps topping all other kooky 'more progressive than thou' statements of the past years, Pope Francis this week said something that sounds like he's been quoted in an Onion or Babylon Bee headline, as if he's in competition for hyperbolic absurdity with Greta Thunberg.
Instead it's CNN, and it's all too real — Francis actually implied in new statements on the coronavirus pandemic that it's nature's revenge for people ignoring climate change.
Pope Francis has said the coronavirus pandemic is one of "nature's responses" to humans ignoring the current ecological crisis, CNN reports.
The remarks were cited in a Wednesday interview with The Tablet and Commonwealth magazines, wherein the pope further described the crisis as an opportunity for mankind to "slow down the rate of production and consumption".
"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?" the Pope said.
"I don't know if these are the revenge of nature, but they are certainly nature's responses," he added, strongly suggesting that the ongoing deadly COVID-19 outbreak could be part of nature's 'response' - given the pandemic was the focus of the interview.
“There is an expression in Spanish: ‘God always forgives, we forgive sometimes, but nature never forgives,'” the pope said in an interview published Wednesday in The Tablet, a United Kingdom-based Catholic weekly.
He actually said something similar in an interview with a Spanish journalist over two weeks ago, saying at that time when pressed about climate change and coronavirus: “Fires, earthquakes… nature is throwing a tantrum so that we will take care of her.”
The 83-year-old Pope himself appeared ill weeks ago, but has tested negative for the novel virus twice, according to reports. He's been celebrating mass at the Vatican, including for Palm Sunday, in an empty St. Peter's Basilica.
Recall that near the end of last year Pope Francis was so fed up with 'climate-change deniers' that he was on the verge of declaring a new sin — ‘Ecological Sin’.
“We must introduce—we are thinking—into the Catechism of the Catholic Church the sin against ecology, the ecological sin against the common home, because it’s a duty,” the pope told an audience of legal experts at the Vatican in November 2019.
But we should point out that any attempt to equate 'man-made climate change' with a global pandemic, however remotely, is a truly new and strange notion given the deadliest outbreaks in history like the 'Black Death' which wiped out an estimated 75-125 million people in the 14th century was obviously long before the advent of industrialization, mass consumption, and the threat of the “carbon footprint”.