Quantcast

Santorum to Pope Francis: Police Bedrooms Not Climate Issues

Climate

Former Pennsylvania senator and now second-time presidential candidate Rick Santorum has consistently positioned himself as the most religiously extreme candidate in a field of extreme rightwing candidates, holding up his devout, ultra-conservative Roman Catholicism as a key credential. He's previously preached blind adherence to church teachings.

GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum has preached absolute loyalty to the Catholic church— as long as the Pope isn't talking about climate change.
Photo credit: Shutterstock

But, like many of his ilk, he's only happy when the Pope is condemning sex, not so much when he's speaking on issues such as poverty and the climate. So now that Pope Francis has taken a leadership role in addressing climate changeaddressing the subject frequently in public remarks, convening a conference on climate at the Vatican last month and preparing to release an encyclical on the topic—Santorum has decided he's a better judge of what church priorities should be than the Pope.

In an interview with radio host Dom Giordano in Philadelphia this week, Santorum was asked what he thought about Pope Francis' commitment to helping deal with climate change and his statements about how climate impacts the poor.

“I understand and I sympathize and I support completely the Pope’s call for us to do more to create opportunities for people to be able to rise in society, and to care for the poor,” said Santorum.

But ... "The church has gotten it wrong a few times on science, and I think that we probably are better off leaving science to the scientists," he said.

What Santorum didn't say was that virtually every climate scientist agrees with the Pope and that the Pope himself is a scientist, with a degree in chemistry. Santorum is a lawyer with degrees in business and political science.

Santorum went on to say that the church should stick with "what we're really good at, which is theologically and morally."

“I think when we get involved with controversial political and scientific theories, then I think the church is probably not as forceful and credible,” said Santorum. “And I’ve said this to the bishops many times when they get involved in agriculture policy or things like that, that are really outside of the scope of what the church’s main message is.”

Why condemning marriage equality and contraceptive use—two pet Santorum issues that probably top the list of controversial political and scientific theories—is any more in the scope of the church than agriculture policy is hard to figure out, since the Bible addresses agriculture copiously and the other two issues not at all.

Santorum, of course, has joined many other Republicans in claiming climate change is a "hoax." "The dangers of carbon dioxide? Tell that to a plant, how dangerous carbon dioxide is,” he has said. He called the idea of greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change "patently absurd."

He has said that the idea of climate change is a "beautifully concocted scheme" based on "junk science" being used by liberals as "just an excuse for more government control of your life."

At a campaign event last week in Iowa, Santorum responded to a questioner who said that Christians had an obligation to be good stewards for the Earth by saying, “I always have problems when people come up and say the science is settled. That’s what they said about the world being flat. When someone says the science is settled you’re not a scientist, because scientists never say the science is settled. The idea that the science is settled, to me, tells me that this is political science, not real science.”

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Pope Francis to Host Major Summit on Climate Change

Pope Francis: 'If We Destroy Creation, Creation Will Destroy Us'

9 Climate-Denying Republicans Who Might Run for President

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

An aerial view of a neighborhood destroyed by the Camp Fire on Nov. 15, 2018 in Paradise, Calif. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Respecting scientists has never been a priority for the Trump Administration. Now, a new investigation from The Guardian revealed that Department of the Interior political appointees sought to play up carbon emissions from California's wildfires while hiding emissions from fossil fuels as a way to encourage more logging in the national forests controlled by the Interior department.

Read More
Slowing deforestation, planting more trees, and cutting emissions of non-carbon dioxide greenhouse gases like methane could cut another 0.5 degrees C or more off global warming by 2100. South_agency / E+ / Getty Images

By Dana Nuccitelli

Killer hurricanes, devastating wildfires, melting glaciers, and sunny-day flooding in more and more coastal areas around the world have birthed a fatalistic view cleverly dubbed by Mary Annaïse Heglar of the Natural Resources Defense Council as "de-nihilism." One manifestation: An increasing number of people appear to have grown doubtful about the possibility of staving-off climate disaster. However, a new interactive tool from a climate think tank and MIT Sloan shows that humanity could still meet the goals of the Paris agreement and limit global warming.

Read More
Sponsored
A baby burrowing owl perched outside its burrow on Marco Island, Florida. LagunaticPhoto / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Burrowing owls, which make their homes in small holes in the ground, are having a rough time in Florida. That's why Marco Island on the Gulf Coast passed a resolution to pay residents $250 to start an owl burrow in their front yard, as the Marco Eagle reported.

Read More
Amazon and other tech employees participate in the Global Climate Strike on Sept. 20, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. Amazon Employees for Climate Justice continue to protest today. Karen Ducey / Getty Images

Hundreds of Amazon workers publicly criticized the company's climate policies Sunday, showing open defiance of the company following its threats earlier this month to fire workers who speak out on climate change.

Read More
Locusts swarm from ground vegetation as people approach at Lerata village, near Archers Post in Samburu county, approximately 186 miles north of Nairobi, Kenya on Jan. 22. "Ravenous swarms" of desert locusts in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia threaten to ravage the entire East Africa subregion, the UN warned on Jan. 20. TONY KARUMBA / AFP / Getty Images

East Africa is facing its worst locust infestation in decades, and the climate crisis is partly to blame.

Read More