Pope Francis says ‘no to war,’ urges climate action in livestreamed chat with Bill Clinton


Former President Bill Clinton and Pope Francis have a virtual conversation during the Clinton Global Initiative meeting at the Hilton Midtown on Sept. 18, 2023, in New York City. / Credit: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Sep 18, 2023 / 16:30 pm (CNA).

During a conversation with former President Bill Clinton, Pope Francis urged stronger action on climate change, called for diplomacy instead of war, promoted greater health care access for children, and highlighted the crises facing migrants and refugees.

“It is important to spread a culture of encounter, a culture of dialogue, a culture of listening and of understanding,” Pope Francis said on Monday morning, appearing virtually at the Clinton Foundation’s 2023 Clinton Global Initiative meeting.

Pope Francis was the first of several guests to address the audience at the event in New York City, which was focused on various humanitarian efforts taken up by the nonprofit. The foundation played a video that showed the pope’s involvement with Bambino Gesù pediatric hospital, which is under the jurisdiction of the Holy See, before the former president asked him to “say what you believe about the obligation of ordinary people to make a difference” in society.

“It is necessary to share thoughts on how to contribute to the common good and how not to leave behind the most vulnerable people, such as children who, through the Bambino Gesù Foundation, are at the root of our meeting,” Pope Francis said.

During the conversation, the pope called for action on what he called “the ecological catastrophe” of climate change “before it’s too late.” He said people must take action “while there’s still time” and explained that this is the reason he is writing a new document to follow up on his environmental encyclical Laudato Si’.

Pope Francis also lamented the “wind of war that blows around the world,” adding that “we are in need of a great and shared assumption of responsibility.”

“It is time for weapons to cease and for us to return to dialogue, to diplomacy,” the pope stressed. “Let the designs of conquest and military aggressions cease. That is why I repeat: no to war; no to war.”

When considering the struggles of refugees and migrants, Pope Francis emphasized the need to talk about them as people, “men, women, and children,” and not simply think about them as numbers. He said people must think of “the eyes of the children we’ve seen in refugee camps.”

Pope Francis also commented on the work of the Bambino Gesù hospital, which he said “cannot solve the problems of all the children in the world; however, it seeks to be a sign, a testimony that it is possible through many struggles to bring together great scientific research geared toward children and the free welcoming of people in need.”

“In these terrible months marked by war, [the hospital] has treated more than 2,000 young patients from Ukraine who fled their country with their parents and relatives,” Pope Francis said.

The pope said that in the field of health, “the first and most concrete form of charity is science, the capacity to heal, which however must be accessible to all.” He referred to the hospital as a “concrete sign of charity and mercy of the Church.”

“There are illnesses that cannot be cured, but there are no children who cannot be cared for,” Pope Francis said.

The pontiff encouraged men and women to help each other when difficulties arise.

“Difficulties are part of life, and the best way to deal with them is to always seek the common good: never alone, always together,” Pope Francis said. “Difficulties can bring out the best or the worst in us. Therein lies our challenge: fighting selfishness, narcissism, division, with generosity and humility: better unity than conflict.”

Clinton thanked Pope Francis for addressing the meeting and “for saying something that I hope will mean something for every person.” He said one of the most difficult things in public life is “to convince every person that he or she has a role to play,”

“I think you make us all feel empowered and perhaps that is your greatest power as the pope,” Clinton said. “That you make everybody, even people who aren’t members of the Roman Catholic Church, feel that they have power and therefore that they have responsibility.”

The Clinton Global Initiative meeting began on Monday, Sept. 18, and will continue through Tuesday, Sept. 19.

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  1. “You will know them by their fruits.” Matthew 7:16

    Amoralist Laetitia Pope Francis buddies up to Mr. Abortion Bill Clinton who signed the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act – FACE Act.

    Joan Andrews and friends goes to jail for 11 years for being pro-life against the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act – FACE Act.

  2. Someone ought to inform His Holiness, the Vicar of Christ, the Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church, the Servant of the Servants of God that a woman’s womb and its integrity – especially when carrying an unborn child – IS an environment in its own right. In fact, a mother’s womb is the FUNDAMENTAL environment of God’s creation. Abortion is an environmental issue that, unless addressed by the Pontiff in the context of other environmental issues, renders ALL environmental issues as just more political posturing by the morally bankrupt Left. Perhaps Pontiff Francis ought to take Mother Theresa’s address out of mothballs, pray over it and commit it to memory. YIKES!

  3. You’ve got to be kidding me.

    Bergoglio’s fatuousness and arrogance is epic. Biblical, you might say.

    What does he know about climate science as he issues his stentorian warmist pronunciamento?

    Climate change? Are you kidding me?

    Here are a few brief facts to remember about climate change.

    • The earth’s climate is changing. Duh. It has always changed. And life on earth has always adjusted. That’s what life does. Devastating the economies of entire nations in an impossible quest for an unchanging climate is needlessly imposing misery on humanity.

    In fact , look at a graph that depicts the temperatures on the surface of the earth over the past few hundred million years. It’s like a yo-yo. The whole idea that climate stability is even a thing is absolutely absurd. Laughable. Ridiculous.

    • A 1.5-degree warming of the climate in a century is hardly the “existential threat” that the warmists claim. Think of the people now living 60 miles south of your home. That’s what your hometown will be like after a century of warming. Do they “exist” now, even with a climate that’s 1.5 degree warmer than yours? Is their town an uninhabitable hell-on-earth? Are they bursting into flames atop thousand-foot-high sand dunes? No? That’s good information to ponder.

    • Carbon dioxide is not a poison. It’s not a pollutant. It’s a necessity for life on earth. Indeed, carbon is the molecule of life. In eons past, the earth did experience significantly higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than we have now. The difference then? Plants thrived, food was plentiful and large mammals literally covered the earth, from pole to pole. In sum, more carbon dioxide equals more plants equals more animals equals a better, less stressful life for all.

    • The “scientists” we keep hearing about who are sounding the climate alarm are meteorologists — weathermen. Their climate hysteria is based on computer programs that are not validated. They are closed loops with no way to account for all of the parameters that determine climate now, let alone decades from now. (Such as solar activity, the earth’s magnetic field, etc.) These are the same types of computer programs that predicted that the deaths from COVID-19 would be exponentially higher than what actually came to pass. Lowering all of humanity’s living standards based on such primitive computer modeling is not just irresponsible, it’s diabolical.

    • There are indications that the sun may be entering a period of relative dormancy, as it did for a few hundred years, starting in the fourteenth century. The inactive sun meant less energy released, which led to the Little Ice Age in America and Europe. Rivers and canals in northern Europe froze, vineyards were destroyed, cereal production in Ireland was devastated, and famine hit France. (Interestingly, the cold also caused hardwood trees to grow denser and harder, leading to the remarkable tone of Stradivarius’ string instruments.)

    I could go on and on. And on.

    On the other hand, I wonder if Bergoglio would be able to advise me on how best to treat my lumbago. Or how to get rid of the spiders on my patio. Or whether Metamucil is the cause of my flatulence.

    Meanwhile, speaking of flatulence, the irrepressible Bill Clinton, who is as responsible as anyone for the killing of scores and scores of hundreds of millions of children around the world, continues to encourage Catholics to oppose the Church’s teachings, by presenting himself at the Vatican, of all places. Think our brainiac, sciency pope would say anything about that?

    Nah. Why would he?

    Do I sound a tad irritated at our rope-a-dope pope, Bergoglio? Bitter even?

    Guilty as charged.

  4. Ancient people in ancient times fought wars and killed one another leaving their loved ones to mourn for their folly. Modern people in modern times love peace, solidarity, fellow feeling, and constructive works. Long live humanity.

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