Pope Francis has made no secret of his disdain for science, and he has also repeatedly said he doesn’t trust the “science” of climate change.
And this week, as the pontiff traveled to Argentina, a country devastated by the 2010-2011 drought, he again came out swinging at the climate science movement, calling it “irresponsible.”
In an interview with La Nacion, the Argentine newspaper, the pontiffs chief of staff, Father Federico Lombardi, suggested that climate scientists should be jailed.
Lombardi said that the pope’s approach to climate science is not based on evidence, but rather on “moral authority.”
Lombardi noted that the pontifical climate advisory council, composed of climate scientists, is part of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, which is overseen by Pope Francis.
Lombardi also said that scientists should have to give up their jobs and resign from the advisory body, which he described as “a group of the most dangerous people in the world.”
Lombardini was referring to the advisory group, which the pope appointed in 2010 to advise the pontifice on environmental issues.
Lombardoin said that, as a member of the academy, he has no obligation to accept anything the pontIFes climate advisory panel recommends.
But Lombardi’s remarks could prove controversial given that Francis has not endorsed the academy’s recommendation for the pontifex, saying that it “needs to be studied carefully.”
The Vatican, however, has previously defended the pope, saying the pontificates climate advisory body has not recommended that the Pontifex be fired.
The Vatican’s response to Lombardi was to note that the academy is not in a position to advise on Pope Francis, but Lombardi suggested that the Vatican is simply asking the pontificate to make a recommendation that the climate advisory group’s members can’t refuse.
This is the second time in less than a week that Francis and his aides have come out swinging against climate scientists.
Earlier this month, he told journalists that climate change is a myth, a “hoax” that has been “hijacked by the powerful.”
“There are no scientific arguments for the existence of climate chaos,” he said.
The pope also said he has a “moral obligation” to fight climate change, telling reporters during his visit to Argentina that he was committed to ending fossil fuels.
This week, he also appeared to suggest that scientists who disagree with him may be punished for not following the pope.
“We have a moral obligation to be responsible and to do the right thing,” Francis said in an interview on Argentine television.
“It is possible that people who have the most moral obligation may be subject to disciplinary action.”
In addition to Lombardoini, Francis also said earlier this week that he did not know if scientists were “really” scientists, according to Reuters.
He also made it clear that he thinks the pontifi c is not an infallible person.
“I think that when people tell me that they are not scientists, that is because they are lying, that it’s the lie of those who do not believe in God,” he told reporters.
In response to a question on Wednesday about the pope saying that scientists are liars, Lombardi added that the fact that the Pope does not believe that science is a religion, does not make it a science.