VATICAN CITY — On Wednesday, Pope Francis appeared to make his point with a gift.
During an initially awkward meeting in Vatican City, Francis presented President #Trump with a signed copy of “Laudato Si” — the pontiff’s 192-page work calling for a new partnership between science and religion to combat human-driven climate change. In doing so, the pope seemed to make a clear statement to a president who once called climate change a Chinese plot and is on the cusp of deciding whether to honor the Paris agreement on addressing global warming.
In the document, the pope lays out in highly scientific terms the challenges of climate change and pollution, speaking of “synthetic agrotoxins” harming birds and insects and “bioaccumulation” from industrial waste. He calls for an “ecological conversion” of the faithful, while chiding the “denial” of skeptics.
“It must be said that some committed and prayerful Christians, with the excuse of realism and pragmatism, tend to ridicule expressions of concern for the environment,” he writes.
The pope’s document — known as a papal encyclical — was part of a package of three of his works presented to Trump. The others: an opus on the family in which the pontiff preaches inclusion and forgiveness, and another on the joy of the gospel.
“Well, I’ll be reading them,” Trump replied.