Pope Francis yesterday addressed the situation of the 800,000 "Dreamers" whose could face deportation from the US and the moral responsibility of governments that deny climate change, America Magazine reports.
Speaking to reporters shortly after take-off from Columbia at the end of his five-day papal visit, Francis had a dark mark around his left eye from an accident in the popemobile in Cartagena. He sought to play down the injury saying, “I was leaning down to greet children and then I banged my head … I now have a puffed eye!”
Recalling that whenever Francis meets young people anywhere in the world, he always tells them “don’t let them rob you of hope, don’t let them rob you of your future,” a reporter asked him: “Don’t you think that with the abolition of [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals], young people will lose their joy, their hope, their future?”
While acknowledging that he had not been able to study the DACA decision in detail, Francis spoke about the challenges facing young immigrants more generally, saying that “to take away young people from their families is not something that bears fruit, neither for the young people nor for their families.” Referring to the current negotiations over a legislative solution, he expressed “hope that it can be re-thought a little”.
Then, in a highly significant remark, Pope Francis referred to Donald Trump, saying, “I have heard it said that the President of the United States presents himself as a man who is pro-life, and if he is a good pro-life [man] then he will understand that the family is the cradle of life, and that it must be defended as a unit.”
Noting that the extensive damage from hurricanes Harvey and Irma, potentially connected to the warming of the oceans, a reporter asked the Pope about the moral responsibility of “politicians who refuse to collaborate with other nations to control emissions” because they deny human responsibility for climate change.
Pope Francis rejected climate change denial as strongly as he did in his encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’, saying that “the one who denies this should go to the scientists, and ask them. They speak very clearly. Scientists are precise.”