MCLAUGHLIN: … In a papal guidance directive released on Thursday, Pope Francis castigated the international community, for what he described as its failure to confront global warming. Quote, "If present trends continue, this century may well witness extraordinary climate change and an unprecedented destruction of ecosystems, with serious consequences for all of us," unquote.
MCLAUGHLIN: Question: By embracing climate change, has the pope now made it apostasy for Catholics to be climate change skeptics, or worse, climate change deniers, like Patrick J. Buchanan?
BUCHANAN: Are you talking to me, John?
MCLAUGHLIN: That’s part of the question.
BUCHANAN: Okay. All right. You know, Metternich says, John, that a liberal pope is a contradiction in terms. Metternich was mistaken. The pope when he speaks on faith and morals, speaking ex cathedra, speaks infallibly. But when he speaks on issues like climate change and political issues and the rest of it, he speaks as an Argentine Jesuit socialist, and there’s no infallibility to what he’s saying. And quite frankly, he is squandering his moral authority by going out and by declaiming authoritatively on matters which the Vatican has no greater knowledge of, quite frankly, than the folks in the debate in the United States, who have been in it a great deal longer than the holy father himself.
CLIFT: Translation, the pope is infallible when he is enunciating on issues that Pat agrees with and not --
BUCHANAN: No, I would say faith and morality --
CLIFT: Not infallible when he disagrees.
Listen, the encyclical is a teaching tool, and I think he wants to frame what he regards really as environmental destruction for this planet. He wants to frame that moral terms as opposed to partisan political terms.
It’s going to make some -- there are at least five Catholics running for president. And they’ve all been calling for more religion in the public square, except when they don’t agree with it. So, they’re not going to adopt what he said, but this is a welcome addition to the public dialogue on a terrifically important subject.
MCLAUGHLIN: Mort, the church’s -- Catholic Church’s record is far from infallible on this issue or related to it, categorically, in the same category. I’m thinking of Galileo. Do you remember Galileo?
ZUCKERMAN: Yes. He lived right next to me.
MCLAUGHLIN: Was he complaining about there was no junk removal from --
ZUCKERMAN: I don’t know. We were very careful there. Make sure that we were on good terms.
MCLAUGHLIN: He had a theory of heliocentrism. Do you know what that is?
ZUCKERMAN: Please explain it to me.
MCLAUGHLIN: Please explain it to me.
ROGAN: I have no idea what that means.
CLIFT: They excommunicated him.
BUCHANAN: The Earth goes around the sun. Heliocentric.
MCLAUGHLIN: The Earth --
BUCHANAN: Copernicus was about 100 years ahead of him. And what was done to Galileo has been overrated, John.
MCLAUGHLIN: That the Earth orbited the sun.
BUCHANAN: Yeah, the Earth orbits the sun. That’s a heliocentric universe, rather than a geocentric.
MCLAUGHLIN: Altogether contrary to sacred scripture by the Vatican, 1616.
BUCHANAN: Well, no. They told Galileo simply, you could not preach it. You should not preach it. Copernicus had discovered the idea and preached it long before then.