ROME — Pope Francis has warned of the possibility of a second great flood, like that of Noah’s time, if humanity fails to address global warming.
“God’s wrath is directed against injustice, against Satan,” the pope states in a book titled Of Vices and Virtues due for release Tuesday. “It is directed against evil, not that which derives from human weakness, but evil of Satanic inspiration: the corruption generated by Satan.”
“God’s wrath is meant to bring justice, to ‘clean up,’” the pontiff declares in an advance excerpt of the book published by the Italian daily Corriere della Sera Sunday.
“The Bible says that the flood is the result of God’s wrath,” Francis continues. “It is a figure of God’s wrath, who according to the Bible has seen too many bad things and decides to obliterate humanity.”
“The biblical flood, according to experts, is a mythical tale,” the pope states, parenthetically adding his hope that no one writes that “the pope says the Bible is a myth.”
“But myth is a form of knowledge,” he says. “The flood is a historical tale, archaeologists say, because they found traces of a flood in their excavations.”
“A great flood, perhaps due to a rise in temperature and the melting of the glaciers, is what will happen now if we continue along the same path,” the pope warns.
“God unleashed his wrath, but he saw a righteous one, took him and saved him,” he says. “The story of Noah demonstrates that God’s wrath is also salvific.”
The pope’s new book recounts conversations between the pontiff and Father Marco Pozza, chaplain of the prison of Padua in the north of Italy.
Francis has made care for the environment and opposition to climate change a hallmark of his almost eight-year pontificate, taking to task world leaders who have shown too little resolve in their battle against global warming.
He said last year that it is “evident” that climate change is to blame for a number of humanity’s social ills, as well as disrupting the balance of nature.
“It is evident that climate change not only upsets the balance of nature, but causes poverty and hunger, affects the most vulnerable, and sometimes forces them to leave their land,” the pope told a group gathered in the Vatican.
The pope’s audience consisted of participants in a meeting of members of the Laudato Sì community, named after the pontiff’s 2015 encyclical letter on the environment, which bears the same name.
“We need a real will to tackle the root causes of the ongoing climate upheavals,” Francis insisted. “Generic commitments are not enough — words, words.”