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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis meets Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old fighting against climate change

Greta Thunberg defines herself as a climate activist with Asperger syndrome, a form of autism affecting social relationships.

Those living with this syndrome don't face intellectual difficulties, and especially thrive when their energy is focused on one theme. For Greta, it is climate change. 

“Sweden is often referred to as a role model. But if we include all of our emissions, we actually have one of the top 10 highest ecological footprints per capita.”

She has encouraged students around the world to protest against the destruction of the environment. Her drive has led to her speaking before the European Parliament... and now in Rome.

Vatican Spokesperson
“The Holy Father has thanked and encouraged Greta Thunberg for her work in defending the environment.”

Greta traveling to Rome to meet Pope Francis, speak before the Senate and encourage Italian students to work against climate change.

“Pope Francis, this is Greta. She came especially to meet you and speak in the Italian Senate. As you know, she is a world star. She has thousands and thousands of followers which she is inspiring to fight against climate change.”

“Keep working and I congratulate you.”

Would you like to say anything to Pope Francis?

“Yes. Thank you for standing up for the climate, for speaking the truth. Really, it means a lot. Thanks.”

“God bless you. Continue to work. Continue. Go on, go ahead.”

The pope also met Greta's dad. The teenager and the Holy Father both share the same mission of fighting against climate change. Pope Francis has an encyclical Laudato si' on the topic, and an upcoming October Synod on the Amazon and new paths for Church and integral ecology.