'[US-NATO-sanctions] really aim mostly at the European Union and only to a lesser extent at weakening Russia, because the United States knows no one can expel Russia from the global markets. Although the European Union is a United States military ally, it is also an economic rival.
Pope Francis needs to be praised for calling for an "ecological conversion" for the faithful in his sweeping new encyclical on the environment. "Each year sees the disappearance of thousands of plant and animal species which we will never know, which our children will never see, because they have been lost forever," he writes.
"Every people deserves to conserve its identity without being ideologically colonised," the Pope said. But, during his trip to the Philippines the Pope defended traditional Vatican teaching, which opposes artificial contraception. 
He said this after commenting that, "Progressive, Western ideas about birth control and gay rights were increasingly being imposed by groups, institutions or nations there, often as a condition for development aid."