Monday, June 22, 2015

Was that the Pope's Carriage?

I haven't and I have to admit I most probably won't read Laudate si, I simply don't have the capacity or will to read and much more importantly digest such a magnum opus properly, and though I had certain capacity to understand the theology of his predecessor I lack the lucidity to follow our present Holy Father's thought. Being no scientist I am certainly willing to believe both sides in the the climate change debate. Being a Christian I believe that I am here for a short time and I have a duty to leave my 'environment', in the broadest sense, better for my presence rather than worst. I like to think of myself as 'traditionalist', which means having received, I hand on, that applies to material and temporal things as well as things spiritual and dogmatic. Us 'trads' tend to think we should live lightly on the earth and other people.

The Holy Father's main thrust is against selfish consumerism, I can think of none of the saints who was for it, He is against unjust distribution of wealth, that is because he hears God himself telling us the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man, and his story of the division of sheep and goats and the terrifying sentence passed on the goats who fail to recognise the King in the poor and hungry.

There is something a little shocking, reminiscent of Paul VI's call for a world bank, in the call for international organizations to police climate policy, quite where that begins and more importantly ends I find worrying.

I must admit I was hoping that the Holy Father might come out with a few things that might actually 'green' the Church, I notice another blogger has already suggested abandoning those international youth rallies, it seems almost obscene to transport unnecessarily tens of thousands, or if official reports are to believed, millions, of young people across the world. I was quite pleased when the Holy Father told people from Buenos Aires not to come to his inauguration but to stay at home and do something useful with the money.

One of the things that seems a little worrying is that this encyclical seems to be saying is that the Pope is on a par with any other world leader or the head of the UN but then I long for the day when English tourists in Rome could turn to one another and ask disinterestedly, as they did in the early 19th century, "Oh, was that was the Pope's carriage that just passed us?" or simply mention "...and we saw the Pope walking in street".


TLM said...

Yes, indeed, this Encyclical worries me a bit. Partly because of what is says and partly because of what it doesn't say. It does give credence to the U.N.'s mantra of man made climate change. Who knows really how much truth there is to that, but the population control (and all around 'control') enthusiasts at the U.N. I am afraid will be bolstered by it. There are to be fair a few places where the Holy Father at least spoke against population control and abortion, but it was intermingled almost as 'stand alone' comments with no real theology explanation behind them. I saw nothing of contraception or euthanasia or any other 'general life' affirming acclamations, however. I would have to go over it again, but I didn't see many references to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, maybe a few. The main thrust seemed to be our unity with 'mother earth' in which all of God's creation was on the same journey to meet the Lord God in glory, and presently we are in 'Communion' with all living things. (??) Let's put it this way, I wasn't all that impressed, mixed with just a tad bit of anxiety.

viterbo said...

Amongst the plethora of muses for the 'recyclical', were "global warming alarmists in its rush to judgment to meet the UN 2015 Sustainable Development Goals’ timetable. Additionally, during this process, the Vatican consulted primarily with and continues to rely upon radical population control proponents who exploit discredited climate change science to justify their extremist population reduction policies under the nuanced UN ‘reproductive sexual health’ rubric." Elizabeth Yore, International Child Rights Attorney.

If someone doesn't believe the computer projections about climate change (alarmist), but rather the in situ observations (really nothing to see here folks) are they gonna get annihilated when they pass-on from the 'seamless garment of God’s creation'?

Jacobi said...

Viterbo, you raise an interesting point. A lot of us who sit and tap away are getting on a bit and expect in the not too distant future to shake of this mortal coil.

In introducing an element of honest reality, the way that must be walked between that and some of the rhetoric coming out in the name of the "planet", is exceedingly narrow and difficult, a wobbly tightrope. But Truth is Truth.

It's a sair fecht as we say in my little part of the world.

Nicolas Bellord said...

Chapter Two which sets outs the theology of why we should take care of the planet is worth reading if you did not know the answer already. The rest of the encyclical is extremely long and would require a very patient reader to read it all and absorb it. Whether doing so is worthwhile is questionable; from my rapid reading of it all I have my doubts. I doubt whether many people will read it and the only message that goes out is that the Pope supports the climate change lobby and the fact that he dissents from the Malthusian extremists will go unnoticed.

A more important event this week will be the publication of the working document for the second part of the Synod on the Family due on the 25th I think. It really will be important to read and analyse that.

GOR said...

I did plough through the early leaked edition in Italian and it was a tough slog. Like the Catechism I felt it was too detailed with scatter-shot quotes from all and sundry. It seems he brought every Episcopal Conference in the world into it, along with his predecessors.

Apparently, the first draft was structured to begin with the theology and progress to the environment. That was changed and the theology was pushed further back. I’m sure that was to “reach a wider audience” and “get people’s attention” – but I think it was a mistake.

I suspect it will suffer the same fate as Humanae Vitae. There, while Paul VI has many good things to say, he was lambasted and ignored because he didn’t endorse contraception.

In Laudato Si Francis also has many good things to say, but they will be ignored due to his ruminations about Global Warming and economic matters.

A missed opportunity.

Liam Ronan said...

On February 8, 1992, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger criticized U. S. President George H. W. Bush's speech calling for "a New World Order" in a speech of his own (Ratzinger) at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore.

In his discourse, the future Pope Benedict XVI explained that Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson's novel, The Lord of the World, described 'a similar unified civilization and its power to destroy the spirit. The anti-Christ is represented as the great carrier of peace in a similar new world order.'

Then-Cardinal Ratzinger proceeded to quote from Pope Benedict XV's 1920 encyclical 'Bonum sane': "The coming of a world state is longed for, by all the worst and most distorted elements. This state, based on the principles of absolute equality of men and a community of possessions, would banish all national loyalties. In it no acknowledgement would be made of the authority of a father over his children, or of God over human society. If these ideas are put into practice, there will inevitably follow a reign of unheard-of terror."

So singularly odd that the present Bishop of Rome, Francis, (ironically the name of the apostate nature-worshipping Catholic priest in Benson's Lord of the World) is terribly fond of referencing Benson's work. I honestly suspect Francis has not read it.

Jacobi said...

chapter 2 is good. It is essentially about Man's dominion over the earth, and how we should exercise this dominion well, something any thinking Catholic would do. It is open to and welcomes dialogue. We all began in poverty. Christ indeed called us to poverty. Technology has lifted much of Mankind from the worst of that and only with technology can we assist the rest of Mankind to an acceptable level, which does not mean hedonism.

It might well have stopped at that.

The Saving of souls, their eternal destination is perhaps for another encyclical

nickbris said...

At least he didn't say that digging up oil in The Malvinas is wrong

viterbo said...

@Jacobi. When good is mixed with radically not good, it's best just to throw out the whole mix.

viterbo said...

As one astute reviewer put it, the ecocyclical is "an enabler for United States presidency and every other pro-abortion, pro perversity statist politician, jurist, “educator” (and the word is used very lightly, of course), commentator, “scientist,” celebrity, legislator, and appointed government official around the world".

Nicolas Bellord said...

The Instrumentum Laboris or Agenda for the next session of the Synod of the Family is now available at:

Only in Italian so far and 43 pages long.

Supertradmum said...

OWG is bad, and there may be some bad advisers behind the support of the evil UN, but I have 25 posts unpacking this encyclical, which has many excellent points. Americans, who are the most selfish of gross consumers, get upset with any needed corrections.

I do not agree with global warming, but have a Benedictine heart concerning work and prayer, and conservation.

We all need to be good stewards.

Many comments have been very rude on other blogs. Let us pray for the Pope. I pray for him daily.

Liam Ronan said...


As an American who has lived in Ireland for over 16 years now I winced to read your, at best, sweeping generalization:

"Americans, who are the most selfish of gross consumers, get upset with any needed corrections."

Unhappily, that very sort of over-exaggeration and sweeping mis-characterization are precisely the failings which trouble so many who take exception to this encyclical.

For my own part, I was both unsettled and alarmed alarmed by the very very late mention of abortion in the text of this encyclical and even then (as opposed to the very broad strokes painted in respect of other topics touched) the destruction of human life was suspiciously nuanced.

The unborn child, the child in its mother's womb, is referred to as the 'human embryo' (see paragraphs 117, 120, and 136). More suspicious because the language elsewhere in these same paragraphs refers to 'a poor person', 'disabled persons'. However, no reference to the unborn child as a 'person'.

Shocking and peculiar terminology at best. The 'human embryo' is a 'person' but this encyclical is at pains to avoid that word in connection with the unborn child.

Liam Ronan said...

I grant that the language with which this recent encyclical has been dissected in some columns and com-boxes has been harsh; some rude.

But one man's rude is another's zealous remonstration:

"You snakes! You brood of vipers!" Matthew 23:33

"You stupid Galatians!" Galatians 3:1


Supertradmum said...

Liam Ronan, I stand by my criticisms of the people of this nation. Sorry, but most people do not have a clue about the horrible poverty elsewhere and are smug about giving. Many people who are comfortably middle class claim they are "poor", without a clue what that means. And compulsive and novelty buying seems rampant.

The encyclical is flawed, and I said this on the blog and here. But the fact is that many materialists, consumerists and those who believe the comfort in this world is more important that redistribution or caring for the poor, need a good lecture.

I daily see horrible waste of food and goods. People cannot live simply here, or it is very hard to do so.

As of today, American stands poised for the greatest wrath of God ever seen against this nation, as it is not longer Christian, but pagan.

God will not be mocked, either by the lack of real charity, or disordered passions.

Pray for the Pope. God allowed his to be elected by men for a reason. We need to pray for him.

Liam Ronan said...


God bless you for your enthusiasm.


Nicolas Bellord said...

There seems to be a general consensus emerging that this encyclical is a curate's egg. Is there such a thing as a Papal Egg?