Speaking from his library to empty churches all over the world, Francis warned that harming the earth puts us all at risk: "There is a Spanish saying that is very clear about this. It goes: 'God always forgives; we humans sometimes forgive, and sometimes not; the earth never forgives.' The earth does not forgive: if we have despoiled the earth, its response will be very ugly."
The pope returned to his claim that natural disasters today are not the result of abortion or mass apostasy but rather "Earth's response to our mistreatment.”
“Because of our selfishness,” said Francis, sounding more like a Shaolin monk than a Catholic priest, “we have failed in our responsibility to be guardians and stewards of the Earth.”
(How so, Holiness? I can’t even build a birdfeeder in my own backyard without breaking some green law against “violating” the natural habitat of grasshoppers.)
The pope also warned that it will be “necessary for our children to take to the streets to teach us the obvious: we have no future if we destroy the very environment that sustains us.”
He concluded by calling world leaders to endorse and support two upcoming international conferences: COP15 on Biodiversity in Kunming, China and COP26 on Climate Change in Glasgow, UK. I'm sure those will be great fun!
In the meantime, the pontiff spoke of the urgent need for all of us to become part of the environmental movement: "It will help if people at all levels of society come together to create a popular movement 'from below’. The Earth Day we are celebrating today was itself born in precisely this way. We can each contribute in our own small way."
"We have sinned against the Earth, against our neighbor and, in the end, against the creator."
"Creator"? That's a bold thing to say! Ever since Pachamama made her debut back at the Amazon Synod, it seems everyone--even the pope--is a creationist. Everything from planting trees to using paper (rather than plastic) straws to saving whales can now be done in the name of protecting holy creation. I guess even Evolution has become just too darn traditional for the Church of Accompaniment. Drive a SUV these days and I guess you're committing gas-guzzling sacrilege.
Meanwhile, in a recent interview in Vatican News, Peter Cardinal Turkson solemnly informed the world that the Covid pandemic will force us all to “learn slowly and painfully to take care of our common home, as Pope Francis so prophetically teaches in the Encyclical Laudato si’”.
In other words, it seems that Francis is exploiting COVID to advance his leftist, socialist climate change agenda.
Why is Francis a climate change fanatic? Watch and share this video, which is being shadow banned by Facebook:
What the world needs now, according to the Vatican--apart from love sweet love--is a little Laudato Si action!
Well, we happen to agree with Francis on this one: What the world desperately needs is more Laudato Si, at least as Laudato Si was so meticulously explained by Remnant columnist, Chris Jackson, back in 2015 at the time of the encyclical's spawning.
Jackson’s original article was read by some 50,000 people. But, given that Laudato Si has since become the veritable replacement of the Holy Bible for Francis and his pro-abort friends at the United Nations, we believe it's time for a second launch.
And so, in honor of the upcoming 5th Anniversary of the encyclical hailed as 'wise and compelling' by population-controller Jeffrey Sachs and extolled as 'inspired' by gay marriage-promoting Bono, I’m reposting this Remnant classic, along with a rather urgent appeal to readers to share it far and wide.
Send it to your bishop, your parish priest, your congressman, your dentist and every Kool-Aid drinking neo-Catholic you can think of. Pachamama might get a little irate, but God will reward you. MJM
Why I’m Disregarding Laudato Si and You Should Too
by Chris Jackson
(Reprinted from the June 2015 issue of The Remnant Newspaper)
HAVING WASTED OVER an hour of my life, I now can say that I have read Laudato Si. It is the Pope’s latest verbose tome of an encyclical, which: espouses global warming alarmism, calls for international organizations to police climate change, and waxes poetic about people leading animals to God. In short it is as if Al Gore, Karl Marx, and Teilhard de Chardin wrote an encyclical. What’s worse is that because it came from a Pope, otherwise sane and rational people are actually taking it seriously. For instance, many Neo-Catholics, who would normally laugh Laudato Si to scorn it if were penned by Al Gore or Joe Biden, are now praising the encyclical. They are busy touting its hidden genius and quoting banal lines from the encyclical as if they were precious gifts from God. At times, one really is forced to wonder if these people are sane or whether they truly have any core convictions at all. For it is no exaggeration to say that this encyclical is an embarrassment, and I am ashamed as a Catholic that my pope issued it.
With homosexual “marriage” being touted by almost all Western governments, true marriage being attacked by Cardinals who want to give public adulterers Holy Communion, abortion raging on unabated, and transexualism now making inroads in popular Western culture, our pontiff chose to use the majesty of his office and over 100 pages of mostly ambiguous and meaningless verbiage to lecture the world on the dangers of a pseudo environmental “crisis” manufactured by the Church’s enemies. The worst part is that those behind combating “climate change” are not in the least concerned about the environment, “sister earth”, “brother moon”, the poor, or the rest. They are concerned with using this manufactured issue, and those who care about it, as dupes to support their own agenda. An agenda that involves large international governing bodies enforcing climate policies, which will affect almost every aspect of our lives. Our pope, by issuing this encyclical is now complicit in lending credence to the upcoming Climate Conference in Paris where the pro-abortion UN will attempt to get nations to sign on to a “climate agreement.”
For those of you who have not read the encyclical, first, be glad you didn’t waste your time. I wasted mine so you wouldn’t have to. Second, as a lay Traditional Catholic with common sense, I will now lay out the reasons I found the encyclical an embarrassment, many of which you will probably never hear from the Neo-Catholic pundits. I will first quote a selected portion of the encyclical in red, then give my reaction. The number in parentheses is the paragraph in Laudato Si where the quote can be found. Predictably I did not get past the first ten paragraphs without spitting my coffee out.
As Christians, we are also called “to accept the world as a sacrament of communion, as a way of sharing with God and our neighbours on a global scale. It is our humble conviction that the divine and the human meet in the slightest detail in the seamless garment of God’s creation, in the last speck of dust of our planet.” (9)
First of all, what does “accepting the world as a sacrament of communion” mean? Like all post-conciliar encyclicals, this one is heavy on nonsensical ambiguous language. We know as Catholics that there are only seven sacraments instituted by Christ Our Lord and “the world” is not one of them. Further, the sacrament of Holy Communion is not defined as “sharing with God and our neighbors on a global scale.” However, even if it were, what exactly are we supposed to be sharing with God and our neighbors? We aren’t told. Who knows!? That is what keeps the Neo-Catholics in business isn’t it? The pope provides the nonsensical ambiguity and the Neo-Catholics “interpret” it for us and tell us what it means.
SECRET MESSAGE: D-R-I-N-K M-O-R-E K-O-O-L-A-I-D!
As for the second sentence, I have no idea what it means either. However, the words “seamless garment”, made famous by the infamous Cardinal Bernardin in order to downplay the sin of abortion, should give one immediate pause. And, it turns out, for good reason. For this encyclical uses the seamless garment in the same fashion by appearing to equate the heinous sin of abortion with emitting too many greenhouse gases.
Further, encyclical states that the human and divine meet in the last speck of dust of our planet. Really? Let’s ponder this for a moment. Our Pope just said it is his “conviction” as a Christian that the human and the divine meet in a speck of dust. Has anyone in the history of Christendom heard such a statement before? A speck of dust is in no way human and it is in no way divine. It is a piece of created matter. Yet it is the pope’s “conviction” that God and man meet in a speck of dust? I really have no words. Moving on…
By contrast, if we feel intimately united with all that exists, then sobriety and care will well up spontaneously. (11)
A recurring theme in this encyclical is “feelings” which is all the encyclical is really based on. Really good warm fuzzy feelings that mean you care. You care about the furry animals, the cute dolphins, poor people, and mother earth. This means you are a good person and that is all that really matters. That said, how can one force oneself to “feel” intimately united with ALL that exists? ALL that exists. So if I were to try to meditate on this encyclical (God forbid) do I sit in my chair and imagine myself merging in union with frogs, cockroaches, skunks, bears, bushes, dirt, concrete, computers, all people in the world etc.? And then sobriety and care will well up spontaneously inside me? I do like how the word sobriety is used, as if the author assumes one would have to be inebriated to even attempt the exercise.
Obstructionist attitudes, even on the part of believers, can range from denial of the problem to indifference, nonchalant resignation or blind confidence in technical solutions. (14)
If there was one part of the encyclical where I felt Pope Francis was finally talking directly to me, this was it! I finally felt special and included for the first time in a post-Vatican II encyclical. I pretty much meet all of the categories. I am a believer (though belief in what is not specified). I deny there is a problem. If there is a problem, I am nonchalantly resigned to it as there is nothing I can do about it (China is belching out tons of CFC’s and me selling my car and riding a bike isn’t going to help). Also, if there is a problem then I’m all for blind confidence in technical solutions, because if there is no technical solution to this problem, then there is no solution. Humanity is not giving up cars and manufactured things regardless of what the pope or UN say.
It is my hope that this Encyclical Letter, which is now added to the body of the Church’s social teaching, can help us to acknowledge the appeal, immensity and urgency of the challenge we face. I will begin by briefly reviewing several aspects of the present ecological crisis…. In light of this reflection, I will advance some broader proposals for dialogue and action…Finally…I will offer some inspired guidelines for human development…(15)
This is interesting. It’s as if Pope Francis is afraid that this encyclical will not be taken seriously enough to add it to the body of the Church’s social teaching, so he must be sure to write that it should be. Has any encyclical in history stated this? This may be the Church’s first neurotically insecure encyclical.
Lucky for us, something doesn’t become “Church teaching” because the pope says “add my private musings on unproven man-made global warming (which I labeled an encyclical) to Church teaching.” Church teaching was set in the Deposit of Faith. Anything not directly related to faith or morals or inconsistent with Tradition is not Church teaching. Especially when the pope himself couches the “encyclical” as a “reflection,” followed by “proposals,” followed by “guidelines.” In other words, this is nothing more than the private opinion of a pope in the form of a letter. I don’t care if it is labeled an encyclical, a bull, an apostolic exhortation, or a decree. The form is irrelevant in this case just as form and formality is irrelevant to Francis in most cases. The subject matter and intent of the encyclical is what is controlling. Once again we are confronted with a “pastoral” letter, like the “pastoral” Council, that elucidates no doctrine, but instead ambiguously opines, ad nauseum, about an apparent climate crisis.
Another question to guide us is who is the pope addressing in his encyclical? Only the members of the Church in order to give his infallible authoritative decision on a matter of Faith? No. Instead the pope says “I wish to address every person living on this planet.(3)” Thus, it seems this encyclical has as much binding doctrinal force on Catholics as it does on atheists living in Timbuktu. But I digress…
A Pope United With The World
As examples, I will point to the intimate relationship between the poor and the fragility of the planet, the conviction that everything in the world is connected… (16)
The planet is “fragile?” The planet was created by the omniscient God almighty and according to modern scientists has been around for 4.5 billion years. Are we to believe God made a planet that was to survive and sustain us until around 1970 A.D., at which point it would suddenly become “fragile” and need all of humanity to undergo “radical change” to save it? Did God, creator of all matter, not foresee the industrial revolution and the modern combustion engine? What sheer hubris and condescension on our part to think God handed over a “fragile” planet to us that can be decimated by the use of hair spray and motorcars.
Our goal is not to amass information or to satisfy curiosity, but rather to become painfully aware, to dare to turn what is happening to the world into our own personal suffering and thus to discover what each of us can do about it. (19)
If the goal of the pope was to make me “painfully” aware of something, then mission accomplished. I have not experienced this much pain from reading a text in quite some time. However, all I became “painfully aware” of is that our pope has swallowed the same tired old propaganda from the environmentalist extremists that I have been hearing for decades.
Also, did the pope just say I should dare to turn “what is happening to the world” (i.e. dirt, water, insects, animals) into my own personal suffering? Understand we are not talking about turning the infinite number of offenses against Christ Our Lord being perpetrated daily by modern man into our own personal suffering and offering reparation and penance for it. This is actually what we should be doing. No. Instead we need to unite our sufferings to the June bug, the firefly, and particles of dust (where man meets the divine) to inspire us to some sort of action to “save” them.
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 for ever. The great majority become extinct for reasons related to human activity. Because of us, thousands of species will no longer give glory to God by their very existence, nor convey their message to us. We have no such right. (33)
So now we are supposed to cry over extinct species? What about the Dodo bird? It was lost forever. Are my children worse off for it? Not really. They can see a picture of this stupid bird (it went extinct because it was too dumb) on the internet in living color. Also there are nearly 10,000 other species of birds my kids can study and look at. Also, isn’t the pope a big fan of evolution? Isn’t the entire premise of evolution the “survival of the fittest?” Where maladaptive and inferior species are supposed to die off? Would the pope have us work against evolution!?
Also, the pope laments that these extinct creatures can no longer convey their “message” to us? What “message” could they possibly have had for us?
Consider that some extinct species include:
Purassaurus, a 13 meter long crocodile.
Pulmonoscorpius, a meter long scorpion.
Arthropleura, a two meter long millipede.
Attercopus, a spider that could sting like a scorpion.
Jaekelopterus, a 2.5 meter long scorpion/ millipede hybrid that would lie in wait in fresh water and tear its prey to shreds
Megapiranha, a meter long piranha.
Titanoboa, a 13 meter long snake that weighed over a ton.
Meganuera, a dragonfly that had a wingspan the length of your arm.
Megalodon, a 50 foot long shark with teeth the size of your hand.
Inspired by this encyclical, I will now turn what happened to Megalodon into “my own personal suffering” as I became “painfully aware” of his extinction approximately 5 minutes ago…
Ode to Megalodon
“Where have you gone sweet Megalodon? I never knew ye and my children never had the chance to see thee! You have been lost forever sweet Megalodon. You will no longer give glory to God by your very existence. You will never convey your message to us. What was your message precious Megalodon? What mystic words of wisdom did you mean to speak to us, but could not?”
Today, however, we have to realize that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor. (49)These situations have caused sister earth, along with all the abandoned of our world, to cry out, pleading that we take another course. Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last two hundred years. (53)
The cry of the earth? The earth is fragile and now it’s crying? If we are to believe the pope, we are currently living on the planetary equivalent of a six-month old. In any case, forget the earth, the real victims of this line are going to be our poor Neo-Catholic friends. Next Sunday they will probably get to hear this new refrain sung at their local Novus Ordo Mass by their aged operatic cantor:
“The Lord……..hears……the cry of the Earth…….Blessed be…….the Earth…….”
People may well have a growing ecological sensitivity but it has not succeeded in changing their harmful habits of consumption which, rather than decreasing, appear to be growing all the more. A simple example is the increasing use and power of air-conditioning. The markets, which immediately benefit from sales, stimulate ever greater demand. An outsider looking at our world would be amazed at such behaviour, which at times appears self-destructive.(55)
Yes, Ireland just voted in gay “marriage”, the German bishops are threatening schism over Communion for public adulterers, the UN is promoting abortion and contraception around the world, “Caitlyn” Jenner and Rachel Dolezal are teaching us that gender and race are imaginary constructs and our Pontiff is preaching about the evils of…..air conditioning!?
Juicy Ecumenism blog points out the irony:
Air conditioning is not a frivolous luxury. It literally saves lives. Even in wealthy France, over 14,000 died during the infamous 2003 heat wave for lack of air conditioning. How many more die needlessly around the world during hot weather? Air conditioning is one of modernity’s greatest achievements. No longer do millions, at least in America, swelter in factories or restaurant kitchens in avoidable extreme heat. No longer are the urban poor forced to spend Summer nights in public parks or fire escapes. No longer do large numbers of elderly perish from overheating. Air conditioning vastly improves living and working conditions for hundreds of millions, and has allowed barren, almost uninhabitable deserts to become comfortable homes and work places for millions.
Climate ideology in the wealthy West argues that increasingly unreliable computer models about the possible future impact of possible future global temperatures should require that the global poor remain poor, without electricity, without air conditioning, even though there’s no guarantee that limiting fossil fuel use will demonstrably affect future climate.
The papal encyclical sincerely professes to speak on behalf of the poor. But it’s chiefly the poor who would bear the brunt of radically reduced carbon emissions. Shouldn’t we pray and work for a day when there is universal global access to electricity and air conditioning so that the poor can enjoy at least some of our comforts?
Nevertheless, instead of making the grand gesture of moving out of his lavish apartment to a less lavish apartment, why doesn't the pope lead by example and turn his AC completely off during the summer. It's the perfect penance. He would be showing the poor his solidarity and it would also be an incredible photo op.
What’s more, all of the Neo-Catholic bloggers can put their money where their mouth is and show they are truly serious about supporting this encyclical. I hereby challenge all bishops, priests, and lay faithful who are praising this encyclical to turn off their air conditioners and show true fidelity to Pope Francis! As proof I want to see pictures of Jimmy Akin, Mark Shea, etc. sweating profusely as they blog away “unpacking” the “wisdom” contained in Laudato Si, while lecturing us to “do our part” to “save the earth.”…On second thought, I do not want to see those pictures.
At the same time we can note the rise of a false or superficial ecology which bolsters complacency and a cheerful recklessness. As often occurs in periods of deep crisis which require bold decisions, we are tempted to think that what is happening is not entirely clear. Superficially, apart from a few obvious signs of pollution and deterioration, things do not look that serious, and the planet could continue as it is for some time. Such evasiveness serves as a license to carrying on with our present lifestyles and models of production and consumption. This is the way human beings contrive to feed their self-destructive vices: trying not to see them, trying not to acknowledge them, delaying the important decisions and pretending that nothing will happen. (59)
During my lifetime on “sister earth” the “environment” around me has changed very little. I look around and I see sky, clouds, trees, lakes, rivers, woods, grass. The weather still changes. It rains, it snows, it is hot in the summer, it is cold in the winter. There have always been tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, typhoons, volcanic eruptions, etc. In fact, it is one of the few things in my life that has been constant.
During all of this time enjoying my “environment”, I can also remember my liberal educators and the media constantly bloviating about a “planet in distress”, “global warming”, “baby seals”, “spotted owls”, and lord knows what other fretting and doomsday scenarios. Thus, when the pope says “Superficially, apart from a few obvious signs of pollution and deterioration, things do not look that serious, and the planet could continue as it is for some time” the only incorrect word is “superficially.” In reality, this is precisely the situation.
Unfortunately, our pope, just like the climate alarmists, is now asking us to make “radical changes” based on the wild theories and models of scientists who told us in the 1970’s we were on the verge of another ice age. Meanwhile, the climate is not noticeably changing around us any more than it always has. In other words, who are you going to believe? International climate ideologues or your own lying eyes?
1978 - Mr. Spock Says: "Climate Experts Believe the Next Ice Age is on its Way!"
Contrast this with the condition of the Church over the last 50 years. You could almost perfectly reverse the pope’s statement. You could say that apart from a few obvious signs of life (Traditional orders and faithful) things DO look serious and it DOES NOT look like the Church can continue for some time. Things get even more humorously ironic if one applies the previously quoted words of the pope to the ongoing crisis in the Church since Vatican II. Here is a modified version of the pope’s quote to illustrate the point:
At the same time we can note the rise of a false or superficial theology which bolsters complacency and a cheerful recklessness. As often occurs in periods of deep crisis which require bold decisions, we are tempted to think that what is happening is not entirely clear. Superficially, apart from a few obvious liturgical abuses and heretical prelates, things do not look that serious, and the Church could continue as it is for some time. Such evasiveness serves as a license to carrying on with our present liturgy and neo-modernism. This is the way human beings contrive to feed their self-destructive vices: trying not to see them, trying not to acknowledge them, delaying the important decisions and pretending that nothing will happen.
Thus, if Francis only applied his misguided zeal for a manufactured environmental crisis towards the real crisis in the Church, he would sound like a resurrected St. Pius X! Unfortunately for us, he instead sounds like a cross between Al Gore and Chicken Little.
There are regions now at high risk and, aside from all doomsday predictions, the present world system is certainly unsustainable from a number of points of view, for we have stopped thinking about the goals of human activity. “If we scan the regions of our planet, we immediately see that humanity has disappointed God’s expectations”. (61)
First the pope’s own encyclical is full of doomsday predictions. Second, the only “points of view” represented are those of the climate alarmists. Third, with all of the true moral outrages occurring across the globe, including ISIS beheading and slaughtering Christians, the pope is going to say humanity has disappointed God’s expectations in not turning off their air conditioners? Somehow I believe if Our Lord had a full airing of His grievances against humanity, the accusations in this encyclical would be last on his list, if they were even included at all.
Although it is true that we Christians have at times incorrectly interpreted the Scriptures, nowadays we must forcefully reject the notion that our being created in God’s image and given dominion over the earth justifies absolute domination over other creatures. (67)
Wait a second. Did the pope just say that “we Christians” have at times incorrectly interpreted Scriptures? By that does he mean the Church? If so, I’d be curious as to where exactly he thinks the Church, the infallible interpreter of Scripture has gone wrong in the past. Perhaps I can hear this at his canonical trial? One can only dream. Further, is Francis saying that humanity’s dominion of the earth does not include domination over creatures? Is this one of those pesky areas where the Church had scripture wrong for centuries?
The laws found in the Bible dwell on relationships, not only among individuals but also with other living beings. “You shall not see your brother’s donkey or his ox fallen down by the way and withhold your help… If you chance to come upon a bird’s nest in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs and the mother sitting upon the young or upon the eggs; you shall not take the mother with the young” (Dt 22:4, 6). Along these same lines, rest on the seventh day is meant not only for human beings, but also so “that your ox and your donkey may have rest” (Ex 23:12). Clearly, the Bible has no place for a tyrannical anthropocentrism unconcerned for other creatures. (68)
The above verses used in support of the novel and disturbing notion that the bible is now concerned with animal/human relations would be humorous if not so dangerous. First, the pope hides in ellipses the very purpose the bible states for helping the brother’s donkey or ox. The full quote continues: “Help the owner get it to its feet.” (!) The purpose of helping the donkey or ox is obviously not to build some biblical relationship with an ass, but to assist one’s brother in retrieving his property. After witnessing this selective truncating of Holy Scripture to fit his agenda, one is made to wonder if we can really trust any of the other citations in this encyclical. Similarly, the admonition to rest on the seventh day was in the context of laboring and included rest “for the son of the handmaid and stranger.” Thus it was common sense, telling the Israelites that the day of rest would also give their animals and servants a break so they can recuperate and not burn out from overwork. This was said not for the animals’ own sake (as they are not self-aware) but for the sake of their owner.
Next the pope cites a line about coming across a bird’s nest. The Haydock Commentary states the following about this line:
Time. Those who refrain from cruelty, even towards beasts, will be induced more easily to shew mercy to their fellow creatures, (Tertullian, contra Marc. ii.) and will draw down the blessings of God upon themselves. (Menochius)
Thus, again, the purpose of this admonition is not to build a relationship with momma bird, but to build charity in one’s soul towards one’s fellow man.
But best of all, notice that to quote the two Deuteronomy verses (Dt. 22:4,6) the Pope had to very carefully pass over the one verse in between them. That verse is Dt 22:5 which states:
A woman shall not be clothed with man's apparel, neither shall a man use woman's apparel: for he that doeth these things is abominable before God.
One wonders whether Our Lord, in His divine wisdom, situated that verse between the other two so that our Pontiff (or whoever wrote this encyclical) would be forced to read it as he cherry picked scripture for evidence of man/animal relationships. Perhaps Our Lord intended it to prick the author’s conscience so he would write on more relevant matters of soul for our times.
The ultimate purpose of other creatures is not to be found in us. Rather, all creatures are moving forward with us and through us towards a common point of arrival, which is God, in that transcendent fullness where the risen Christ embraces and illumines all things. Human beings, endowed with intelligence and love, and drawn by the fullness of Christ, are called to lead all creatures back to their Creator. (83)
God created animals for man and not for their own sake. Thus, the ultimate purpose of other creatures is indeed to be found in us. Furthermore, we are in no way called to lead Fido, our pet fish, or dung beetles back to the Risen Christ. Our job on this earth is to save our soul. Last I checked, Fido will not stand before the judgment seat of Christ to account for his life. That being the case, why is it that our pope is not informing us, in this the most perilous of times for the soul in human history, precisely what we can do to save it? Instead our pope is informing us that we are called to lead animals to God. One sadly, cannot even make these things up anymore. What is worse, just like the naked Emperor’s servants, the Neo-Cath bloggers, clergy, and bishops will waste no time espousing how wonderful these lines are and how wonderful the current pontiff is.
The bishops of Brazil have pointed out that nature as a whole not only manifests God but is also a locus of his presence. The Spirit of life dwells in every living creature and calls us to enter into relationship with him. Discovering this presence leads us to cultivate the “ecological virtues”. (88)
Ecological virtues!? God help us. Will these now be listed in our catechisms along with the Cardinal virtues? What will they be? Recycling, Composting, Use of low-flush toilets? We have now truly entered Alice’s Wonderland.
Here I would reiterate that “God has joined us so closely to the world around us that we can feel the desertification of the soil almost as a physical ailment, and the extinction of a species as a painful disfigurement”. (89)
The constant allegories attempting to tie our feelings to inanimate objects and non-sentient animals almost instinctively gives rise to a sort of pantheistic aversion in me. It is reminiscent of some sort of Eastern Zen philosophy. Like when your baseball coach used to jokingly tell you to “be the ball.” It seems like a natural emotional connectedness and suffering one would have in regard to ill or injured family members and close friends is being lessened and exploited here by asking us to suffer with “soil” and “extinct species” and feel their pain. It is creepy. It is off-putting, And it is simply not Catholic in any sense I have known or would want to know.
Neo-Catholics Fully Implementing Laudato Si
This is not to put all living beings on the same level nor to deprive human beings of their unique worth and the tremendous responsibility it entails. Nor does it imply a divinization of the earth which would prevent us from working on it and protecting it in its fragility. Such notions would end up creating new imbalances which would deflect us from the reality which challenges us. (90)
Then, in predictable contradictory conciliar style, the encyclical in effect says, “See that obvious pantheism I headed towards just then? Whoa! Just kidding! It wasn’t pantheism. Of course pantheism is wrong. I’d be accused of heresy. So what does the previous paragraph mean you ask? Probably something in-between? Catholic pantheism perhaps? Oh, just ask Jimmy Akin. I have no idea. Good luck!”
That is why the New Zealand bishops asked what the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” means when “twenty percent of the world’s population consumes resources at a rate that robs the poor nations and future generations of what they need to survive”. (95)
This brings to mind my parents threatening me to clean my plate by telling me there were starving kids in China who would love to have my leftover asparagus. Now, with the help of Pope Francis, I can go far beyond my parents and threaten my kids with the mortal sin of murder if they don’t clean their plates! This may be the only sentence of any practical use in the entire encyclical.
All of this shows the urgent need for us to move forward in a bold cultural revolution. Science and technology are not neutral; from the beginning to the end of a process, various intentions and possibilities are in play and can take on distinct shapes. Nobody is suggesting a return to the Stone Age, but we do need to slow down and look at reality in a different way, to appropriate the positive and sustainable progress which has been made, but also to recover the values and the great goals swept away by our unrestrained delusions of grandeur. (114)
Can anyone think of a more “unrestrained delusion of grandeur” than to address an encyclical to every person on planet earth calling for a “bold cultural revolution” so we humans might save God’s own planet by warring against air conditioners and asking everyone to feel the pain of the soil? I can’t.
Francis gives another flipping plant to rockstar Bono
Once the human being declares independence from reality and behaves with absolute dominion, the very foundations of our life begin to crumble, for “instead of carrying out his role as a cooperator with God in the work of creation, man sets himself up in place of God and thus ends up provoking a rebellion on the part of nature”. (117)
This may come as news to the pope, but I thought that nature has been in a state of rebellion against man since the Fall. This is precisely why in Genesis 3:17 God said:
“Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground,
Doomsday predictions can no longer be met with irony or disdain. We may well be leaving to coming generations debris, desolation and filth. (161)
Wait, didn’t the pope in paragraph 61 say “aside from all doomsday predictions,” as if he were scoffing at doomsday predictions and giving us the real story? Yet now he says doomsday predictions can no longer be met with irony or disdain! Since when? Did his opinion change in the ensuing 100 paragraphs since 61? Or did he simply forget what he said in paragraph 61 after writing the following 100 paragraphs?
In any case, the biggest irony here is that the quote above can be most accurately applied to the state of the Church under Francis.
“The external deserts in the world are growing, because the internal deserts have become so vast”. For this reason, the ecological crisis is also a summons to profound interior conversion. It must be said that some committed and prayerful Christians, with the excuse of realism and pragmatism, tend to ridicule expressions of concern for the environment. Others are passive; they choose not to change their habits and thus become inconsistent. So what they all need is an “ecological conversion”, whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them. Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience. (217)
So let me get this straight. The pope who said “proselytism is solemn nonsense” and “there is no Catholic God” is not calling every person on the face of the earth to conversion to Jesus Christ, the only name by which man may be saved, but instead calling them to “ecological conversion?” Before the advent of the radical environmentalist movement under JPII, has any cleric in the history of Catholicism ever called for “ecological conversion?” Did Christ or His apostles ever call for an ecological conversion?
In any case, the pope does not seem to understand that committed and prayerful Christians, including myself, are not ridiculing “expressions of concern for the environment.” We are instead, rightfully ridiculing an alarmist ideology based on speculative science which is obviously being used as a means to an end by the enemies of the Church to gain power over governments and individuals.
It is also painfully obvious that all Christians want clean air, clean water, reduction of cancer causing pollution, pristine and beautiful countryside, parks, lakes, rivers, and beaches. Of course we want to be good stewards of God’s creation. This goes without saying. Where this encyclical goes wrong is hitching its wagon to the doomsday predictions of self-interested climate change lobbies that tie almost all productive actions of man to the destruction of planet earth. Now what ideology could possibly benefit from the destruction of manufacturing and free markets and the imposition of world governmental bodies to enforce restrictions on people and nations? Hmm…
The universe unfolds in God, who fills it completely. Hence, there is a mystical meaning to be found in a leaf, in a mountain trail, in a dewdrop, in a poor person’s face. The ideal is not only to pass from the exterior to the interior to discover the action of God in the soul, but also to discover God in all things. (223)
There is a mystical meaning to be found in a leaf, a mountain trail, and a dewdrop? At times one wonders if Francis’ co-author was Cat Stevens or Woody Guthrie.
Hymn From Novus Ordo Liturgy of the Hours
Sure we can have an appreciation of nature and a sense of wonder from the beauty of creation. But a “mystical meaning?” The way Francis constantly uses the word mystical you’d think he was a wizard or that we are supposed to go into a sort of transcendental ecstasy, alternate reality, and complete union with God simply from looking at a leaf. It is true that contemplating the Eucharist in adoration or at the Holy Mass can be a mystical experience. But looking at a leaf? Not so much. Unless, of course, one equates the Real Presence of God in the Eucharist to the presence of God in creation, which is absurd.
The Eucharist joins heaven and earth; it embraces and penetrates all creation. The world which came forth from God’s hands returns to him in blessed and undivided adoration: in the bread of the Eucharist, “creation is projected towards divinization, towards the holy wedding feast, towards unification with the Creator himself”. Thus, the Eucharist is also a source of light and motivation for our concerns for the environment, directing us to be stewards of all creation. (236)
In any case, this mercifully ends my reaction to this embarrassing encyclical. I’d like to courageously call on all Catholics to thank the pope for his over 100 page mix of rambling ambiguous phrases, climate alarmism, heterodox theology, misleading scripture quotations, and condemnation of air conditioners while Christ’s own Church which he oversees drowns in heresy, apostasy, sacrilege, and moral corruption. I’d also like to call on all Catholics to thank the Neo-Catholic enablers and supporters of this embarrassing encyclical for having the courage to stifle their core convictions on environmental extremism and bravely turn tail and explain how it all now dovetails nicely with Catholic theology. Who knew? I’d like to also call on all Catholics who defend this encyclical to please shut off their air conditioners immediately or else be guilty of breaking the fifth commandment and violating the spirit and letter of Laudato Si. May the message of the sweet Megalodon be always on your hearts and may every one of you experience the joy of leading your pets onward to the Resurrected Lord.
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