By Br. Alexis Bugnolo at the Franciscanum blog
Editor’s note: Since some Catholics may consider it distasteful or inappropriate to publicly criticize Pope Francis’ Encyclical on the Environment, I have chosen not to publish anything regarding it.
However, by the grace of God, there has come into view the text of a rough draft of an Encyclical from the future, the reading of which is an occasion to reinvigorate me in the Catholic Faith which has come to us from the lips of the Eternal Son of God, Jesus Christ. Having transcribed it, as best I can, I pass it on the text to the readers of this blog for their edification and consolation in the present hour of madness and confusion.
ON THE HONOR AND GLORY DUE TO THE DIVINE MAJESTY OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY
AGAINST THE ERRORS OF ENVIRONMENTALISM
(Draft Copy — Nota bene: Not under embargo)
Encyclical Letter From a Future Catholic Pope, to all the Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops, Clergy, Religious and Laity in communion with this Apostolic See:
Peace and Apostolic Benediction!
« Laudato sie, mi Signore cum tucte le Tue creature »: with these words Saint Francis of Assisi — whom the Most High and Triune Lord, the Father, and the Son and the Holy Ghost, raised up from a family of cloth merchants in a small Umbrian town, and sent to this Apostolic See for the restoration of the House of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. (1 Timothy 3:15, cf Eccles 4:17) — the poverello, sought to draw all Christians to the praise and glorification of the One True God, the Catholic God, apart from Whom there is no god in Heaven or Earth.
2. These words are drawn from his Canticle of Brother Sun, or Canticle of Creatures, and are in the native tongue of his home town, in the Umbrian dialect as it was spoken at the turn of the 13th century after the Birth of Christ, Jesus, Our Lord.
3. That Canticle begins with a praise of the One True God:
Altissimu, onnipotente bon Signore,
Tue so le laude, la gloria e l’honore et onne benedictione.
Ad Te solo, Altissimo, se konfano,
et nullu homo ène dignu te mentouare.
in which Saint Francis, after the likeness of a seraph of the empyrean Heaven, recalls to our minds the attributes which are peculiar and properly of God alone: Most High, Omnipotent, Good Lord… words, which the Saint pronounces in the vocative case, to indicate, after the example of the Prophet Job, that when one speaks of Our Lord and Creator, it is most proper and right to do so, as one speaking to Him, not of Him.
4. For Our God is Most High, just as the Prophet Isaiah teaches: O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, who sittest upon the cherubim, thou alone art the God of all the kingdoms of the earth, thou hast made heaven and earth.(Isaiah 37:16).
5. Our God is Omnipotent, that is, Almighty, as He Himself declared to the Prophet Moses: I am the Almighty God: walk before me, and be perfect.(Genesis 17:1).
6. Our God is the Good Lord, as He Himself taught us, when He deflected the false praise offered to the human nature which He assumed in His Incarnation for our salvation, saying: No one is good but God. (Mark 10:18).
7. God alone is good, because God alone in His very Being, which both is and exists from all eternity, is the sum and origin of all perfection, and it is He Who is, and who was, and who is to come, just as He revealed to the Apostle Saint John: I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, saith the Lord God, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty. (Apoc 1:18)
8. Because God is God, the only God, for this reason all men are bound to praise and glorify him, as the holy man of Assisi did in his Canticle of the Creatures after the manner of a Levite of old, as was written of King David, when he brought the Ark of the Lord into Jerusalem for the first time: And he appointed Levites to minister before the ark of the Lord, and to remember His works, and to glorify, and praise the Lord God of Israel.(1 Parapilomenon 16:4).
9. This did the great Seraphim and Archangel Raphael command men, when in the guise of Azarias the son of the great Ananias (Tobias 5:18) he said to Tobit: For when I was with you, I was there by the will of God: bless ye him, and sing praises to him. (Tobias 12:18).
10. But all the more so, are Christians bound to praise Him, they who have been saved through the laver of regeneration (Titus 3:5) by the merits of the blood of Christ Jesus, the Eternal Son of God, and have been transferred from the kingdom of this darkness, to the Kingdom of His Everlasting Light (cf. Colossians 1:13), and this after the example of the Prophet Moses and the Jews of old, who upon their rescue in the sea, when they sung the Canticle of the Lord, exclaimed: The Lord is my strength and my praise, and he is become salvation to me: he is my God and I will glorify him: the God of my father, and I will exalt him. (Exodus 15:2).
Our God and Savior is the Lord of Heaven and Earth
1. At the very heart of the Christian religion, which originated and endures and shall ever purdure only in the Catholic Church, lies the confession of a most sublime truth: that Our God and Savior is the Lord of Heaven and Earth, that is, that He who had created us and all things at the beginning of time, who is named by the Name, “Yahweh, Sabbaoth!” (2 Samuel 7:27), is the same God, who in His incarnation as man, offered Himself up as a living holocaust for the expiation of sin upon the Cross (cf. Hebrews 9:14), during the reign of the Roman Emperor Tiberius, in proconsulship of Pontius Pilate (cf. Luke 3:1), on the mount of Golgotha (cf. Matthew 27:33; Mark 15:22; John 19:17).
2. This is what the people of God of old hoped and prayed for, as the Prophet Baruch witnesses: For my hope is in the Eternal that he will save you: and joy is come upon me from the Holy One, because of the mercy which shall come to you from our everlasting Savior. (Baruch 4:22)
3. For the Creator of All, Who at the beginning of time, having created all things, pronounced them, “good” (Genesis ), in the fullness of time sent His Son to save sinners, and commissioned men to preach the Gospel of salvation, as is written of His preferential or antecedent will for mankind: Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:4).
OUR DIVINE AND APOSTOLIC CHARGE MOVE US
4. For this reason, on account of the sublime office which We have received from the Hands of the Living God, when in the person of Saint Peter, he received from Christ Jesus Our Lord, the duty and office of confirming His flock in the truth of His teaching (Matthew 16:18), We cannot be silent at the grave errors of Our own day which have overwhelmed the entire human race with monstrous falsehoods which denigrate and dishonor the Divine and Eternal Majesty of God Our Creator and threaten and do lessen the glory which He is due from every creature, on account of the Goodness and Wisdom with Which He worked in the creation and ordering of the entire universe of things.
THE DUTY OF THIS APOSTOLIC SEE TO AVOID THE PROFANATION AND SACRILEGE OF ITS SACRED MINISTRY
5. For Our Most High Lord entrusted the office of teaching to Saint Peter so that the one, sole and unique Church which He founded in Himself upon the profession of Saint Peter’s faith, might be the bulwark and pillar of the truth for all His own, and indeed for all mankind, until the end of time, when He comes is glory to judge the living and the dead, meeting out eternal and glorious rewards for those who have remained faithful to Him, and punishing the wicked and godless with eternal damnation in the fire pits of Gehenna.
6. For this reason, if We as a private person were to use our august office to teach anything which is merely naturally good, We would not be exempt from the demerit of some culpability for having profaned the sacred duty of Our office. This sin would be all the greater in Us and sacriligeous, if We used the authority of Our office — which is not of man’s contrivance, but which originates immediately from the largess of the Creator and Savior of men — to promote error or to foster in souls a turning away of minds and hearts and actions from the goal of the salvation offered by the Redeemer of mankind: life on high with Christ Jesus, just as St. Paul wrote: But our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ, Who will reform the body of our lowness, made like to the body of his glory, according to the operation whereby also he is able to subdue all things unto himself. (cf. Philippians 3:20).
7. For this reason, the Apostle of the Gentiles warned all who would follow him in the Apostolic ministry with these stern words: Be ye followers of me, brethren, and observe them who walk so as you have our model. For many walk, of whom I have told you often (and now tell you weeping), that they are enemies of the cross of Christ; Whose end is destruction; whose God is their belly; and whose glory is in their shame; who mind earthly things. (Philippians 3:17-19)
8. This sinful obsession with earthly things is, as the glorious Doctor of the Church, the Seraphic Saint Bonaventure frequently notes, the necessary consequent of a human spirit bent down to face earthly things by the weight of his own sins and vices and concupiscences.
9. It should, therefore, not be a matter of dispute among all who know their faith, that godless and carnal men have not the liberty of mind to be but the cause of error and darkness, since their minds are not intent on things above in that Heaven of heavens, in which the God who is Light Himself, dwells in inaccessible light.
10. For this reason, God in His Wisdom and Providence chose to warn us beforehand against those who would clothe themselves in the raiment of Angels and belch forth monstrous errors to deceive the faithful, after the manner of the False Prophet of which the beloved Apostle spoke in the Book of the Apocalypse:
And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom became dark, and they gnawed their tongues for pain: And they blasphemed the God of heaven, because of their pains and wounds, and did not penance for their works. And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon that great river Euphrates; and dried up the water thereof, that a way might be prepared for the kings from the rising of the sun. And I saw from the mouth of the dragon, and from the mouth of the beast, and from the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs. For they are the spirits of devils working signs, and they go forth unto the kings of the whole earth, to gather them to battle against the great day of the Almighty God.
DIVINE PROVIDENCE CONDEMNED BEFORE AND AFTER THE ENCYCLICAL LETTER OF MY PREDECESSOR
11. The Apostle of St. John warned us of these things long ago, just as Divine Providence did in our own days, when according to the liturgical books for the liturgy in the vernacular, on the very day great scandal was to be given to the world, this reading from Saint Paul was proclaimed:
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema. As we said before, so now I say again: If any one preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema.(Galatians 1:8-9)
12. And on the very day which followed, again, the passage of Our Lord’s admonition, which is aptly accommodated as a pastoral exhortation to the successors of Saint Peter:
Lay not up to yourselves treasures on earth: where the rust, and moth consume, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up to yourselves treasures in heaven: where neither the rust nor moth doth consume, and where thieves do not break through, nor steal. For where thy treasure is, there is thy heart also.(Matthew 6: 19-21)
13. For these reasons and motives, and after the example of the Seraphic Saint Francis, who grieved most of all from the many scandals which were given by corrupt clergy and religious, We consider it necessary to remove a grave scandal which has shaken the whole world: namely, that which emanated from the once unsullied throne of this Apostolic See. I speak of the encyclical letter, Laudato Si’of my predecessor, Francis, of infelicitous memory, who added to the presumption of taking as his name, that of the Saint whom the Lord Jesus, in a vision given to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, declared was the one most conform to His Sacred Heart, by promoting in an official papal document, into which he mixed many half-truths, the falsehood of environmentalism unto the deception of the entire Catholic world.
My Predecessor did not intend to exercise the Papal Magisterium when he wrote
14. To remove all doubt and scruple of conscience, We shall begin with the historical fact, that as is written in the official text of the Encyclical, Laudato Si, our predecessor never intended, when he prepared and wrote, to exercise the office of the magisterium which Christ entrusted to this Apostolic See. This is evident both in the circumstances of its release, which was entrusted to non-Catholics, and the text of the document itself in paragraph n. 15, wherein the author expresses his intention to engage in a pastoral approach and the opening of dialogue. Nor is the affirmation, therein, that the encyclical enters into the social teaching of the Church, in any way definitive or obliging, since, according to the norm of canon law, there is no obligation except regarding that which is imposed. This is further evidenced if we examine the presuppositions and contents of the encyclical letter, which deviate so clearly from the 5 necessary conditions for infallible teaching, established by the infallible and ecumenical First Council of the Lateran. Finally, it should be obvious to sane and rational men, that the expression of opinion or the relation of facts is not teaching; rather the formal exercise of any magisterium consists in the declarative pronouncement of truths which must be accepted as true by all men in all times. While this will become more clear, in what We have yet to say, yet, for the sake of all consciences, We affirm and declare and define that the entire totality of the Encyclical and its every part are to be considered merely as the personal doctrine of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, and not of this Apostolic See.
God alone is the Lord of Heaven and Earth
1. First among the truths which must be professed against the errors of communism, socialism and environmentalism, is that the One True God is the Lord of Heaven and Earth. This is no mere customary title ascribed to God. Nay, as the Apostle of the Gentiles, the glorious Saint Paul of Tarsus preached in the Areopagus of Athens: God, who made the world, and all things therein; He, being Lord of Heaven and Earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands (Acts 17:24).
2. This lordship of God depends upon the twofold dignity of God: He is the first and only Eternal one, and He is the creator of all which comes after Him. This lordship is not just a title of dignity, however, but a name of power which signifies to men that He is Almighty over everything in Heaven and Earth to such an extent and degree that no one can compare to Him (cf. Ps. 86:8, 40:5) in the power which He can display over them, the Wisdom with which He made and arranged them, and the Providence and Goodness with which He has designed and fashioned and now doth regulate and govern them.
3. From these most profound theological truths regarding God, our Creator and Lord, we must recognize and profess that it is not man who is the lord and master of creation, but God; that it is not man who is first and foremost responsible for the heavens and the Earth and all these contain, but God; that is is not man who must mind the order and regulation of the environment, but God. For without God none of these things would be, and they are sustained in continual being and right order by His Most Eminent Power and His Most Intimate Presence and His most Universal Omnipotence, in this way manifesting the sublime Dignity of the Father, the humble service of the Son, and the continual governing movement of the Holy Ghost.
Fundamental Presuppositions of Environmentalism impugn the Majesty and Wisdom of God, our Creator
4. For this reason, it is theologically an effrontery to God to say or concede that the environment of this planet Earth depends upon mankind. And since the same Lord and Creator of Heaven and Earth, is the One who created man, it is similarly a blasphemy and indignity to man’s Lord and God, to say or imply that the nature or existence or natural actions of man can or are in disharmony with the divine order of the cosmos or the natural proper functioning of the organic biosphere of the planet Earth.
5. God made all things for man, but man for Himself, so that even in his being and acting man glorifies His Creator, that is, manifests the wondrous wisdom and providence and knowledge which His Creator exercises in making him, in designing him, in empowering him with intellect and will and in giving him a body and planet which is fit for everything which is necessary for human life (Genesis 1:29-30).
6. Therefore, it is false and heretical to say that the dominion over all things, which God has created, does not belong ontologically and causally and by right to the Lord Creator of Heaven and Earth. It is also false and heretical to say that God cannot or ought not concede a relative, subordinate dominion over creatures to man, nay it contradicts Sacred Scripture. (Genesis 1:28).
7. Finally, it is false and heretical to say or imply that man does not have the divine right to exercise this rule over all creatures, or that in doing so he violates the Divine, moral or natural laws which God established for and in the universe.
Environmentalism contradicts Science on many points
8. Therefore, it is sheer popular superstition to hold, therefore, that anything natural which man dispossesses from his ownership can be the cause of the pollution or harm to the environment. This is so, because, since God made all things to serve mankind, it is impossible that He did not make and fashion a world in which natural things acting naturally naturally take care of both man and the things he uses and has used or discarded.
9. This is confirmed by the many findings of modern empirical sciences such as physics, chemistry and biology, which confirm, that for ever action there is a reaction, that all things left to themselves tend to entropy, and that there is a hierarchy of innumerable species of life, subordinated to man, which live and thrive and have their being with him on this planet, in such wise as to use what is taken and discarded by others to foster their own growth and development.
10. For this reason, We by Our Apostolic Authority, following closely in the footsteps of Saint Peter, to whom it was revealed by an Angel from Heaven, that things are not to be disdained, which God the Son had cleansed by His Passion (Acts 10:9-16), so We recognize and declare, that since God at the beginning had both made all things and declared them together with man, “very good” (Genesis 1:30, and throughout), that it is a mortal sin of blasphemy to call them or their use evil, and thus, likewise, a grave error and sin, to say that their non-use or discarding, is of itself, or by itself, or according to its genus a sin.
Environmentalism detaches beauty from truth and goodness
11. Now just as the divine order of things, in which God has established the universe, manifest the Wisdom and Power of God, so does it manifest the Beauty and Providence of God. For though the biological history of this Planet differs from age to age, yet nothing disturbs the wonderful, fruitful and abundant order in which God rules and commands the heavens at the service of the Earth, the Poverello of Assisi so truly sings: May Thou be praised, my Lord, for brother wind, and for the air and the cloudy and the clear weather and every weather (Dan 3:64-65) through which to all Thy creatures Thou gives sustenance (cf. Ps. 103:13-14) [Cant 6].
12. For this reason, it is a grave perversion of right aestetics to say that anything in the environment which is caused by man or by natural forces is ugly, undue, or improper. This is God’s very own teaching, as it was revealed to the Prophet Isaiah himself: For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens, God himself that formed the earth, and made it, the very maker thereof: he did not create it in vain: he formed it to be inhabited. I am the Lord, and there is no other. (Isaiah 45:18)
13. To say or imply, therefore, that man’s activities in general make this world ugly or pollute it is false, erroneous and implicitly heretical, inasmuch it impugns the Divine Goodness, Providence and Wisdom of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
14. The falsehoods and lies of environmentalism are derived from several errors, chief of which is materialism. For the error of material holds that there is nothing spiritual and hence denies the existence of God and spiritual causes. Combined with the darkness of unbridled pride of humanism, which would exalt man to the level of God Himself, it leads to the error that what is not in harmony with human will to be ugly and unjust. And inasmuch as the proud man is the avaricious man, it says that which violates the aesthetics of man in his domination of creation is immoral and must be corrected.
15. Another chief cause of environmentalism is the error of naturalism, which holds that man is disparate and inharmonious with the rest of creation, which it terms the “natural world”: a name for creation which is false, since it presupposes that man is not part of creation, or that his handiwork is unnatural or in conflict with the rest of creation and its purpose.
15. These errors combine to form a noxious poison in the minds of men. To use an example: Environmentalists see a landscape in which remnants of things made of paper or plastic or metal are strewn about by the wind, and they see pollution which must be corrected by the removal of all these things. Yet, what they do not see is the forces of creation doing what they were made to do, in the manner in which they do it, of returning these materials to their constituent parts and elements and compounds by a process so gradual that it often escapes the observation of flighty men. To say that the manner in which created things treat of created thins is ugly, unnatural, or wrong is thus scientifically as false as theologically it is erroneous and heretical.
16. For this reason, it is clear that much of what is called “pollution” is so named out of a aesthetic which has long been divorced from a Christian notion of creation and a Catholic appreciation of the divine order of things in the cosmos; which error is in turn founded upon an exaggerated notion of a man-centered materialism.
17. This is especially and primarily true in regard to those things used and manufactured by man, which are composed of substances and compounds and elements which occur naturally in creation. For just as God created, let us say, the metal iron, and just as in some parts of the world the concentration of iron in the soil or water, naturally occurring, is too high to allow that water or soil to be readily used by men, so it would be false and erroneous to say that man, in abandoning iron in any place of this Planet is of itself, by itself, harmful to nature or contrary to the divine order of creation. For if that were true, then God would Himself appear to be guilty of polluting the land and water, which He made, when He ordered the arrangement and disposition of things upon the Earth.
It is the Duty of Every Man to Recognize and Acknowledge the Sovereign Majesty of the Lord of Heaven and Earth
1. It follows from what We have said and expounded, that each and every man, woman, and child, is gravely bound to recognize and acknowledge the Sovereignty and Majesty of the Lord of Heaven and Earth, His Creator and Savior. This is not only a grave obligation founded upon the rights of God but also a grave obligation founded upon the dependence of man, individually and as a society, upon Him and the divine order according to which He has arranged the universe, which He has created and given mankind to guard and keep and use, for His honor and glory and his own salvation.
2. This duty of recognition is first and foremost, only and truly fulfilled in the acceptance and profession of the Catholic Faith, which is the One and Only True Religion revealed by the Eternal God to men, as the sole means of salvation for mankind. Without such a profession of faith and expression of fidelity in faithful adherence, man, even as a creature, is distanced from His Lord and Creator.
3. This distancing of mankind and the consequent disorder which arises in himself and in his relation to the university of things has no other cause but the sin of our father Adam, who having been entrusted with the headship of the human race and the rule of all creation under God, rebelled against His Lord and Creator by eating of the fruit of the Tree which he had been forbidden by God to eat (Genesis 2).
4. On account of this mortal sin, Adam lost many and tremendous divine gifts, for himself and for all his descendants. Chief of these was the grace of God, without which man cannot clearly, easily or with facility, know God and obey His precepts.
5. For this reason, just as there is no right and sane care for things of lesser significance, without dutiful fulfillment of things of greater import; and just as those who are faithful in greater things, can easily be faithful in lesser ones: so it is vain and absurd for mankind to take care, individually or as a society, to guard the divine order of things in the created universe, if he neglects his own proper subordination and zealous service of the Divine Majesty of His Creator.
6. Indeed, only when mankind comes universally and faithfully to profess the Faith of Christ, that is the Catholic Religion, is any collective and effective care of the created things entrusted to mankind, by man as a race possible. For the divine order of things, having God as their origin and cause, cannot be understood, let alone rightly perceived without faith in the Living God, the Lord of Heaven and Earth, as He Himself has revealed Himself in Christ Jesus Our Lord.
7. Therefore, let all mankind hasten to the Ark of Salvation, outside of which no man can be saved or have hope of salvation, and seek the cleansing waters of baptism in Christ Jesus, which have their full effect of grace and sanctification only in the Catholic Church, where there alone is a right profession of authentic faith, a firm and stable adherence to the hope which saves, and the working of the charity which both honors and glorifies God in the service of the needy.
Editor’s note: At this point, I cannot perceive clearly the text of the remaining pages, so I rush to publish what I have transcribed so far…if I succeed in discerning the contents of the rest of the draft copy, I will publish it in the coming days. — I only ask the reader to consider the contents, and not to shoot the transcriber!