No air conditioning in heaven

From the blog, All Passing Things 

I'm guessing the phone was charged through wind turbines

I’m guessing the phone was charged through wind turbines

It took me a couple of days to find the time to get through it all, but I finally finished reading Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si. It is admirable for one thing, the persistence of a man intent on shutting out the sounds, images and statistics related to the people that he represents being murdered with the most depraved barbarity throughout the world. Focusing instead on such evil acts as air conditioning….and stuff.

As Catholics, those who are being strung up nooses in Arab streets, nailed to crosses and stoned like St. Stephen, deserve better than to hear their Holy Father devote 200 pages…200 pages to a bunch of daffodils rather than to their souls and to their mortal selves. The lost children of Western Catholicism deserve a Pope who implores them to forgive the clergy for the crimes of the past and return to the Church in all her majesty. Even the murderers of ISIS, the degenerates who abort children and the slaves to the body who support state sanctioned same-sex ‘marriage’ need a Pope who will put the possibility of them changing their ways and entering heaven first.

The Papacy is making headlines, but never before has the Pope been so impotent and irrelevant whilst appearing under the guise of being at the very heart of society’s ills and fortunes. When we think of Pope Benedict XVI driving the politically correct brigade insane with his condemnation of Islam at Regensburg or Pope Leo XIII staring Freemasonry straight in the face with several confrontational and much needed encyclicals, we think of a Pope who actually got the world thinking, reflecting on its allegiance to forces which were opposed to the will of God. This encyclical does none of that.

Luadato Si speaks about the world, about God, in exactly the same tone of voice as do the atheists, agnostics and apathetic. The secular term Judaeo-Christian is used. Earth is referred to as ‘mother’ and ‘sister’. The sun is our ‘brother’ , as is the river. Wild associations are made, human trafficking can only be stopped by addressing climate change.

The Pope has approached a spiritual problem, greed ensuring the systematic manipulation and destruction of ecological environments beyond that which is necessary to production and survival, from the guise of a humanist viewpoint. God and the collective souls of humanity which he created and entrusted the world unto are no longer in possession of dominion over the lesser species, but we are all one beating pile of lettuce or cabbage or mice, equally blissful in our ignorance of anything other than the fact that we exist, and feed and move. Francis has failed, intentionally it seems, to affirm that the biggest obstacle to unfettered capitalism and economically justified abuse of the environment is the dignity of man as a result of him having been afforded a soul by God.

There are those who will point to elements of orthodoxy, the mentioning of Blessed Charles de Foucauld and St. Thomas Aquinas (though no mention of a Pope before John XXIII). But, Pope Francis does not mention these because he wants to convert the eco-extremists of the secular world to the Catholic faith. Rather, Francis wants to say to those who are Catholic, let us focus instead on vague and unreasonable demands on the individual that in reality can only be achieved by the governments of China, India and the USA, due to their high volume of population and industry. Francis is even explicit in saying that the Catholic faith does not provide the impetus to save the earth from its human inhabitants, rather we need to adapt some semi-pagan pseudo religious ‘spirituality’.

“I would like to offer Christians a few suggestions for an ecological spirituality grounded in the convictions of our faith, since the teachings of the Gospel have direct consequences for our way of thinking, feeling and living. More than in ideas or concepts as such, I am interested in how such a spirituality can motivate us to a more passionate concern for the protection of our world. A commitment this lofty cannot be sustained by doctrine alone, without a spirituality capable of inspiring us, without an “interior impulse which encourages, motivates, nourishes and gives meaning to our individual and communal activity”.

When the history of this awful epoch in the Church is written, we’ll remember that when the blood of the martyrs began to spill, the Pope was more concerned with the blood of the animals. He quoted Muslims, used the term Judaeo-Christian and rather than talk about crimes against humanity for their own sake, equated them with abusing the environment, as though that was the standard by which such things as murder, human trafficking and abortion should be judged.

While Benedict called for a reform of the United Nations in Caritas in veritate, due to its unmitigated and undemocratic spread of ideologies related to the richest nations (namely, abortion) Francis here chillingly calls for a true world political authority. Imagine that, the solution to a singular mentality aimed at self-service is to have a singular authority.

Obama is a big fan of the encyclical...surely that can only be a good sign?

Obama is a big fan of the encyclical…surely that can only be a good sign?

For the record, to pick three of the holy figures mentioned in the encyclical as models of thoughtfulness to the environment.

Therese_von_Lisieux  St. Therese de Lisieux was 24 years old when she died a painful death to tuberculosis and other ailments, during which the great saint suffered much agony and despair before finally triumphing in faith.

10_4_francis4

St. Francis of Assisi walked through fire to prove his faith and died with the wounds of stigmata afflicting his mortal body.

charles de foucauld

Blessed Charles de Foucauld died in the African desert, after a life devoted to helping the poor and misplaced. He was brutally murdered on his own by a gang of aggressive proto-Islamist Muslims.

That is why we commemorate them. If Francis wants to create people who treat the world around them with its due care and honour, he should focus first on saving souls and creating saints. The secular humanist approach is bound not only to fail, but to offer a serious dent in the Church’s quest for respectability of a sort that seems to be afforded only to the Dali Lama. As Bishop of Rome, Francis wants to assume a role not unlike the Archbishop of Canterbury, where the erstwhile friend of the environment occasionally makes headlines for lambasting the vague notion of ‘consumerism’ without attacking its cause.

Yes, the environment needs to be taken care of. Yes, we need [to take measures to avoid] the extinction and the abhorrent mistreatment of animals. But if Francis is only concerned with the body and not the soul, as he appears to be, he will never cure these ills. Man must be taught to love God before he can love himself, he must be taught to love himself before he can love the world around him.

Perhaps the Pope’s intentions were pure, but by very nature of his choice to write about this rather than the fact that the Church has lost half of its adherents the world over, he has seriously undermined any good that he could have done with it.

In contrast to this tragicomedy, here are the brilliant words of Pope Leo XIII, simple and true, from the encyclical Rerum Novarum. Brief as they are, they remind us that we should not despair, certainly not over things like air conditioning.

“God has not created us for the perishable and transitory things of earth, but for things heavenly and everlasting; He has given us this world as a place of exile, and not as our abiding place.”

As the Pope’s beloved St. Therese informed us, the world is thy ship and not thy home.

christ-on-the-cross-mihaly-munkacsy

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23 Responses to No air conditioning in heaven

  1. Tom Fisher says:

    If you disregard the pro forma politeness, and the tongue biting pretense at respect; there is not getting around the fact that some people hate Pope Francis. Pope Benedict XVI was not universally popular, but Pope Francis is actually hated

  2. Tom Fisher says:

    When the history of this awful epoch in the Church is written, we’ll remember that when the blood of the martyrs began to spill, the Pope was more concerned with the blood of the animals.

    This kind of stupidity is almost painful to read. Maybe JH will question it, maybe Jabba, maybe Toad? Good God.

  3. Tom Fisher says:

    Surely there should be a credible traditionalist critique of Laudato Si — it would be bad for the Church if none is forthcoming. But there has been nothing. Even this fine blog has been reduced to linking to nonsense.

  4. Richard E. Wood,M. D. says:

    I pray for the individual who wrote this unkind letter regarding our holy servant of God.Pax

  5. Tom Fisher says:

    While Benedict called for a reform of the United Nations in Caritas in veritate, due to its unmitigated and undemocratic spread of ideologies related to the richest nations (namely, abortion) Francis here chillingly calls for a true world political authority

    Benedict was referring to (including abortion) almost exactly the same structures that Francis criticised.

  6. kathleen says:

    “Hate” is a very strong word, Tom, and everyone knows it is sinful to hate another person, and especially if that person happens to be the Vicar of Christ! There is an obligation however to point out misjudgment or error… and that is what I think we are seeing here.

    I believe the author of this article clearly feels that an encyclical on the environment would be a more appropriate topic for secular leaders to deal with. It seems to me that his fervent desire would be to see more authentic Catholic doctrinal teaching coming from Christ’s Vicar on Earth at a time when ignorance of true Catholic teaching (even in Ireland from where he originates) is appalling. He, like most of us, would want to see the Pope show a greater outrage at the savage behaviour of the Islamic jihadists in the Middle East and parts of Africa towards thousands of our Christian brethren – to give these persecuted victims and martyrs encouragement, hope, etc. And while there are these and so many other pressing concerns in the Church today, the Holy Father picks on one that is, quite frankly more of a scientific, economic or political matter dealing with this world and its problems, rather than concern for Man’s everlasting soul.

  7. GC says:

    I think, to be accurate, kathleen, this current bloke has spoken out for the Christians of the Middle East more than once, and on abortion, marriage, “gender theory”, with “ideological colonisation” of the world (by the UN- US- EU hydra, I assume) being one of his favourite terms.

    If I’m not wrong, he hasn’t spoken much about the unbelief, liberal nihilism and narcissism, and general nincompoopery of the West, as St John Paul and Pope Benedict most definitely did. Which is the main point of the writer, I feel.

  8. Michael says:

    Surely there should be a credible traditionalist critique of Laudato Si — it would be bad for the Church if none is forthcoming. But there has been nothing.

    Tom,

    There were a few ‘reviews’ of Laudato Si linked to at wdtprs.com the other day, all written from the standpoint of adherence to Sacred Tradition in its fullness (if not all written by traditionalists in the sense that they support the Traditional Latin Mass):

    http://wdtprs.com/blog/2015/06/some-good-commentary-on-laudato-si-and-some-bad/

    Make of them what you will. I have only read the first one, by Fr. Rutler, so can’t comment on the quality of them all. But it does seem that there have been some credible traditionalist (in the sense I just mentioned) critiques of the encyclical already.

  9. toadspittle says:

    Laudato Si is pretty long. I took a very quick zoom through it, and, yes, it’s largely about the environment. The Pope, for reasons of his own, chose to write about that, rather than persecution by Isis, for example.
    The writer is abusing Francis for his choice of subject matter. It’s as if someone said to Dickens, “Why did you write Great Expectations? You should have written Hard Times.”
    Maybe Isis is next on the Pope’s list. I don’t know. Don’t suppose anyone does.

    “He, like most of us, would want to see the Pope show a greater outrage at the savage behaviour of the Islamic jihadists in the Middle East “
    The same sort of outrage Pius Xll showed to Hitler about the savage behaviour of the Nazis, in fact.

  10. Michael says:

    P.S. I don’t think it’s really fair to say that this article is nonsense. I think it lacks balance, makes unfair accusations (such as that Pope Francis has ignored the plight of the martyrs and the murder of the unborn), and assumes that because the Holy Father has made the focus of his encyclical an issue that is not explicitly about humanity and our relationship with God, that it therefore has nothing to do with our discipleship (and thus, by implication, our salvation).

    However, the major criticism, that to focus on an issue like the environment, when there are so many other much more pressing concerns that he could have used his authority and influence to address, is right on the money, as is the point that he has done so in a way that unnecessarily crosses over into territory that is scientifically uncertain. The author has made a lot of unwarranted assumptions and quite a few false accusations, but the piece is not ‘nonsense’ – to say so is to be guilty of the same kind of exaggeration that you have found fault with in the author.

  11. Michael says:

    The same sort of outrage Pius Xll showed to Hitler about the savage behaviour of the Nazis, in fact.

    Very long and complicated topic there, and so a lot to cover that would quite possibly derail the comments onto another subject, but I will say this – Pope Pius XII, and his conduct in the Second World War, has been the subject of a great deal of calumny and misrepresentation here, and it is my opinion that, given the position that the Holy See occupies in the political sphere, he did an enormous amount of good.

  12. toadspittle says:

    “…it is my opinion that, given the position that the Holy See occupies in the political sphere, he did an enormous amount of good…”
    Who is suggesting he didn’t, Michael?

  13. Michael says:

    I thought that’s what your comment was implying – at least, that he didn’t do any where near enough. If not that, what was it you meant? That he didn’t speak up enough?

  14. johnhenrycn says:

    Good luck to any Catholic, trad or cafeteria, who can make it through this 38000+ word essay on the evils of consumerism, capitalism, coal, chemicals and cars. Is it disrespectful to criticize a religious leader’s essay without actually reading it when a cursory glance shows that it strings together scores if not hundreds of platitudes about the ills of society and then links them all to ‘man-made’ climate change with nary a genuflection of respect for the intelligence of Catholics and others who wish to learn how and why the pope concludes mankind is primarily responsible for all those ills and who might have benefitted from some hard scientific and economic insights?

    The 172 footnotes at the end of the pope’s essay contains no source materials aside from earlier encyclicals, pontifical letters, ‘World Day of Peace’ messages, speeches at episcopal conferences, the Catechism, homilies, apostolic exhortations, etc, etc…

    Of course, one can’t expect the Holy Father to give us a lecture in science or economics, about which he personally knows very little; but what rankles is that he assumes that all intelligent people accept that the science and economics of anthropogenic climate change is ‘settled’ and that none but stump-toothed Tea Party Republicans deny it. That is simply not true. Many informed scientists are skeptics when it comes to AGW (or whatever the acronym de jour happens to be) and many generally informed people are suspicious about the motivations of the climate change lobby, which is making money hand over fist from our worries and fears.

    In short, Pope Francis has written an essay, the underlying assumptions of which are still very much in question, and by preaching outside his core competencies – faith and morals – he is alienating serious Catholics who were already alarmed, with some reasonable justification, at the drift his papacy is taking. Even when he confines himself to his core competencies he alarms them, but that’s another story.

    The only reason the climate Warm Mongers applaud this foray by Francis into the environmental field is because he is a useful tool for them to use, even though they laugh at him deep down.

  15. kathleen says:

    Yes, GC, he has (re your first paragraph), but not nearly enough about the terrible ordeal “the Christians of the Middle East” are undergoing IMO. And when he has denounced their plight, do you not (like me) feel he should be demonstrating far more passion, concern and sorrow? These fellow Christians are going through the cruellest of Via Crucis, without even the small comfort of knowing their Holy Father is wholly with them at least in spirit.

    Spot on in your second paragraph.

  16. toadspittle says:

    I meant that Pius Xll didn’t show public outrage at the Nazis, Michael.
    He may have had excellent reasons for not doing so. I don’t know.

  17. kathleen says:

    “The same sort of outrage Pius Xll showed to Hitler about the savage behaviour of the Nazis, in fact.

    Exactly, Toad! That justifiable outrage of the Venerable Pius XII and his following demands to the Bishops to denounce these evils (and diligently obeyed by the Dutch bishops among others in the Church) angered the Nazis so much that they took malicious revenge on the Dutch population, especially those of the Jewish race living in Holland. As you well know, St. Edith Stein (Teresa Benedicta of the Cross) was one of their innocent victims!
    That led the wise and saintly Pope to temper his outrage, working against the Nazis underground instead, thus saving thousands of Jewish lives.

    But please Toad – do keep ‘on topic’, could you?

  18. toadspittle says:

    Dead right, JH. It’s a strange decision on the Pope’s part, I think.
    But it should be criticised for what it is – not what it’s not.

  19. toadspittle says:

    Yes, Kathleen. Sorry.
    “That led the wise and saintly Pope to temper his outrage, “
    That’s one way of putting it, certainly.

  20. Michael says:

    I meant that Pius Xll didn’t show public outrage at the Nazis

    Hmm. As I alluded to earlier, the Holy See is in a unique position politically, in that it has to steadfastly maintain neutrality; however, in Summi Pontificatus (1939), Pope Pius did denounce the evils of racism and totalitarian ideology – in essence, he attacked the ideologies of Hitler and Stalin without naming them. Also, in his Christmas address of 1942 (broadcast on the radio), he strongly denounced nationalism, racism and abuses of human rights, in language that caused the Nazis themselves to say Pius was talking directly about them and making himself the mouthpiece of the ‘Jewish war criminals’.

    Basically, he managed to maintain the Vatican’s official neutrality at the same time as saying a lot more about the evils of Hitler’s ideology than most Western political leaders at the time, who took a very long while to denounce the moral horrors he was perpetrating (as opposed to his military threat). But yes, as Kathleen rightly says, this is quite a way off topic!

  21. Michael says:

    But it should be criticised for what it is – not what it’s not.

    Is it not a legitimate criticism to suggest that other topics should have been given priority over this one (i.e.; that it can be criticised for being what it is instead of what it could have been)?

  22. toadspittle says:

    I personally think the Pope would have been better advised to ignore the “neutrality of the Vatican” and to denounce Isis savagery, rather than waffling on about air pollution, Michael.
    But, for all I know, said neutrality prevents him from doing so. So, it’s environment by default. I don’t know. He’s not my Pope, anyway.
    If he was, I suppose I could be rude about him.
    Will that do?

  23. Michael says:

    But, for all I know, said neutrality prevents him from doing so. So, it’s environment by default. I don’t know.

    As evidenced by the example of Pius XII, neutrality does not preclude the Pope from denouncing moral evils. It merely, according to the Lateran Treaty of 1929 (where this neutrality was outlined and affirmed), requires that he be neutral with respect to relations between the actors in any international conflicts, and to abstain from mediating in any way in the controversies between those actors. So no, denouncing ISIS savagery would not be off the agenda on those grounds (or any other for that matter).

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