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Some stinging rebukes of Laudato Si and the Vatican climate conference July 1, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, Christendom, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, It's all about the $$$, Papa, pr stunts, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, the return, the struggle for the Church.

Via Pertinacious Papist, a very harsh analysis of Laudato Si by Maureen Mullarkey, who normally writes at First Things (but given the rebuke First Things received for daring to ask critical questions of the April Climate Conference from Vatican officials, perhaps they were gun shy to print this?), along with some videos of those awful, horrible, science-hating, utterly unreasonable “deniers” from the Heartland Institute, who everyone knows is just totally in the pocket of Koch Brothers and Chesapeake Energy (not).  First up, Mullarkey, who, I would say, pulls no punches (my emphasis and comments):

Subversion of Christianity by the spirit of the age has been a hazard down the centuries. The significance of “Laudato Si” lies beyond its stated concern for the climate. Discount obfuscating religious language. The encyclical lays ground to legitimize global government and makes the church an instrument of propaganda—a herald for the upcoming United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference in Paris…….

…..The document’s catalogue of distortions and factual errors are those of the climate-change establishment swallowed whole. There is no scientific consensus on man-made global warming, no consensus on the role of human activity in any of the environmental phenomena cited. [All true. But do you notice how much the rhetoric and actions of the “climate change” activists mirrors that of the “same-sex marriage” activists?  Of course, they are both part of the left which has always used brutal rhetorical tactics, but even by that standard they are both amazingly excessive in their attempts to utterly discredit ALL opposition as completely unfounded and simply bigoted or possessed of evil ulterior motives. Thus the reaction of the Vatican apparatus to mild questions raised over the climate change conference were very troubling for what it revealed: a thoroughgoing leftist mindset blinded by ideology to the point that there could be no other possible legitimate viewpoint, and any who don’t immediately jump completely on board could be nothing less than pretty much pure evil.  That’s very disconcerting to see from curial officials, even by post-conciliar standards] 

……Enter Jorge Bergolio. Informed objection to the pope’s roster of pending disasters is widely available—but also, at this point, moot. Reducing greenhouse gases has just been deemed a religious obligation. What should concern us now is the ecclesial climate that yielded this extravagant rant.

There is nothing to admire in its assault on market economies, technological progress, and—worse—on rationality itself. Bergolio, whom we know now as Pope Francis, is a limited man. His grasp of economics is straitjacketed by the Peronist culture in which he was raised. “Laudato Si” descends to garish, left-wing boilerplate. The pope is neither a public intellectual, theologian, nor a man of science. Yet he impersonates all three. [Wow. I can see why First Things shied away. Please try not to fly off the handle too much in response to this piece, but I do think the bit concerning Peronist provincialism is spot on.]

…….The document is steeped in Third Worldism. The imagined plight of the planet is the work of a rapacious West. Ignoring the role of corruption, mismanagement, and counter-productive ideology in failed or deteriorating states, it gives a ruinous pass to Third World oligarchs and despots. [And also to the far worse environmental record of virtually every communist state, including China up to this very day!  The Soviet Union possessed thousands of square miles of landscape completely devoid of life, due to the communist’s indifference towards the environment, an indifference which led to whole regions being polluted to levels where nothing still grows to this day. And yet Cardinal Maradiaga proclaimed capitalism as the sole source of environmental degradation.  This is nothing but ideology]

Bergolio’s resentment of First World prosperity is of a piece with his simplistic understanding of the “financial interests” and “financial resources” he condemns. He nurses a Luddite yen to roll back the Industrial Revolution for a fantasy of pre-industrial harmony between man and a virginal Mother Earth. He demonizes the very means that have raised millions out of poverty, and that remain crucial in continuing to raise standards of living among the poor.

Take no comfort from “Laudato Si’s” restatements of the Catholic Church’s traditional positions on the sanctity of life, the primacy of the family, and rejection of abortion. In this context, orthodoxy and pious expression serve a rancid purpose. They are a Trojan horse, a vehicle for insinuating surrender to pseudo-science and the eco-fascism that requires it. [A very harsh assessment. Do you think it fair?]

………Papal suspicion of private property and infatuation with a “theology of poverty” lend sanctimony to the class antagonism hibernating in the church’s “preferential option for the poor,” a problematic concept derived from Liberation Theology. (Problematic because the promise of the resurrection, the ineradicable core of Christianity, is not directed to a class, but to individuals.) [Now that’s a very interesting point, and could easily deserve a post or more to analyze and discuss on its own, but while the Church has always had enormous concern for the poor, I do think an ideology has developed in the Church over the past few decades that takes that concern in problematic directions.  I don’t want to get too much into that side issue now, though] 

It is reasonable to think that Bergolio is a greater friend to poverty than to the poor. [ouch]

A strain of inadvertent comedy runs through “Laudato Si.” Il Papa [double ouch, a reference to Mussolini, Il Duce] assumes the posture of governess to the world—Mary Poppins on the Throne of Peter. Who else could align the magisterium of the Catholic Church with exhortation to turn off the air conditioner, shut the lights, and be sure to recycle? For this Christ died: to atone for petroleum products. And for carbon emissions from private cars carrying only one or two people. [I guess I shall be damned for all eternity for my 30 mile commute to work each day.  And all so that we could live very near our TLM parish.  What a horrible Catholic I am, when I used to be 30 miles from the TLM and only 4 miles from work!]

While Christians in the birthplaces of Christianity are crucified and beheaded for their faith, young girls are kidnapped and sold for the price of a pack of cigarettes, our encyclical whines: “In many parts of the planet, the elderly lament that once beautiful landscapes are now covered with rubbish.” [Yeah, I’d call that a whine]

There is more in that letter-to-the-editor vein: “Neighbourhoods, even those recently built, are congested, chaotic and lacking in sufficient green space. We were not meant to be inundated by cement, asphalt, glass and metal, and deprived of physical contact with nature.” [this is actually a point where Pope Francis may oppose most American leftist urban planners, who want every city to be like New York with hundreds of thousands crammed into high rise apartments with no personal lawns or terrible, horrible single family homes.]

Gospel quotations are bent to serve. In the chapter “The Gaze of Jesus,” we read this: “98. Jesus lived in full harmony with creation, and others were amazed: ‘What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?’ (Mt 8:27).” [Douay Reims has the 8:26-7 as: “And Jesus saith to them: Why are you fearful, of ye of little faith?  Then rising up, he commanded the winds and the sea, and there came a great calm.  But the men wondered, saying: What manner of man is this, for the winds and sea obey Him?”  This has nothing to do with the Christ as a kumbayah tree hugging nature communer]

That passage from Matthew has not a thing to do with harmony. Rather, it tells of Jesus’dominion over nature. It is a statement of authority, of lordship over the natural order. The verse complements one from John: “He that cometh from above is above all.” By abolishing the scriptural intuition of power and might, the truncated quotation makes Jesus a screen on which to project a chimera of cosmic equality…….

……Resurgent Islam and the spread of Sharia are the church’s enemies, not oil, coal, and gas. None are poorer than those who live, despised, in the path of ISIS. Where, then, is the encyclical calling for the conversion of Islam away from its murderous climate of hatred? Instead, the Vicar of Christ calls all the world—intending primarily the West—to “ecological conversion.” [Which conversion has, in fact, already happened. As the founder of Greenpeace noted on leaving the organization in 1986, all the reasonable things – ending nuclear testing, dramatically improving real air quality, not made up “carbon dioxide” problems, safe disposal of toxic waste, etc., etc. have already been done, or are at least constantly attended to.  He also noted that to justify their existence and their patent hatred of capitalism (and, not coincidentally, Christianity), the radical environmental left has to go to more and more extreme lengths.  Thus carbon dioxide becomes the world’s greatest threat, even though it is a totally natural product produced far, far more by the earth and normal life than it is by man. There is always room for improvement, but basically castigating an entire economic system and mode of life as fundamentally evil – on an environmental basis! – is much less Catholic than it is a political ideology]

Intellectual and moral confusion of such magnitude is a judgment on the ecclesial culture that produced it and the popular culture that consents to it.

———-End Quote———–

If you think some of the above was over the top, don’t go read the whole thing.  I would say Mullarkey got a pretty good head of steam going.

Now, real quick, because this post is already very long, the presentation made by Elizabeth Yore at the Heartland Institute’s colloquy in Rome, held at the same time as the Vatican climate change PR event conference:

I’ll close with this: one of the most damaging trends in Catholic catechesis/theological study over the past 50 years has been the tendency to radically mix up the prudential and the dogmatic.  Issuing an encyclical on a subject that by definition is largely outside the special charism of the Pope is only a furtherance of this very destructive trend.  I have long lamented how no one pays any attention to what the USCCB says because they issue 50 press releases every day on prudential subjects far outside the bishop’s competency – farm bills, telecommunications regulations, all manner of economic policies, etc, while they very, very rarely pronunciate on those matters that ARE their competency and in fact their duty as shepherds: moral matters and the Doctrine of the Faith.  For the most part the papacy, with some glaring exceptions, had avoided this tendency but it seems it has now adopted it with abandon.  Making prudential matters out to be somehow dogmatic is only going to turn some people off, and, far worse, massively confuse people as to what is actually required belief to be Catholic, and what is not.  We now have leftists attacking orthodox Catholics for not being on board the great climate change hoax, which is simply ludicrous but we instantly saw how this encyclical gave much more ammunition to those who want to turn the Church into just one more secularist, left-wing NGO.  More on that later, God willing.

And this was so exceptional I went with it though I am trying to avoid any non-synodal related coverage of this Papacy for the rest of the summer.


1. Mrs. Pat Scott Houston, Texas - July 1, 2015

I burst out laughing at her comments—reminded me of what Pat Buchanan called pope Francis—“an Argentinian, Jesuit, Socialist”–but that seems mild compared. Well,she ain’t alone in her thoughts, AND she is tough enough to say it!!

2. D.O.T.C.O.M._Mom (@DOTCOM_MOM) - July 1, 2015

This joke of an encyclical is already being forced upon 5th grade schoolchildren in Archdiocese of Atlanta:

“That doesn’t mean it’s only going to be referenced in fifth grade,” Starkovich said. “As teachers plan for the fall, particularly in high schools, I can see our theology faculty reading this and looking to make sure we are covering this in all our curricula.” The archdiocese is among several in the country that are reviewing the papal document to see how its guidelines may fit into their teaching.”


3. D.O.T.C.O.M._Mom (@DOTCOM_MOM) - July 1, 2015
4. Judica me, Deus - July 1, 2015

I think it’s wonderful, courageous, and truthful. Since when is it non-Christian to speak the truth, in order to prevent people from being led astray? That includes the Pope. I pray for the man, but her criticism of him in this is spot on, and I can say that and still pray for his soul and respect the office he holds.

5. Baseballmom - July 1, 2015

Wish our hierarchy and clergy had her cahonies ….

TG - July 2, 2015

Amen, sister. I had to laugh too.

6. Baseballmom - July 2, 2015

“The pope is neither a public intellectual, theologian, nor a man of science. Yet he impersonates all three.” THIS STATEMET SUMS UP THE ENTIRE PROBLEM WITH THIS PONTIFICATE!

7. Willard Money - July 2, 2015

Obviously her religion is capitalism. I wonder what she would say about Pope Gregory XVI’s opposition to the introduction of the railroad to the papal states?

Tantumblogo - July 2, 2015

She did glorify capitalism without mentioning some of the problems. I try to keep in mind that capitalism, at its essence, is simply the free exchange of goods and services at agreed upon rates. What we frequently deplore as capitalism is a deformation of that basic definition, featuring government involvement and the picking of winners and losers, corporatist influence run amok, etc. There is nothing inherently problematic from the Catholic perspective with that free exchange of goods and services…….it’s what people have done since long before the Church existed. But the kind of corporate-government semi-socialist hybrid capitalism that we see today does of course have many downsides. And I thought she could have recognized that a bit.

But I’d say claiming her religion is capitalism is maybe taking things a bit far, she’s written some very insightful pieces in the past and may have gone over the top a bit in this one in response to being exercised to fevered opposition by what she had read in Laudato Si. That was my interpretation, anyway.

Baseballmom - July 2, 2015

Mine too. And yes, she has written some very good pieces but likely was, like many of, blown away by the hubris in this encyclical.

camper - July 4, 2015

I’ve read about that – he called them “chemins d’enfer” – roads of hell. The simple answer is that Pope Gregory was a tyrant.

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