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Pope Francis, the Climate and Leftism

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  • Pope Francis, the Climate and Leftism

    One of the rarest and most important things a pope does is issue encyclicals. In the eight years of Pope Benedict's papacy, he issued three encyclicals. In the 27 years of Pope John Paul II's papacy, he issued 14 encyclicals.

    Since his ascendancy to the papacy in March 2013, Pope Francis has issued one.

    But Pope Francis is about to issue an encyclical to the world's 5,000 bishops and 400,000 priests that tells us a great deal about him, about Latin America and, most of all, about the influence of what has been the most dynamic religion in the world for the last hundred years.

    Hint: It isn't Christianity or Islam.

    This year, the pope will use an immense amount papal moral influence to address global warming, or as it is now called, in light of the small amount of warming actually taking place, climate change.
    ...
    How are we to explain that at the very moment that the oldest Christian communities in the world are being violently destroyed; that while Christians are murdered, raped and tortured in Africa and the Middle East; and while horrific barbarities are committed daily in the name of God, the pope issues an encyclical and travels around the world to talk about climate change?
    ...
    Defenders of Pope Francis note that Pope Benedict, too, spoke eloquently about man's obligations to protect nature. That is true. And it is irrelevant. First, he issued no encyclical on the issue; his encyclicals were, like almost every papal encyclical, non-political. Second, everyone knows we have an obligation to care for the planet. But caring for the planet has as much to do with left-wing environmentalism as protecting workers had to do with Communism.

    By all accounts, Pope Francis is a wonderful man. Conservatives understand that good people can hold left-wing positions. If only bad people held left-wing positions, leftism wouldn't be the world's most dynamic religion.

    Unfortunately, however, being a wonderful person doesn't mean you will be a wonderful pope. Any Catholic who tweets, "Inequality is the root of social evil," as Pope Francis did last March, should be a socialist prime minister, not a Christian leader. The moral message of every Bible-based religion is that the root of evil is caused by poor character and poor moral choices, not by economics. The pope's tweet is from Marx, not Moses.


    link

    This is a little disturbing. Yes, we need to care for God's creation, but this looks entirely beyond the scope of a form of communication traditionally used to promulgate theological directives, not political ones.
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

    Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
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    I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

  • #2
    The author of this piece (granted, it's not a Christian source) seems to draw a dichotomy between political and spiritual issues that, frankly, I think is foreign to scripture. This particular encyclical may not strike at the heart of any Christian doctrine (so this is not about defending it as such), but the two realms of political and spiritual seem intertwined, especially throughout the OT prophetic literature rife with denunciations of specific social trends or actions. It's sort of the same logic as "you can't preach against abortion, because it's a political issue!"
    Last edited by KingsGambit; 01-07-2015, 02:26 PM.
    "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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    • #3
      I disagree with the notion that climate change isn't really occuring, and the Global Warming dissent in the article.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
        The author of this piece (granted, it's not a Christian source) seems to draw a dichotomy between political and spiritual issues that, frankly, I think is foreign to scripture.
        Not so much a dichotomy, but the weight of emphasis. Our spirituality should inform our politics, not the other way around.
        This particular encyclical may not strike at the heart of any Christian doctrine (so this is not about defending it as such), but the two realms of political and spiritual seem intertwined, especially throughout the OT prophetic literature rife with denunciations of specific social trends or actions.
        You'll need to provide examples.
        It's sort of the same logic as "you can't preach against abortion, because it's a political issue!"
        I don't think you're paying much attention to what the author is actually saying. He's not saying that the Pope should avoid addressing climate change.
        Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

        Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
        sigpic
        I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Leonhard View Post
          I disagree with the notion that climate change isn't really occuring, and the Global Warming dissent in the article.
          This is not the intended topic of my post (or, AFAICS, the op-ed itself).
          Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

          Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
          sigpic
          I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
            You'll need to provide examples.
            Usury is the big one I'm thinking of here, but apart from that, Jeremiah 8 is a particularly harsh and very political denunciation. My first post may have overemphasized the political aspect, but it was the general gist I got from the article because of the author's emphasis on how Benedict shied from politics.

            Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post

            I don't think you're paying much attention to what the author is actually saying. He's not saying that the Pope should avoid addressing climate change.
            I disagree; I think this is at least implicit, with the reference to environmentalism as a religion and the emphasis on how he sees global warming as minuscule. Most authors wouldn't take potshots throughout an article at a policy they'd nonetheless support. I would at the very least be surprised if the author would be in support of any such action.
            "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

            Comment


            • #7
              the most dynamic religion in the world for the last hundred years.

              Hint: It isn't Christianity or Islam.

              This year, the pope will use an immense amount papal moral influence to address global warming, or as it is now called, in light of the small amount of warming actually taking place, climate change.
              Oh yeah there's absolutely no snide dismissal of the reality or science behind Global Warming here.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
                This is a little disturbing. Yes, we need to care for God's creation, but this looks entirely beyond the scope of a form of communication traditionally used to promulgate theological directives, not political ones.
                The precedent of politically significant encyclicals goes back to Leo XIII and Rerum Novarum-- over 100 years.

                There seem to be a number of people trying to anticipate what the encyclical will say despite the fact that they know nothing about it besides the topic. Methinks the Right doth protest too much.
                Don't call it a comeback. It's a riposte.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
                  Usury is the big one I'm thinking of here, but apart from that, Jeremiah 8 is a particularly harsh and very political denunciation.
                  You are WAY over-reading things if you think Jeremiah 8 is more politically than religiously oriented.
                  My first post may have overemphasized the political aspect, but it was the general gist I got from the article because of the author's emphasis on how Benedict shied from politics.
                  Yeah, you're allowing preconceived biases to color your reading of the article. The article mentions that Benedict strove to be politically neutral, but hardly emphasized that.
                  I disagree; I think this is at least implicit, with the reference to environmentalism as a religion and the emphasis on how he sees global warming as minuscule. Most authors wouldn't take potshots throughout an article at a policy they'd nonetheless support. I would at the very least be surprised if the author would be in support of any such action.
                  This is a non sequitur. You appear to be replying to something else I wrote rather than what you quoted.
                  Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

                  Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
                  sigpic
                  I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Spartacus View Post
                    The precedent of politically significant encyclicals goes back to Leo XIII and Rerum Novarum-- over 100 years.

                    There seem to be a number of people trying to anticipate what the encyclical will say despite the fact that they know nothing about it besides the topic. Methinks the Right doth protest too much.
                    You think 100 years is significant? This ain't your father's RCC.

                    In any case, it seems that the current pope's political position is a significant departure from the recently sainted John Paul II's condemnation of liberation theology.
                    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

                    Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
                    sigpic
                    I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Leonhard View Post
                      Oh yeah there's absolutely no snide dismissal of the reality or science behind Global Warming here.
                      Again, not the main point of the article (or my post). If you want to discuss global warming, do it elsewhere.
                      Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

                      Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
                      sigpic
                      I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by KingsGambit
                        The author of this piece (granted, it's not a Christian source) seems to draw a dichotomy between political and spiritual issues that, frankly, I think is foreign to scripture.
                        True. But equally foreign to scripture is any reference to global warming, or promotion of any government with the ability to regulate such matters. That is the point.

                        Here is the pope:

                        Daniel 7:25
                        And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
                          You think 100 years is significant? This ain't your father's RCC.
                          My father is not yet 100 years old, and we are in fact members of the same Church.

                          As for encyclicals, they seem to be among the institutional Church's most important methods of political engagement in a post-Christendom era. All things considered, the papacy seems to have adapted to its loss of direct political authority relatively quickly, and it has adapted through the use of encyclicals.

                          In any case, it seems that the current pope's political position is a significant departure from the recently sainted John Paul II's condemnation of liberation theology.
                          I'm not familiar with any condemnation of liberation theology by JPII, but I am familiar with the instruction on liberation theology by Ratzinger from when he was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; if I recall correctly, he warned against basing it too much on Marxism, particularly the class warfare idea, but the basic endeavor of liberation theology received no condemnation. Also worthy of note is the fact that the current head of the CDF, one Cardinal Mueller, is known for his interest in liberation theology
                          Don't call it a comeback. It's a riposte.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
                            You are WAY over-reading things if you think Jeremiah 8 is more politically than religiously oriented.
                            I don't think that at all (when did I say that?); I'm maintaining it is simultaneously strongly both (though more religious). There are obviously far deeper spiritual maladies than the mentioned political ills at the time but they are one symptom.

                            Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
                            Yeah, you're allowing preconceived biases to color your reading of the article. The article mentions that Benedict strove to be politically neutral, but hardly emphasized that.
                            And I am questioning whether political neutrality is inherently something worth striving for. Forced neutrality leads to lukewarmness. If the potential effects of global warming were truly as bad as alarmists maintain (I'll leave that to the scientists as outside my purview) I see how it could clearly be a spiritual issue worthy of such action of an encyclical.

                            This is a non sequitur. You appear to be replying to something else I wrote rather than what you quoted.
                            All I mean is it's not difficult to read between the lines as to an actual stance the author is taking on an issue. To say the author does not object to taking action on climate change hardly seems like a viable interpretation of the article IMO.
                            Last edited by KingsGambit; 01-08-2015, 04:49 PM.
                            "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I read another comment on the Pope's position and basically it's question why at a time when the attacks on Christians is at an almost unprecedented level (whole Christian populations wiped out by ISIS, Boku Haram regularly killing Christians etc.) the Pope is instead choosing to focus on climate change.
                              "If you can ever make any major religion look absolutely ludicrous, chances are you haven't understood it"
                              -Ravi Zacharias, The New Age: A foreign bird with a local walk

                              Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
                              1 Corinthians 16:13

                              "...he [Doherty] is no historian and he is not even conversant with the historical discussions of the very matters he wants to pontificate on."
                              -Ben Witherington III

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