Pope Francis Climate Change
Ethics & Morality

Laudato Si – Pope Francis gives a timely gift to humanity

 

Two momentous events happened yesterday: the Vatican finally discovered PowerPoint and the Pope (or at least the person in charge of his Twitter account) proved that he had mastered the use of social media sufficiently to grab people’s attention and get his message into the headlines of evening news bulletins around the world.

Pope Francis Filth Tweet

This has always been the plan for his Laudato Si encyclical, on our relationship with the planet and how we are treating it. The Pope writes:

The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change. The Creator does not abandon us; he never forsakes his loving plan or repents of having created us. Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home…

I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all. The worldwide ecological movement has already made considerable progress and led to the establishment of numerous organizations committed to raising awareness of these challenges. Regrettably, many efforts to seek concrete solutions to the environmental crisis have proved ineffective, not only because of powerful opposition but also because of a more general lack of interest. 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. We require a new and universal solidarity. As the bishops of Southern Africa have stated: “Everyone’s talents and involvement are needed to redress the damage caused by human abuse of God’s creation”. All of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvements and talents.

Pope Francis has aimed this exhortation well beyond his own Roman Catholic family because he knows that the future of world which he refers to as ‘Our common home’ and ‘Our sister’ is in the hands of each one of us. His rallying cry has been heard and the world has promptly responded. Even the Guardian has felt the need to publish a lengthy extract; it is the first time they have given a papal encyclical anywhere near this much attention. They may have avoided sharing the references to God and the deep spirituality which flows through the 180 pages, but still it stands as an example of how the media has lapped up Francis’ words and fallen in love with them. They are unashamedly catholic, radical and uncompromising, and they are a gift to humanity which is being received with gratitude and open arms.

Well, mostly with open arms.

It is a sad yet predictable case that some who see themselves as guardians of the Christian faith and civilisation itself over in the US bitterly opposed Pope Francis even before they had read a word. Around two thirds of US Evangelicals believe that human activities are not affecting Earth’s climate. Two of the Republican presidential candidates, Rick Santorum and Jeb Bush, fall into the same camp despite being Roman Catholics. Bush’s comment that when it comes to climate change, he would not be guided by the church; alongside Santorum’s that “we probably are better off leaving science to the scientists”, display a distinct irony: Pope Francis has a degree in Chemistry and undoubtedly a far better understanding of science than either of the two presidential hopefuls. In addition, they both refuse to take notice of the vast majority of scientists who have used extensive research to conclude that we as a species are adversely impacting our planet and its climate through our consumption of its resources.

Bush and Santorum, along with all of those who agree with them, are rapidly becoming a stubborn minority who argue their partisan case from a distance while everyone else continues to become increasingly aware that solutions to climate change are needed and seek to do something about it. And we don’t need to look hard for the evidence, whether it be the pledge by G7 leaders last week to phase out fossil fuel usage by the end of the century; Tuesday’s Lambeth Declaration on climate change, signed by British religious leaders from different faiths; or Wednesday’s lobby of Parliament by 9,000 representatives from over 100 charities and organisations which together make up the Climate Coalition.

Climate talks and pledges are nothing new, and too often they have resulted in more disagreement than progress. But recently there has been a noticeable shift in attitude and urgency around the world. A ComRes survey for Tearfund released this week found that practising Christians consider the most pressing global issue – by a considerable margin – which we will face over the next decade is climate change. Earlier this month, IKEA pledged $1 billion of climate finance shared between renewable energy investments and help for vulnerable communities affected by climate change, providing a strong lead for national governments to follow. We now wait to see how the United Nations Climate Change Conference, being held in Paris at the end of this year, will unfold.

In view of all this, we observe that Laudato Si has arrived riding on a wave of optimism. It comes at a crucial time, but more than just adding another voice to the many already clamouring for attention, it offers something greater than we have possibly seen before on this issue. Too often, the politics of climate change has focused either on the science behind it or the economic consequences. What Pope Francis is able to do is provide a moral framework which fuses science with faith in a way that is impossible to ignore. It is so compelling and broad in its scope that even for those who profoundly disagree with the science of climate change, there is enough to justify intervention purely through the call to love each other and our planet.

It is a heartfelt plea not just for governments to act, but for each one of us to consider the way we live and where the excesses may lie. We owe it to our world to treat it with respect because we are in rather than above it, and we are also utterly dependent on it. Nor can poverty be separated from the state of the planet when the latter directly affects the former for millions of people.

Above all, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not, we have a spiritual connection to the world around us. We are part of God’s creation that surrounds us. We are called to be stewards, not abusers; to be thankful for what we have, and not endlessly demand more to meet needs which can never be satisfied through consumption.

Returning to Pope Francis’ own words, in conclusion:

In calling to mind the figure of Saint Francis of Assisi, we come to realize that a healthy relationship with creation is one dimension of overall personal conversion, which entails the recognition of our errors, sins, faults and failures, and leads to heartfelt repentance and desire to change…

All is not lost. Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start, despite their mental and social conditioning. We are able to take an honest look at ourselves, to acknowledge our deep dissatisfaction, and to embark on new paths to authentic freedom. No system can completely suppress our openness to what is good, true and beautiful, or our God-given ability to respond to his grace at work deep in our hearts.

  • Graham Wood

    Gillan. Like the naive Christians you quote who believe that climate change is the “most pressing issue” have got their priorities all wrong and have swallowed the fashionable climate alarmism propaganda which is spewed out daily by the world-wide media from the pseudo-science lobbies.

  • Graham Wood

    Oops posted the above without the following:
    The issue is not climate change per se, for as we all know climates have and do vary historically. The real issue is climate change alarmism, and very little to do with real science and the scientific method.
    As rightly stated “climate change alarmism is a belief system and needs to be evaluated as such”
    Actually many real scientists aver that climate change catastrophism is the biggest scientific fraud that has ever occurred – much “climate science” is political ideology dressed up as science”
    The Pope should know better than to believe and endorse an alien and
    anti-Christian belief system parading as genuine science.

    • Albert

      Unlike you and Pope Francis, I have very little scientific training, and therefore cannot comment on what effect, if any, human behaviour is having on the climate. However, I think there is a problem with your post when you say this:

      The Pope should know better than to believe and endorse an alien and
      anti-Christian belief system parading as genuine science.

      The trouble is that whether “alarmism” is the correct position or not, is not fundamentally a question of anti-Christian belief systems, it is simply a question of science. The Pope may be misinterpreting the science, but that does not mean he has endorsed an alien anti-Christian belief system, it just means he’s made a scientific error.

      What I like about this encyclical, from what I have read, is that it makes a natural law case for proper stewardship of the environment. That’s not anti-Christian, even if the scientific interpretation is incorrect.

      • CliveM

        Yes I agree. Scientific error (if that is what it is) is not anti Christian. I am also not sure why environmentalism shouldn’t be endorsed for its own sake anyway. I want a cleaner, less littered, less polluted, less wasteful world. All can be justified on their own terms.

        • CliveM

          Ps brave blog on this site!!

        • Graham Wood

          I believe the warmist AGW theory is basically anti-Christian for several reasons. At this point I will posit simply one (which inadvertently was posted in error in my answer to Albert above)

          It lies in this statistic which could be repeated with varying degrees year on year in the Northern hemisphere, and not least in Northern England regularly:
          “The death rate in England and Wales is about a third higher than normal for this time of year, official figures show, as the winter freeze tightens its grip on swaths of Britain. About 28,800 deaths were registered in the fortnight ending 23 January, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS – 2015). This is 32% higher than the average for that period over the previous five years (21,859).”
          I suggest here that a known hazard such as death by hypothermia or other cold related illnesses is a regular and common occurrence which is a major problem – the science of which is known – i.e. people die of cold!
          Contrarily AGW, or the theoretical threat of it, is not in practical terms a problem at all. How many deaths can be actually attributed to AGW, apart from unusual or occasional exceptions with hot summers in some places, and then very limited and temporary?
          I suggest it is certainly very anti Christian for the Pope or anyone else to express alarmism over one theoretical danger, to the neglect of the other well known and proven danger which occurs with deadly regularity in northern hemispheres.

          • Would you deny the accuracy of these statements by the Pope?

            “The Earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth. In many parts of the planet, the elderly lament that once beautiful landscapes are now covered with rubbish. Industrial waste and chemical products utilised in cities and agricultural areas can lead to bioaccumulation in the organisms of the local population, even when levels of toxins in those places are low. Frequently no measures are taken until after people’s health has been irreversibly affected.

            These problems are closely linked to a throwaway culture which affects the excluded just as it quickly reduces things to rubbish. To cite one example, most of the paper we produce is thrown away and not recycled. It is hard for us to accept that the way natural ecosystems work is exemplary: plants synthesise nutrients which feed herbivores; these in turn become food for carnivores, which produce significant quantities of organic waste which give rise to new generations of plants. But our industrial system, at the end of its cycle of production and consumption, has not developed the capacity to absorb and reuse waste and by-products. We have not yet managed to adopt a circular model of production capable of preserving resources for present and future generations, while limiting as much as possible the use of non-renewable resources, moderating their consumption, maximizing their efficient use, reusing and recycling them. A serious consideration of this issue would be one way of counteracting the throwaway culture which affects the entire planet, but it must be said that only limited progress has been made in this regard.”

          • Cressida de Nova

            Pollution and the obscene waste that takes place in our consumerist society had to be addressed by His Holiness. The environmental problems such as polluted waterways, contaminated air, etc are ruinous to human health and other species and are man made . How could it possibly not be sinful? Catholics should be proud of a Pope who has spoken up. All the leaders of the other Christian Churches should follow suit if they are going to call themselves Christian.

          • GKStudent

            And also should be added, condoms, contraceptives, abortificients, and so forth also go down the same waste baskets, cause pollution, and contaminate our streams, rivers, lakes, and all vital resources of water.

          • Graham Wood

            HJ will come back to you with a response shortly.
            GW

          • “What troubles me is the man-centered element in his encyclical, and not for the first time, which eclipses the central message of the Gospel of Christ, so that he gives support to the narcissistic, self absorbed, preoccupation of modern man (and large elements in all churches) of the “self”, rather than God. It represents a gross imbalance.”

            Then you have missed the central message of the Pope’s encyclical.

            In Laudato Si, Francis describes the root of our problem as a failure to affirm God as Creator. Because we do not orient our freedom toward acknowledging God we’re drawn into seeking to subdue and master the world so that it can serve our needs and desires, thus treating “other living beings as mere objects subjected to arbitrary human domination.” By contrast, if we acknowledge God as Creator, we can receive creation as a gift and see that “the ultimate purpose of other creatures is not found in us.”

            Jack doesn’t know about all the science and the politics of it all, but this is a very Christian message.

            Pope Francis attacks modernity and its faith in progress and its political commitment to liberty, equality, and fraternity. To be ‘modern’ is to believe that Western societies are more democratic, more egalitarian, and more inclusive than any in history. This is not the Pope’s view. He sees the West as rapacious, consuming resources at a rate that robs the poor nations and future generations. The present world system created by European and North American modernity, and the architects of modern science, economics, and political culture is denounced by the Pope as it destroys the environment, oppresses the multitudes, and makes us blind to the beauty of creation.

          • CliveM

            Happy Jack

            You have nicely summarised the bits of the encyclical I am most suspicious off. It reads to much like any South American left wing agitator, with a problem with the west.

          • The Pope does make valid criticisms of ‘modernity’. Or do you disagree with them?
            The issue for Jack is that he offers no real solutions – other than a vague world system of governmental oversight, that would be run by scientists and the very global financiers he is suspicious of.

          • CliveM

            Anything human has limitations and Godless impacts and I certainly don’t hold with blind optimism with regards modernism. But not to acknowledge it strengths is an error. Not to acknowledge it does also have good is an error. I am cynically and cautiously optimistic with regards modernism!!

            And it has proven itself better then many other human systems.

          • This is true and therein lies many Catholic’s misgivings with Pope Francis. He has offered a reasonable critique of modern post-capitalism, globalisation, consumerism and the international financial markets, much in line with his predecessors. However, his exposition of the science behind global warming is naive and his solutions to the problems he identifies are rather simplistic. These are areas for prudential interpretation and application but the underlying themes and analysis seem sound to Jack.

          • CliveM

            Well naive and simplistic remedies are not limited to the Pope. Most Churches seem to be infected with it. Indeed it’s hard to think of one Church leader who isn’t!!

          • Graham Wood

            HJ. “The Earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.”
            I have no problem with the Popes’ comments, although arguably it was ever thus, and even some would say, earth’s environment is not more polluted than in past eras of world wars, and even of the “dark satanic mills” and desolation of the Industrial revolution – certainly in 19th century England.
            But all that is to miss the point. If the Pope is to speak of an “immense pile of filth” then he would be better to reflect that his words should be much more applied to the moral and spiritual filth of men and goverments in rebellion against God than the relatively lesser evils of modern environmentalist perceptions.
            Clearly, he has either been badly advised in swallowing the myth of AGW which is not a problem anyway, or he is personally convinced of it and to some degree is as deceived as the vast majority of pompous, self appointed guardians of the “environment”, including the MSM, and the BBC amongst others .
            What troubles me is the man-centered element in his encyclical, and not for the first time, which eclipses the central message of the Gospel of Christ, so that he gives support to the narcissistic, self absorbed, preoccupation of modern man (and large elements in all churches) of the “self”, rather than God. It represents a gross imbalance.
            To quote James Packer (a fine evangelical Anglican scholar – now I think in glory) in analysing the difference between the old (biblical) message and its modern counterpart. It is striking and significant and summarises much of what modern Popes and churches seem to stand for:
            “The old gospel was always and essentially a proclamation of Divine sovereignty in mercy and judgment, a summons to bow down and worship the mighty Lord on whom man depends for all good both in nature and in grace. Its centre of reference was unambiguously God.
            But in the new gospel the centre of reference is man…..
            whereas the chief aim of the old was to teach men to worship God, the concern of the new seems limited to making them feel better ”
            I appreciate that less than 2% of the encyclical was devoted to the environment, but notwithstanding, by even mentioning it, the Pope has given credence to the lie of AGW.
            In closing, and for your encouragement, there has just been published a superb overview of the whole AGW debate written in part by real scientists, as opposed to the pseudo variety, with other commentators. It is certainly the best I have come across – full of powerful arguments which IMO completely demolish the AGW scam. It is entitled:
            Climate Change – The Facts (Stockade Books
            ISBN 978-0-9863983-0-8) You won’t need much else!
            Graham

          • Anton

            Jack, I am far from convinced that the earth is beginning to resemble an immense pile of filth and I’ve explained why further up this thread.

          • avi barzel

            Um, a vague mish-mash of real and imaginary concerns collated from the usual leftist environmentalist scripts? The developed world is cleaner and more forested than it has been in the past two centuries thanks to technological solutions.

            We have no magic renewable resources we can adobt without plunging our civilization into darkness and starvation. Per unit of energy, oil, natural gas and nuclear are far above coal, wood or animal dung, with the last two continuing to devastating people’s health and lives. Most of the paper His Holiness frets about is not recycled because it would be uneconomical, would create unnecessar polution and wastes energy in comparison to manufacturing it from new bio material. And whatever real concerns we legitimately hold over environmental degradation, they have nothing to do with the yet unproven and highly dubious linking of CO2 to global warming or the anything-goes “climate change” whopper.

      • Graham Wood

        Albert and Clive I disagree. This is a huge subject, but I will try to explain briefly why it is my conviction that : The Pope should know better than to believe and endorse an alien and anti-Christian belief system parading as genuine science.”
        Simply put the word “science” means knowledge and knowledge of our world has been progressive and built up over many centuries.
        Modern science and most ‘climate scientists’ are secular humanists, and other self confessed atheists.
        By sharp contrast early scientific endeavour was indebted wholly to Christian believers, and science itself as a discipline arose in ‘Christian’ Europe. There is a long and impressive list of scientific thinkers from Nicolas Copernicus, Grosseteste, Albert Magnus, Roger Bacon, Johannes Kepler, and many others, right up to the great Isaac Newton himself and well into the 20th century and today. All were Christian believers.
        They believed in God as Creator and as the Intelligent designer of a rational universe that could be “read” and discovered and then, as far as their limited ability and technology permitted at the time, subjected their theories to empirical testing.
        Thus Kepler: “”The chief aim of all investigations of the external world should be to discover the rational order and harmony imposed upon it by God”.
        Modern science by contrast does not accept this basic premise and interprets scientific data WITHOUT the assumption that the God who created this world and universe, ALSO sustains it, upholds it, and controls every aspect of all the natural life systems it contains.
        (Thus the Apostle Paul in Athens recorded in Acts 17 – after speaking of God as Creator declared ‘in Him we live and move and have our being’)
        The further assumption of secular scientists today is that man is able to ‘wreak havoc’ on global temperatures via uncontrolled industrial activity, and therefore must impose human (governments) control over human and industrial activity. Wrong premise, wrong conclusions, for we know that climate change varied during the medieval warm period and then later in the ‘Little Ice Age’, long before the arrival of the industrial revolution.

        • Albert

          Don’t worry, I’m completely in agreement that atheism would not predict science, and would not be able to create it. But in the end, this is a scientific question.

          Is it possible for human beings to behave in such a way that the climate is messed up? I cannot see that that question can be foreclosed by theology, and so I am prepared for it to be worked out on the basis of evidence.

          I’m not going to set out the evidence or interpret it, because I have no scientific training. TBH, my study of philosophy and history makes me a little sceptical, because it seems to me that there must be a myriad of unknown variables in this, and in any case, most eras end up believing things that turn out to be false. But that doesn’t alter the fact that this is a scientific issue. Whether we should care about the environment is a theological issue, but whether we are messing up the climate isn’t. That being so, I think we need to be careful of committing the genetic fallacy and simply look at the evidence.

          • Graham Wood

            Albert. Of course science enters into the whole debate and I do not dispute that for a moment, but I assert again that the distinction between real science and pseudo science is a real one and it is that distinction which is increasingly recognised.
            In its most basic form, science consists of statements or hypotheses that are retained by critical tests against observation. As one ‘real’ scientist has said: We derive scientific evidence from measurements, observation and experiment, and evidence must be collected and repeatable over and over again”
            Only when that happens can data be interpreted so that theory develops into fact.
            But this does not happen within the pseudo scientific circles for the simple reason that accurate observation and experimentation for world wide temperatures is simply not possible due to a mix of extremely complicated and ever changing variables – the interaction between oceanography, land masses, the behaviour of clouds, solar activity, and the many fluctuations in all of these which cannot be extrapolated into a single and simplistic formula called ‘global warming’.
            To attempt to mimic climate patterns by the use of computer models is simply inadequate and acknowledged by warmist organisations such as the IPCC and the Hadley Centre which admit to “uncertainties”.
            If uncertainties exist, and they are many, then it would be wiser and less arrogant if judgment was deferred by the warmists until certainty and consensus within the scientific community was established.
            You are right, in that we must look at the evidence, but at present the evidence for AGW is simply not evident!

            The death rate in England and Wales is about a third higher than normal for this time of year, official figures show, as the winter freeze tightens its grip on swaths of Britain. About 28,800 deaths were registered in the fortnight ending 23 January, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This is 32% higher than the average for that period over the previous five years (21,859).

          • Albert

            I see what you mean, now. As I’ve said before, I just cannot comment on whether scientific method has been followed or not. Certainly, I see that the science is not settled as many claim. But whether the warmists are doing this all a priori, that I could not say.

        • Anton

          Assuredly it is no coincidence that modern science arose in the one culture in which just about everybody believed the Bible was true, and for the reasons you state. But it is not good to cast aspersions on science that is done by people who are not believers. You can’t tell from a physics research journal which papers have been written by Christians/Jews and non-Christians/Jews.

        • CliveM

          I’m still unclear as to why its anti Christian. I understand why you think it is wrong. Your argument is that most of the scientists are atheists. This is probably true for most modern science. Is all science then anti Christian? Including medical science?

          • Graham Wood

            Clive. I would not argue that “all science is anti-Christian” for a moment. Science per se is on one level simply the collection and recording of data in any field of study, and as such remains neutral. But once there is a settled scientific consensus established and grounded on evidence and empirical testing then the data is open to interpretation and right conclusions drawn.
            As I have argued elsewhere I believe that a real distinction needs to be drawn between a true and real scientific process of observation, measurement, and experiment, and the highly theoretical claims of the AGW alarmists. The latter IMO and that of others is that they are pseudo scientists with a particular ideological theory, or belief system, or an “axe to grind”.
            Why do I think that the AGW advocates are anti-Christian?
            1. Because they exclude God from his own world in which he is present and immanent, thereby deny his ownership, his creatorship and all that the New Testament and the rest of the Bible has to teach about the sovereignty of God in and over his own creation, including mankind itself. If the created order is not in God’s hands and under his control then of necessity it must in man’s, or in some other imagined ‘god’. (as for example Gaia as per the belief of James Lovelock and I think Al Gore also – high priests of AGW theories) That is the essence of idolatry.
            2. If God is not present and sovereign in his own world then there is ultimately no hope, no salvation and only meaninglessness. That too is anti-Christian.
            3. If Christ himself was not a real person and his ministry of miraculous/supernatural interventions over the forces of nature of which there are so many, then these are either fraudulent, or true. If true they endorse his claims that he was indeed truly divine, including of course the fact of his resurrection itself.
            Christian scientists of course accept these things. Atheistic scientists do not, and to that degree are anti-Christian.

    • Busy Mum

      Though isn’t the Papacy itself an anti-Christian belief system?

      • Athanasius

        No.

        • Busy Mum

          A dogmatic response worthy of,ahem, shall we say, the papacy!

          • Athanasius

            But not at all Jesuitical.

          • Albert

            Actually no. Athanasius’ position wasn’t dogmatic. It’s not dogmatic simply to say something isn’t so. Dogmatism tends to come in when one makes positive statements, and claim to know the truth, e.g.:

            The Papacy is an anti-Christian belief system.

          • Busy Mum

            But isn’t that exactly the Papal position – the right to make positive statements; the claim to know the truth?

            The suggestion that the Papacy is an anti-Christian belief system is hardly a surprising one to be found in a discussion held under the auspices of one going by the name of Archbishop Cranmer….

          • Albert

            The issue is not whether Papacy can make dogmatic statements. The issue was your claim that Athanasius was making a dogmatic statement (or whether you were).

            As for the suggestion of the Papacy being an anti-Christian belief system, if you look at the ecumenical agreements between the CofE and the Catholic Church, the CofE does not say that. But if you wish to defend the proposition that the Papacy is an anti-Christian belief system, then do present some arguments.

          • Busy Mum

            ‘There is one mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.’ I Tim 2 v 5

            The thirty nine articles, the full weight of the Reformers’ writings etc etc. It is a huge topic… but I think the burden of proof needs to be on the Papacy to prove that it is of Christ, rather than the other way round.

            And whatever the CofE might say needs to be measured by the Bible….the Word of God, rather than any ‘church’, is the ultimate authority for anyone going by the name of Protestant.

          • Albert

            Jesus founded one Church, he prayed that his disciples all be one. Therefore, it is not the Catholics upon whom the burden rests, but those, who, in rejection of his express teaching have split from the one body and bride of Christ.

            How precisely do you think that we deny 1 Tim.2.5?

            And whatever the CofE might say needs to be measured by the Bible….the Word of God

            According to the Bible, the Word of God is a person, namely Jesus Christ, the Word of God is also proclaimed, and it is written. Why do you restrict the Word of God to only one of the forms? This Jesus, the Word of God, the Catholic Church met in the days of the apostles. To that same Church, Christ promised to be present always, and that, by his Holy Spirit, he would lead it into all truth. As for measuring everything by the Bible, where is it found in scripture that an individual’s interpretation can safely judge the Word of God?

          • Busy Mum

            The question is whether the Roman Catholic Church is the catholic church of Christ that you have described. The RCC seems to have a history of invoking all sorts of other mediators (saints, Mary etc). A recent phemonenon has been the dropping of the word Roman as that church assumes the position once more of being the one and only true catholic church….

            If Christ is always present, why is there any need for a Pope?

            In a bit of a rush so cannot look it up but there are numerous references to the scripture being given for our learning and instruction, able to make us wise unto salvation etc etc and Jesus Christ Himself told us to Search the Scriptures…..the essence of the Reformation was that the individual should read the Scriptures for himself, praying for guidance from the Holy Spirit, and not have to accept any other human being’s interpretation of it. The RCC resisted this because people would – and did – wake up to the fact that the Papacy was a vain tradition which enslaved them. Where is it found in scripture that a Pope can safely judge the Word of God?

          • Albert

            The question is whether the Roman Catholic Church is the catholic church of Christ that you have described.

            Certainly. Well it stands in visible continuity with the Church Christ founded, in contradistinction to the ecclesial communities founded by the Protestant Reformers, which were founded by kings and disgruntled theologians 1500 years later. Now you wish, with the innovators of the 16th Century, to judge the Catholic Church on the basis of the fact that :

            scripture being given for our learning and instruction, able to make us wise unto salvation etc etc and Jesus Christ Himself told us to Search the Scriptures

            But there are two problems here. Firstly, scripture does not conflate, as Protestantism does, the individual’s understanding of scripture, which the meaning God intends. On the contrary, it warns against such things:

            So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, beware lest you be carried away with the error of lawless men and lose your own stability.

            Thus scripture explicitly eschews the manner of judgement found in the spirit of the Protestant Reformation, and it would surely see the proliferation of sects, interpretations and unfaithfulness among Protestants as exactly what it warns against here: the error of lawless men and loss of stability.

            the essence of the Reformation was that the individual should read the Scriptures for himself…and not have to accept any other human being’s interpretation of it.

            In which case, it is contrary to scripture, for in Acts we read:

            Philip ran to him, and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless some one guides me?…And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, pray, does the prophet say this, about himself or about some one else?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this scripture he told him the good news of Jesus. “

            You continue: praying for guidance from the Holy Spirit

            In scripture, those who have the gift of prophecy (clearly not all Christians BTW, contrary to the Reformation spirit) are subordinated to those who have apostolic ministry, and to the faith itself. Prophets can clearly and should be corrected, silenced and tested.

            So it does not seem that you are able, on the basis of your interpretation of scripture to judge the teaching of the Catholic Church, and thus your objection has no force.

            The second problem is that, even if I waive this objection, when I read the Bible, I do not find it teaches Protestantism. Indeed, even if I read the Reformers themselves, I see all the marks of twisting of scripture. Luther’s need to add the word “alone” to make it say what it doesn’t otherwise say, his downgrading of other scriptures (James) because it doesn’t fit with his interpretation of Paul, his contentment with polygamy (an example of instability and lawlessness, if ever there was one) etc. And then of course, I find even among my most educated evangelical friends, that no passage they cite is a problem for a Catholic, but that passages I cite, they they have to twist by saying “Yes, that’s what it says, but what it means is…” and then give an interpretation which is far from what it says.

            You have an interesting example of this here. You write:

            The RCC seems to have a history of invoking all sorts of other mediators (saints, Mary etc).

            If you mean by that that we think that Mary and the saints are mediators in an equivalent sense to Jesus, then you are simply mistaken. We believe that Mary and the saints are saved by Jesus, they cannot therefore be equivalent mediators. However, having then received Christ’s grace by faith, does not Jesus promise they (by faith) will be able to do the things that he does? And is not scripture clear that grace, given by Christ alone, may nevertheless, come through creatures, that forgiveness may come through their prayers?

            So I put it to you as follows:

            1. You are separated from the visible body of the Church Christ founded, against his prima facie dying wish.

            2. You have done so on the basis of a presumed mastery over scripture, which scripture never concedes to you, and which it clearly denies to you.

            3. Your interpretation misrepresents both the Catholic Church you call anti-Christian, and the scriptures on which you base your judgement.

            Don’t get me wrong. My purpose here is nothing more than this: to persuade you that it is not safe, nor charitable, nor just for you to accuse the Catholic Church of being anti-Christian. But you have made that claim, therefore, I expect you will either defend your position against the arguments I have given here, or else, withdraw your condemnation.

          • Busy Mum

            Phew – you clearly have much more time on your hands than I have! – I have had a really busy few days and only just catching up on myself.
            I did not accuse the catholic church of being anti-Christian and I am sure the original church (aka company of Christians) at Rome was as Christian as any other.
            It is the Papacy – the idea of Christ needing a representative on earth – that must be at least superfluous, at most anti-Christian, and it is against ‘the pretensions of the Bishop of Rome’ that we Protest.

          • Albert

            I am certainly less busy than I often am. Or rather, what I am working on is actually helped by frequent forays into theology!

            The papacy is an integral part of Catholicism. It is part of the Church’s faith. You cannot therefore accuse the papacy of being anti-Christian without accusing the whole thing of that. When you look at Protestantism what one sees is a bewildering mass of division, madness and heresy (I’ don’t mean to accuse each form of Protestantism of each!). This is because Christianity just does not work on the private judgement model. The Bible is not the kind of document that lends itself to sola scriptura, and, rather confusingly it makes no such claim about itself. Because of these things, I found, at length, and with quite a lot of resistance, that Catholicism makes sense, uniquely among Christian traditions, because of the papacy. Becoming a Catholic has set me free simply to follow Jesus and to have faith in his revelation.

  • Anton

    From para 23 of this encyclical: “a number of scientific studies indicate that most global warming in recent decades is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases… released mainly as a result of human activity… The problem is aggravated by a model of development based on the intensive use of fossil fuels, which is at the heart of the worldwide energy system.”

    Dear Pope Francis (and Gillan), how then do you explain that it hasn’t got warmer for nearly two decades although global carbon dioxide levels have continued to increase?

    From para 175: “The same mindset which stands in the way of making radical decisions to reverse the trend of global warming also stands in the way of achieving the goal of eliminating poverty… The twenty-first century, while maintaining systems of governance inherited from the past, is witnessing a weakening of the power of nation states… it is essential to devise stronger and more efficiently organized international institutions, with functionaries who are appointed fairly by agreement among national governments, and empowered to impose sanctions. As Benedict XVI has affirmed…: “To manage the global economy; to revive economies hit by the crisis; to avoid any deterioration of the present crisis and the greater imbalances that would result; to bring about integral and timely disarmament, food security and peace; to guarantee the protection of the environment and to regulate migration: for all this, there is urgent need of a true world political authority, as my predecessor Blessed John XXIII indicated some years ago”.”

    World government anyone? Isn’t there a dire warning about that in the Book of Revelation? And can we imagine the Catholic church agitating for a “true world political authority” without seeking to be part of it?

    A lot of the trouble with this encyclical is that it states what it thinks should be done without stating that to get it done would involve international socialism. Pope Francis increasingly appears to have been deeply influenced by the political views of those who shared his principled opposition to Argentinian fascism during his formative years.

    • Anton: “World government anyone? Isn’t there a dire warning about that in the Book of Revelation? And can we imagine the Catholic church agitating for a “true world political authority” without seeking to be part of it?”
      Is there a warning about a world government or a system that governs the world? They are two different things and empires come in many guises.
      Pope Francis talks about mind-sets and expands on this:

      “Since the market tends to promote extreme consumerism in an effort to sell its products, people can easily get caught up in a whirlwind of needless buying and spending. Compulsive consumerism is one example of how the techno-economic paradigm affects individuals ….. This paradigm leads people to believe that they are free as long as they have the supposed freedom to consume. But those really free are the minority who wield economic and financial power. Amid this confusion, postmodern humanity has not yet achieved a new self-awareness capable of offering guidance and direction, and this lack of identity is a source of anxiety. We have too many means and only a few insubstantial ends. The current global situation engenders a feeling of instability and uncertainty, which in turn becomes “a seedbed for collective selfishness”. When people become self-centred and self-enclosed, their greed increases. The emptier a person’s heart is, the more he or she needs things to buy, own and consume. It becomes almost impossible to accept the limits imposed by reality. In this horizon, a genuine sense of the common good also disappears. As these attitudes become more widespread, social norms are respected only to the extent that they do not clash with personal needs. So our concern cannot be limited merely to the threat of extreme weather events, but must also extend to the catastrophic consequences of social unrest. Obsession with a consumerist lifestyle, above all when few people are capable of maintaining it, can only lead to violence and mutual destruction.”

      Jack would say you don’t have to a socialist to see truth in these observations.

      “Yet all is not lost. Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start, despite their mental and social conditioning. We are able to take an honest look at ourselves, to acknowledge our deep dissatisfaction, and to embark on new paths to authentic freedom. No system can completely suppress our openness to what is good, true and beautiful, or our God-given ability to respond to his grace at work deep in our hearts. I appeal to everyone throughout the world not to forget this dignity which is ours. No one has the right to take it from us.”

      • Anton

        “Is there a warning about a world government or a system that governs the world? They are two different things”

        Yes there is such a warning. Revelation 13 clearly speaks not only of a political alliance but of its leader, a whole-world dictator. The system that governs the world is the scarlet woman of Babylon in the previous chapter and is not the same thing, for the woman rides the political beast. To my knowledge this is Rome’s own view and I’ve even seen the claim that Rome evolved it as a counter to Reformation arguments that Rome was meant. Whatever the origins of this view, I agree with it. It is not hard to see why the Reformers thought Rome was meant 500 years ago, but today there is no prospect of Catholic powers setting up a world empire, while Rome is not the only city built on “seven hills” (Rev 17:9 – so was Constantinople among others) and the woman could be the financial system or a New Age religious system that unifies the messianic stands of the various world religions. Rome should take care not to become the latter given some of its comments regarding other faiths from Vatican 2 onwards.

  • Anton

    There is much more to this encyclical than the global warming issue, and nobody can argue that Christians and others ought to treat our divinely provided environment with respect. But as a physicist I think it is worth repeating some points about global warming.

    Data indicate that the world has not got warmer for at least 15 years even though China and India continue to industrialise and the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration continues to rise. Even those who are committed to the dangerous-warming scenario speak of a pause, which they cannot confidently attribute to any cause. Satellite data show this even more clearly than the terrestrial datasets commonly preferred, since satellites can look down on the whole earth in one go.

    In a dry atmosphere the warming effect of a particular amount of carbon dioxide is not hard to calculate. In the earth’s moist atmosphere, however, in which evaporation and condensation move heat around and cloud can reflect more solar radiation into space, calculation is so difficult that the best computer models still involve – frankly – guesswork. It is not even clear whether water vapour enhances or mitigates the warming effect of carbon dioxide, but the models used by the IPCC insist that it amplifies it about threefold.

    I am not suggesting that the majority of climate physicists are corrupt. There are subtle selection mechanisms at work in the sociology of scientific institutions which are capable of explaining why they mostly back the wrong horse. But there is no scientific consensus, whatever anyone says. Also there is improper manipulation of some historic terrestrial data with the effect of exaggerating the warming; google “Paraguay temperature record scam” for a disturbing example.

    In global warming, politicians see an excuse to raise taxes that empower them by giving them more money to spend. The Third World sees free money. Ottmar Edenhofer, co-chairman of one of the IPCC’s working groups, stated in an interview (14 November 2010) in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung newspaper that: “we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy… one has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore.”

  • Uncle Brian

    In recent decades this warming has been accompanied by a constant rise in the sea level … (No. 23).
    Do we have any reliable figures for this? Over any time scale, whether it’s five years, 200 years, or anything in between?

    • Anton

      You can get the sceptical side of it from these and other articles at the same blog:

      http://joannenova.com.au/2014/10/modern-seas-unprecedented-an-insult-to-geology-and-sea-level-research/

      http://joannenova.com.au/2015/05/the-scandal-of-sea-levels-rising-trends-acceleration-largely-created-by-adjustments/

      In the whole climate change/sea level debate, it is generally revealing to see the reactions of people to assertions that there is no need to panic. Do they see this as good news or bad, and why?

      • Uncle Brian

        Thank you, Anton, that’s very kind of you, but I’m afraid it’s way over
        my head. I simply don’t know what all those abbreviations mean. For example, in the paper by Nils-Axel Mörner, in Fig. 1 the horizontal axis says “time in 10³ C14-years BP”. If it was just “time in 10³ years BP”, okay, that much I can make sense of. But what is a “C14 year”? A year is a measurement of time, but what can a carbon-year possibly be? Mörner’s got me foxed. He might as well be talking about “aluminium-hours” or “nitrogen-months”. Sorry, but I really am extremely dumb in this department.

        Thanks anyway.
        Kind regards,
        Brian

        • Anton

          You’d be unlikely to find that phrase in the text of a scientific paper, but in labels of the axes of graphs you get extreme abbreviations for obvious reasons. It means “time in thousands of years before the present as estimated by the carbon-14 dating method”.

          • Uncle Brian

            Ah! Suddenly a ray of light in the darkness! All is not lost. Thank you, Anton. Now I’ll go back and try again.

  • Owl

    As a Catholic, I am deeply disturbed by this.

    If the Pope is siding with the manipulators then I must assume that he himself is being manipulated.

    I would suggest that he consult with Bishop Hill rather than Cardinal xyz to gain more perspective.

    Anton has summed up the problems very well so ’nuff said.

    It would appear to be another blatant propaganda exercise in the run up to the Climate Change Conference next December in Paris.
    Tony Blair crossing the Tiber always bothered me but perhaps the reasons are becoming clearer.
    The broad forehead will, undoubtably, be soon telling us that the world will be coming to an end unless we cough up enough and give up what little freedom that has been left to us.
    Roll on NWO and God help us.

    • Anton

      Do you mean Cardinal Dziwisz?

      Conspiratorialists notice that the left-wing Pope Francis is said to have been the main rival to his right-wing predecessor in the 2005 conclave and conjecture that Benedict’s resignation – an extraordinary thing – was coerced, to give another run to Bergoglio/Francis and his views. I have no idea and welcome comment.

      • Uncle Brian

        That Bergoglio was the runner-up in 2005, yes, that was the rumour or unconfirmed report which I believe gained general acceptance at the time, or not long afterwards. But B16 coerced into resigning? This is the first I’ve heard of it.

        • Anton

          I’m not asserting it! I’m floating what I’ve read elsewhere for better informed comment.

          • Uncle Brian

            No, Anton, I didn’t mean to imply that you were asserting it. I’m sorry if I didn’t make my meaning clear.

          • Anton

            You were clear and I was not contradicting you, just clarifying. Pax!

      • Owl

        Yes, among others.
        The cover up of homosexual (not padophile) abuse in Irish seminaries is another example of this misuse of power by senior clergy.
        Pope Benedict spoke openly against homosexuals entering the priesthood and look where it got him……
        It is very difficult to know what is really going on in the Vatican but my gut feelings are not good at all (that’s probably more scientific than climate propaganda a la Gore etc.).
        btw. scientific advisors? It’s politics not science, as you yourself have pointed out, that takes precedence. There are signs of rebellion within the ranks of the APS and RS but I have no idea if that will have the required effect.
        Propaganda is so much easier when the media is controlled. The science is then “overwhelming”.

    • john in cheshire

      When you see what the past few Popes have been doing to destroy Christianity, one can only conclude that God is allowing this to happen as both a message and a punishment. Vatican 2, ecumenism, kissing the koran,telling people there are many ways to God and salvation. None of this is based on what Jesus and the Bible say and I can only interpret as evidence of the great falling away. I think this battle, between good and evil, is now so far advanced that it will only be won in the supernatural realm. While there are no doubt many true Christians in the Roman Catholic church I think they are being governed, from the centre, by satanists.

      • dannybhoy

        By people who are misguided and misled certainly.

  • Dreadnaught

    If the Pope and the rest of mankind for that matter wish to save the planet we have to reduce the capacity for reproduction. Planet Earth has undergone and will keep on adapting to climactic evolutionary change whether or not the human race predominates.
    So why doesn’t he promote contraception which will do more to help the human race extend its own species.
    The Planet will do what all planets do and carry on until they expire without regard to the trivial existence of a single temporary carbon based life-form.

    • Anton

      We shall outlast the planet, although not in our present bodies.

      • Dreadnaught

        ‘But Captain, that’s beyond the Laws of Physics’. Dream on.

        • Anton

          Jesus walking on water was beyond the laws of physics too. As a physicist I can assure you that I don’t take those laws lightly, but the one who ordained them is able to violate them on the occasions he wishes in order to make a point to us.

          Here is the question I couldn’t answer as a secular physicist but now can: WHY are the laws of physics beautiful? (This is a form of beauty that takes a little training to recognise, but it is entirely objective and all physicists recognise it – it is what attracts them to the subject.) My answer is that they were put in place by one who has an acute aesthetic sense. What is the secular physicist’s answer?

          • Graham Wood

            Anton. Fully agree and your point is a fascinating one which reiterates the view of many early Christian scientists that the God who created this beautiful world and universe was indeed a VERY intelligent designer, as well as having, as you put it well, an “acute aesthetic sense”.
            Is not this why evolutionists are very hard put to explain the ever recurring question “why”? Why is nature, the animal world, and essentially humans, so wonderfully crafted and amazingly functional at the same time.
            As the Psalmist puts it “We are fearfully and wonderfully made”.
            This aspect comes out in a superb book by James Le Fanu (a medical doctor and himself an evolutionist, amazingly!) entitled “Why Us?” -How science rediscovered the mystery of ourselves”. He explores and tries to understand the perennial “why” question in the light of the complexity of the human body and mind.

          • Anton

            We might not be in agreement about intelligent design in biology, but I don’t want this thread to turn into Creationism vs Evolution and I certainly see it in physics.

          • sarky

            So we are wonderfully crafted and amazingly functional are we?
            What about the pharynx?? What sort of idiot would design a system where ingestion and respiration is through the same tube? How many humans have died because of this ‘design’?
            This is only one of many flaws in the human body. I think you might need a rethink.

          • Uncle Brian

            Teeth are the weak point in the design of the human body. We ought to have teeth that last us a lifetime. Rodent-type teeth would do the trick, constantly growing just as our fingernails do, or alternatively shark teeth, which fall out at regular intervals but not until a new set has moved up behind them, ready to take their place.

          • sarky

            Also the proximity of our genitals to our anus. As someone so eloquently put “why put an amusement park next to a sewage works”.

          • DanJ0

            The development of piles suggests a change from 4 legs to 2 over time. I can’t imagine an aesthetic designer intentionally coming up with a bunch of chalfonts.

          • sarky

            So does dodgy backs and bad knees!!
            The whole intelligent design thing falls flat on its arse if you actually
            take the time to look into it.

          • CliveM

            Hmmm, giving the wife a snog wouldn’t be so appealing however……….. :0)

          • Anton

            When you start a redesign you might realise the myriad knock-on effects. Or, worse, not realise them.

          • dannybhoy

            Ask him how he ‘d set about it…

          • Dreadnaught

            I’m always extremely dubious when people prefix their statements with unprovable claims to holding superior authority over unprovable claims.

          • Anton

            If you aren’t going to answer my question, could you at least clarify what you mean?

          • Dreadnaught

            The question that seems to me to be worth answering, and perhaps not impossible to answer, is whether the universe shows signs of having been designed by a deity more or less like those of traditional monotheistic religions. It used to be obvious that the world was designed by some sort of intelligence. Today we understand most of these things in terms of physical forces acting under impersonal laws. Above all, today we understand that even human beings are the result of natural selection acting over millions of years of breeding and eating.

          • Anton

            I believe that the beauty in the laws of physics is evidence for an aesthetic Designer at the least. If you think I am seeing that beauty only because I am a theist then ask any atheist physicist whether the laws of physics are beautiful, or take a course for yourself. When (s)he says Yes to that question, ask why the laws are beautiful. You might get incoherence but any contradiction to my answer will not, I guarantee you, come from scientific argumentation but from the person’s own views on religion. I am a physicist and I do not wish to discuss the biological sciences on this thread.

          • Dreadnaught

            How unsurprising.

          • Anton

            At least I know what I don’t know. Now, about the laws of physics…

          • dannybhoy

            Great balance there Anton. That’s how I see it too. God can suspend laws He has ordained. There are some ugly and rather gruesome things in nature, but when you look at it in the round and the sheer complexity of even a lowly cell, DNA etc your heart swells in worship of our Creator God.

            SURSUM CORDA

            THERE are cowslips in the clearing,
            With God’s green and gold ablaze,
            And the distant hills are nearing,
            Through a sun-kissed sea of haze.

            There’s a lilt of silver laughter
            In the brook upon its way,
            With the sunbeams stumbling after
            Like the children at their play.

            There’s a distant cuckoo calling
            To the lark up in the sky
            As his song comes falling, falling
            To his nest-a happy sigh.

            Sursum Corda! How the song swells
            From the woods that smile and nod.
            Sursum Corda! Ring the bluebells,
            Lift ye up your hearts to God.

            G. A. STUDDERT KENNEDY

    • Busy Mum

      Why promote contraception? Better by far and much cheaper to ban IVF and all other artficial means and aids to reproduction. That should keep the evolutionists happy too – survival of the fittest in action. Though of course, contaception and fertility services are both very big business now….

      I find it amusing that the most ardent evolutionists are often the most keen proponents of interfering with ‘nature’……

      • sarky

        Very very easy for someone with children to say “ban IVF”.

        Out of interest, how many “resource guzzlers” have you brought into this world?

        • Busy Mum

          I didn’t say ‘ban IVF’, did I? I suggested it’s just something green-types/eco-warriors etc etc should consider as an alternative to promoting contraception…

          I do have several children but no ‘resource guzzlers’. And I didn’t bring them into the world – God did.

          • sarky

            Why write it then?? (p.s. Your post clearly suggests that you are against ivf and that you would have no problem in having it banned)

          • Busy Mum

            See my reply to Dreadnaught – is IVF the most efficient use of limited resources?

      • Dreadnaught

        Disease is natural phenomena so by your logic medicine is interfering with nature – get away with your nonsense.

        • Busy Mum

          So the eco-alarmists panic about limited resources and panic about over-population and yet do not mind some of these limited resources being used to overcome nature’s way of limiting population growth? Somebody is definitely talking nonsense and it’s not me!!

          Yes, medicine is interfering with nature and medical ethics are a very grey area for many people. But from a Christian’s point of view, using medical treatment to keep somebody in the world before entering eternity is a different matter to bringing somebody into the world from where they will have to eventually enter eternity….

          • Dreadnaught

            You live on a large lofty island on the edge of Europe. You would think differently if the highest point above water was 5 mtr as in Tuvalu where the sea level on occasions rises through the ground. It wasn’t always like that and has changed in a generation. It doesn’t affect you so it doesn’t exist as far as you are concerned. Its there before you eyes and you refuse to see it by sticking your head in the sand – but not in that sand of course.
            As for disregarding world population, again you and your children are unlikely to experience famine – so no problem for you there either so long as you can cough up a few absolving pounds of conscience salvation to Live Aid or Cafod.

          • Busy Mum

            As a good protestant, I know no amount of money will buy me salvation…

            In fact, we decided some time ago that all our charity would be at ‘home’ – local organisations for local people who are ignored by the media and the politicians – we have more confidence that our money is used for the purpose we intend and we can see the results around us…

            I do not disregard world population – however, I do not like governments using contraception and IVF to control who reproduces, to what extent, and when….

      • DanJ0

        “That should keep the evolutionists happy too – survival of the fittest in action.”

        Typical religionist misrepresentation there.

    • carl jacobs

      Given that we are a single temporary carbon-based life form whose trivial existence is of no regard, it would be far more efficient to let as many be born as possible. That way we could intelligently cull the herd from the bottom of the bell curve. The sick, the infirm, the non-productive, the ignorant, the degenerate, and the useless could all be removed. It’s simply a matter of applying the techniques of quality control. You don’t lesson production. You increase the scrap rate. You are experiencing a significant opportunity cost that can be recaptured with a little inventive thinking. After all, the material is easy to produce, and the supply is almost unlimited.

      • Dreadnaught

        Good show on diverting attention; but lets put your options to the vote and let the women decide.

    • Because Pope Francis is a Catholic, surprise, surprise!
      He defines the root of man’s problems in theological terms – a failure to affirm God as Creator. Because we do not focus on acknowledging God, the Father, we’re drawn into the seeking technological solutions – contraception and abortion. We seek to subdue and master reproduction, sexuality and the world so that it can serve our needs and desires, thus treating “other living beings as mere objects subjected to arbitrary human domination.”

  • Some extracts the liberal mass media are overlooking:

    “At times we see an obsession with denying any pre-eminence to the human person; more zeal is shown in protecting other species than in defending the dignity which all human beings share in equal measure. It is “clearly inconsistent” to combat the trafficking of endangered species while remaining indifferent toward the trafficking of persons, to the poor and to the decision of many “to destroy another human being deemed unwanted,” the Pope stated. Francis also highlighted that concern for the protection of nature is “incompatible with the justification of abortion.”

    “Instead of resolving the problems of the poor and thinking of how the world can be different, some can only propose a reduction in the birth rate … it must nonetheless be recognized that demographic growth is fully compatible with an integral and shared development. We forget that the inalienable worth of a human being transcends his or her degree of development … When we fail to acknowledge as part of reality the worth of a poor person, a human embryo, a person with disabilities – to offer just a few examples – it becomes difficult to hear the cry of nature itself; everything is connected.”

    Once the human being seeks absolute dominion, the foundations of our life “begin to crumble,” the Pope said, so that instead of cooperating with God, man puts himself in God’s place “and thus ends up provoking a rebellion on the part of nature.” He cautioned against seeking to exercise “absolute power” over our bodies as if they were something that we own, saying that “man too has a nature that he must respect and that he cannot manipulate at will …. we can joyfully accept the specific gifts of another man or woman, the work of God the Creator, and find mutual enrichment,”

    An attitude which seeks “to cancel out sexual difference because it no longer knows how to confront it.” is unhealthy. “In the face of the so-called culture of death, the family is the heart of the culture of life,” he said. Family life is where children first learn how “to show love and respect for life; we are taught the proper use of things, order and cleanliness, respect for the local ecosystem and care for all creatures,” as well as how to be grateful for what they’ve been given and to ask for forgiveness when they’ve caused harm, he explained.

    • Uncle Brian

      That bit in No. 155 about femininity and masculinity and the unhealthy attitude which would seek to cancel out sexual difference, I posted yesterday in the Chatroll box on His Grace’s home page. I expect the Inspector General will tell us about the repercussions, if any, among his friends at Pink News.

      • Inspector General

        Nothing gets the gay pip more than the Vatican, Brian.

        How’s this for an article title on PN “Pope Francis hates on gay parents while Pride takes place in Rome”

        If only they knew how much we cared for them…

  • Stig

    We’ve heard this sort of thing before. Here is a thought provoking essay that the Pope would do well to read. http://www.michaelcrichton.net/essay-stateoffear-whypoliticizedscienceisdangerous.html

    • dannybhoy

      That’s a very useful and informative article I have filed it for reference.

      • Pubcrawler

        Ditto. It’s always fun to point out to Fabians their deeply unsavoury ideological history. My how they squirm!

  • len

    ‘Pope Calls for ‘Global Authority’ to Impose Climate Change Agenda’ .

    The words’ Global’ and ‘authority’ should start some warning bells ringing?.
    http://www.infowars.com/pope-calls-for-global-authority-to-impose-climate-change-agenda/

    • Anton

      Yes, although I’d rather take my alarm bells from the Book of Revelation than Alex Jones of Infowars, who has done much unreliable writing and believes among other things that the US government did 9/11, not al-Qaeda.

      • len

        I am becoming more aware (almost daily) that much/most of what we read and hear in the news is to put it nicely ‘ incorrect.’.
        Of course the Word of God is true , are you stating that you completely understand the Book of Revelation?.

        • Anton

          The Book of Revelation is where Alex Jones gets his inspiration from; I’m simply going back to the sources of the person whom you quote.

          Nobody will “completely understand” the Book of Revelation ahead of time, but I am fully aware of the various ways in which it has been read and I am willing to argue that it prophesies a world government of terrible evil.

          • dannybhoy

            There are themes and inevitabilities within Revelation which become more observable day by day. I certainly don’t understand Revelation. I don’t even try these days, but for me the idea that God allows man a time in which to exercise his free will and increase his knowledge and achievements whilst simultaneously spoiling and endangering the earth fit together beautifully.
            AS Churchill once said “This is not the end, but it is the beginning of the end” and God’s End Time programme kicks in..

          • Pubcrawler

            Not quite:

            “Now this is not the end.
            It is not even the beginning of the end.
            But it is, perhaps,
            the end of the beginning.”

          • dannybhoy

            Thanks PB
            I musta misheard him… ;0)

          • Pubcrawler

            It’s a striking piece of rhetoric, formally exemplary, but the meaning diffuse. Those ancient Sophists would be delighted!

            Anyway, digression over

          • Uncle Brian

            In the context, I think everybody knew what he meant.

          • Pubcrawler

            Indeed. Sometimes my inner pedant bursts forth before I notice that he has slipped his bonds.

          • Dominic Stockford

            I didn’t.

          • dannybhoy

            Big ‘ead..

          • Dominic Stockford

            How did you know? My grans sweaters never went over my head….

          • dannybhoy

            Took me a double take to realize you weren’t referring to Sarky’s criticisms of our bodily functions..

      • The did in a roundabout way.

  • carl jacobs

    So, I guess this is one case where the chattering classes won’t complain about mixing religion into politics. Funny how that works.

  • dannybhoy

    Man’s activities most definitely affect our eco systems, but to what degree is more difficult to define. We know that the temperature of the earth has changed any number of times without any interference from man whatsoever.
    What we should all be able to agree on is that man’s current activities are most definitely having a negative impact on our world. Water becomes more contaminated, the oceans more acidic, air more polluted, chemicals such as pesticides affect living things, and so on.
    But the governments of the world engage in a game of ‘Chicken’ because they have the expectations of their populations to manage. China and India especially are busy building their economies, improving the overall living standards of the peoples.
    To tell them they have to “STOP with the pollution already!” isn’t going to work.
    The Pope joins the ranks of other eminent people warning us of the dangers but his promotion of a world police force/government to enforce its will fills me with foreboding.
    As the old saying goes,
    “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

    I believe all nations have the right to live as they see fit, even if we don’t like it. The advanced nations should get on with developing eco friendly renewable energy sources such as wind power and solar power and exporting to other nations.

    • Dominic Stockford

      The Pope is the one to know about absolute power….

      • dannybhoy

        Ssssshh!

      • Hmmm … didn’t work with you, did it Dominic?

        • Dominic Stockford

          No, he didn’t manage to corrupt me….

          • Then the Church doesn’t have “absolute power”, does it?

          • Dominic Stockford

            The Pope claims it.

          • Certainly the Church claims absolute spiritual authority because She speaks for Christ; and the Pope is the leader of the Church.

          • Dominic Stockford

            You keep saying ‘the Church’ when you mean the RCC. Don’t do that, it is insulting to those who are nothing to do with it. And as long as the RCC makes the claim to speak for Christ when he left his inerrant Word to do that for him they show their unsuitability to be called part of Christ’s Church.

          • No, Jack means the Church.

          • Dominic Stockford

            jack is simply wrong then. Or seeking to wind up. Or probably both, which is the saddest of all, given it is about the eternal life of millions.

          • Jack is not attempting to wind you up. It is you who is wrong.

          • Dominic Stockford

            So, Jack.
            You say the Pope speaks for the church.
            I say he doesn’t speak for me.
            All Christians must be in Christ’s Church.
            So you say that as I am not spoken for by the Pope I am not in Christ’s Church, ergo you say I am not a Christian.

            And then you wonder why people find the church of Rome so arrogant and even deny it is a part of The Church.

            The irony is that while I deny that the Church of Rome is truly Christian, I make no such statement about individuals in it, unless I’ve met them and can thereby use the discernment the Bible tells us to use, and so do so from knowledge , or they’re the Pope.

          • “So you say that as I am not spoken for by the Pope I am not in Christ’s Church, ergo you say I am not a Christian.”

            That’s not what Jack said … that what you’ve inferred. Besides, you are still a baptised Catholic and also an ordained Catholic priest.
            You must be aware of Vatican II and the Dogmatic Constitution On The Church, “Lumen Gentium”, and particularly the much discussed phrase “subsists in”?

            The Church is the Catholic Church and other denominations are not equivalent, though through baptism their members become Christian. The Church of Christ is present in and manifested in one concrete society, i.e. in the Catholic Church. Outside of her there are found ecclesial elements which may lead others to salvation. However, there is only one Church of Christ and that Church is found concretely in the Catholic Church.

            That’s Catholicism whether its viewed as “arrogance” or not.

          • Dominic Stockford

            No jack.
            You said the Pope speaks for the Church – which is an exclusive body, you are either in it or out of it.
            He does not speak for me and therefore I must, logically, be out of it. There is no other conclusion from what you have said.

          • As a Catholic, you are either in communion with the Church or not; those who are not members of the Catholic Church can still be Christian and may gain salvation, but they do not have full participation in Christ’s Body.

  • carl jacobs

    “Global Warming” histrionics have nothing to do with climate change and even less to do with science. It is a means by which control may be reasserted. It is a lever to change behavior. The modern world is built on transportation and centralized power production. It is not a coincidence that those are the two areas attacked by global warming agitators. The intent is to break down the means by which populations have slipped gov’t control.

    GLOBAL WARMING! Don’t eat meat.
    GLOBAL WARMING! Don’t drive.
    GLOBAL WARMING! Live in high-density apartments.
    GLOBAL WARMING! You don’t need air conditioning.

    What does it add up to? “Accept a lower standard of living in high density population centers where you can be controlled and taxed by the regulatory state.”

    • dannybhoy

      “Accept a lower standard of living in high density population centers where you can be controlled and taxed by the regulatory state.”

      I think this is where it’s all leading, the control of people. Break down family / community / national loyalties. In the western world confuse people’s sense of right and wrong, punish good behaviour, excuse bad behaviour. Call good evil and evil good…
      That way peoples become more tractable, more dependent on the all knowing all controlling State.
      Within two or three generations people will have forgotten the meaning of freedom and individuality.
      It may be that the ‘movers and shakers’ of this world think that this is the only way to manage mass social upheaval as people fight over dwindling resources?

      • magnolia

        And the awful thing is that Jesus must be telling the people of God that it is a nonsense, so why do so few people listen to him?

        It tears ones heart to shreds.

        Instead they listen to Maurice Strong, who was told by the Ascended Masters of the Universe (I kid no one) to start this one off.

        One of the funniest things I have read lately (if you can take dark humour) is the spiel on the Lucis Trust about why the original name of Lucifer Trust doesn’t really matter. They also have a nice spiel in another part of the website which assumes you will be fine with various occult references including these risen or ascended masters.

        When will Christians leaders generally show a mite of discernment ?

        I usually prefer British evangelicalism to the US variety, but on this one they are the better party.

        • dannybhoy

          Magnolia,
          there are some great websites out there, especially for Christians, but the Yanks also have some really informative sites where you can find a wealth of information on various topics.
          Of course you have to use common sense and sift through, allow for biases etc. Some sites cover the same piece of infonews, and when you trace it back it came from one source and actually got it wrong..!
          Here’s a good one I was emailed re the Pope’s message…

          https://stream.org/11-things-probably-wont-hear-pope-francis-encyclical/

          • magnolia

            Yes, thanks for that link. It is good to know that there are many good things in the encyclical, and not only an unwise though all too common belief in the MMGW nonsense. If only people knew how to read a graph!!!

            As for not dropping broken glass, plastic containers, (especialy those rings that go round fourpacks of beer, lager, etc.). chewing gum, wasting resources, or leaving things covered in soot, grime and dirt, or destroying habitats for wildlife and wild flowers, I think few Christians would disagree. And those things plus recycling is a big task in its own right. But the green movement was fine in the early days before it got taken over for nefarious purposes. Jonathon Porritt himself said as much.

          • dannybhoy

            I’m a Bear Grylls fan. Even though I am now old (but still handsome, strong and debonair..) I love adventure like inner tubing on water and snow, overcoming obstacles etc etc.
            We watched the recent men/women survival thing on a desert island.
            What really hurt (apart from the male wusssiness) was the garbage washed up on the beach.
            Oh it hurts to see God’s world defaced by our human carelessness and ignorance.
            This planet on which we live is so precious. We must realise that what we are allowing to happen is going to make life so much more awful for our future generations.

  • CliveM

    As a right leaning Christian who broadly believes in the capitalist system (in the absence of workable alternatives) I am naturally sceptical of the Climate Change debate. Particularly as it seems to have been hi- jacked by anti western, anti capitalist forces. I think to Pope message fails to some extent here. However I think in time the question won’t be is there GW, but what to do with it.

    • Uncle Brian

      Somebody came up with a theory a few years ago that for the last thirty or forty years we have been in a mini-ice age, but anthropogenic global warming is counteracting it, protecting us from the worst effects of it.

      • CliveM

        Well I remember as a child being told we were going to enter a new Ice Age. It will be interesting in 30 years time (if in around) to hear what the scientists are saying then!!

      • avi barzel

        So far, the only historic evidence we have is that it’s atmospheric CO2 that rises *after*…around 600-800 years…rises in global temps. So, unlikely. A sure way to raise global temps would be to cover glaciers and poles with soot or dark dyes to decrease reflectivity…to lower the albedo effect…and cause at least partial melting.

        The earth has been much, much warmer in the past, for which we owe our existance. Statustically, we’re still in a moderate ice age. Each of the brief and very healthy warming periods, the Bronze Age, the Greek, Roman and the last, the Medieval, were significantly warmer. We are barely crawling out of the Mini Ice Age of the 17th century…which is what this “warming” hullabaloo is all about and. We are in another sun spot minimum cycle, Cycle 25 I think, and it’s a significant one. If our temps correlate to these, as they did to previous ones like the Dalton and Maunder minima, better get some sweaters…even in your part of Brazil!

  • Inspector General

    Some years ago, the was a world climate discussion in Helsinki. It must have been around a decade ago. The Inspector remembers it happening because a single attendee made the long journey there by train, via Denmark and presumably from Stockholm, ferry. Exactly the same journey your man here made in the closing years of the last century.

    Now, how did the others get there? They flew of course. If there is one human activity that rubs the planets nose in the dogs mess that is fossil fuel created carbon dioxide, it’s flying. So flying is now deprecated, and we are seeing a return to the great ocean liners, as well as rail to move people around?

    Flying is a ring fenced activity. The great and the good especially appreciate it (when someone else is paying for it, of course, such as the tax payer, or an employer. And business club class is the only way, of course). If you were to raise the dirty and selfish, though apparently vital activity of flying at a climate change conference, there is a good chance you’ll be ejected from the proceedings. Especially if the figures on how much CO2 per head per flight mile per delegate are shouted out.

    • Anton

      Actually flying is not such an inefficient form of transport. You have the same distance to go whatever and, compared to boats, you need only push air out of the way, rather than water which is much denser. On the other hand you have to push it out of the way faster, which costs fuel.

      A good deal of the fuel cost of transport is to do with accelerating (and consequently decelerating) the vehicle. A constant speed is better, which is why the stop-start of urban traffic puts fuel consumption up. Carbon cost per passenger-mile also go down when transport is shared; the more the better, from car sharing to plane sharing and train sharing.

      • Inspector General

        It’s not that this man does not believe you Anton…

        • Anton

          I know; just widening the discussion a bit.

      • Dominic Stockford

        No flying, less quite unneccesary travel.

    • Dominic Stockford

      And they don’t pay penny of fuel tax.

      • Inspector General

        Didn’t know that…

    • Phil R

      Climate change delegates should travel there by hot air balloon.

  • preacher

    The Pope’s on thin ice, If his flock follow his advice, they’ll all be Amish by next year.

    • dannybhoy

      Lol! He could do worse..

    • Dominic Stockford

      Or frozen solid.

  • Dominic Stockford

    God created and sustains His wonderful creation of which we are merely a part (albeit the point of it). We might, through our sinfulness have been able to do some damage, but how can anyone think anyone but God can destroy it? And, of course, He has promised in His inerrant Word to do exactly that.

  • Shadrach Fire

    So called ‘Global Warming’ is a lie of the enemy. God is in control of our world and there has always been shifts in the general climate. God’s plan is not for us all to roast in a barren land.
    Politically it is a diversion from other more serious domestic issues.
    Commercially it is a ‘heaven’ sent opportunity for businesses to cream it in with all sorts of scams designed to ‘save’ the world.

  • Phil R

    My house in Wales is underneath some old sea cliff that are now some distance (1km) from the sea.

    In the middle ages my house would be on the beach because the seal level was higher the air temperature warmer and the sea lapped at the cliffs at high tide.

    Further down the coast the castle was famous for it vines and Pembrokeshire for its wheat.

    Not such a terrible prospect this global warming,

    • Inspector General

      Yes, one is impressed on how land was reclaimed along the Welsh coast…

    • sarky

      Especialy when you get a higher seal level 🙂

      • Dominic Stockford

        Loads of them in Norfolk…

      • Anton

        Is that a higher ceiling or sealing?

    • Martin

      Phil

      And eastern England is experiencing greater erosion.

      • dannybhoy

        That could be partly down to my digging and landscaping activities.
        The sea sounds a lot closer than it did when we first moved to our part of Norfolk….
        ;0)

        • Martin

          😉

        • dannybhoy

          You don’t live in Norfolk do you Martin?

    • Pubcrawler

      Is it not also the case that those mountainous northern and western parts of these sceptred isles are experiencing a gradual rise as the crust locally bounces back from the depressed position it held when burdened by glaciers? Not all (if, in fact, any) observable changes in sea level are attributable to the sea itself: quite a bit of it (perhaps the greater part) is geological.

      • Phil R

        I always assumed it could be the land rising by the method you describe or by some other means (For example in an earthquake. However, there is no record of one and medieval buildings abound.)

        It is the growing grapes and wheat that gets me thinking. Pembrokeshire is not suited at all to either of these activities today.

    • preacher

      Not surprising when we find many places that once were ports are now many miles from the sea & once easily navigable rivers are now only usable by small pleasure craft. Often this is due to silt being washed down from higher levels but it demonstrates the fact that the process is a cycle & that the geography of the land is doing the same as it has done for ages, – namely changing not just eroding.

    • dannybhoy

      Depends whereabouts on the globe you live Phil..

      http://climate.nasa.gov/effects/
      Without accepting that it’s all our fault, the fact is that we are seeing more extremes of weather.

      • Phil R

        It is interesting that the effects of climate change are almost always depicted as being negative.

        Whereas as I pointed out, when the climate was warmer, it actually was a net benefit with very few if any negatives.

        Africa is always quoted as being a continent that would suffer badly. However, we have to remember that in Somalia for instance 90% of the trees have been cut down and in much of Africa it is a similar story

        • dannybhoy

          A lot fewer people in the world and so a lot less development.

        • Anton

          There are winners and losers in any change but we nearly died out in the last ice age and if Siberia and northern Canada became breadbaskets then the world could support a lot more people.

          • Phil R

            Ice age…

            Really?

      • CliveM

        There is little doubt we are experiencing climate change. The questions are is it normal or man made? Even if man made, is there in reality anything that can be done to reverse it?

        My view is even if man made we can can only mitigate the effects, attempting to reverse is a waste of time and money.

        • dannybhoy

          Yes, and it’s also an opportunity/excuse to impose some sort of world government in us all. I’m pretty sure this is the longer term goal.
          Soylent Green beckons….
          http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070723/plotsummary
          I’ll do Charlton Heston’s role; you can be the old bloke what dies….
          :0)

          • CliveM

            You know I’m a sceptic about pretty much everything and one of the things I a sceptical off is this whole end times, world Govt. thing. I am not going to go into detail here (partly because this isn’t the blog for it) but I think Revelation says more about the time it was written then it does about the current or future.

          • dannybhoy

            Yes.
            I do know you’re a septic.
            And I tend to agree with you about Revelation
            -and bordering on the heretical (but don’t tell Jack): I do sometimes wonder about Revelation…..
            (places tin hat on head and waits……)

          • CliveM

            Well there was a lot of debate about its inclusion.

          • dannybhoy

            However it does seem logical to me that our world has to end if there is to be a new heaven and a new earth, so I do see what is happening now as being inevitable; population growth and pollution and the earth being unable to cope indefinitely.

          • Anton

            Some suggestions; I hope you won’t feel you need a tin hat in any dialogue that results. Do remember that it is the Book of Revelation not Obscuration and was therefore comprehensible to the uneducated faithful of its time. It has been suggested that God gave this vision in response to a crisis of faith after the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70AD yet Jesus did not return, as a naive reading of his discourse on the Mount of Olives might suggest. In it, God explains that his scope is bigger still – not just ancient Israel but the whole world, and will take centuries rather than decades.

            The Book of Revelation was the last message God gave for all of his people. It is the last book in the Bible and the climax of the story; the climax of the drama of redemption. Its writer calls himself just ‘John,’ suggesting that he would be well known to his readers; tradition has it that this is John the disciple who wrote the fourth gospel. Its style is different from his gospel because it is the jotted-down record of an unfolding vision, and God’s words at the end forbade editing. John has only the language of 2000 years ago to describe events such as meteorite strikes and nuclear war. That is the real explanation of its ‘apocalyptic’ style. The Book of Revelation speaks of the final triumph of Christ over evil, but states that evil must first grow to a horrendous climax. We are told of the breaking of seven seals in heaven on a prophetic scroll of woe, the blowing of seven trumpets by angels announcing woes on earth, and the pouring out of seven bowls of God’s wrath. These events in heaven – meaning the spiritual realms – have counterparts on earth, which are specified. The action in the book switches between the spiritual realms (heaven) and earth. The earthly events do not match events in history, so they are yet to happen. Making sense of the passage is that simple, although disputes among four schools of thought (called preterist, historicist, futurist, idealist), some of which are quite long-standing, have led to confusion and division; a book written from one school is unlikely to acknowledge the others. The differences stem from different ‘hermeneutics’ – ways to read the book, based on differing assumptions. God’s words can challenge any human assumption, however. You would do well to ponder, or be armed with, these questions:

            * If the book of Revelation depicts only spiritual battle between good and evil in the heavenly places (the idealist view), then why does the action in its midpart alternate between heaven and earth? What does each detail mean?

            * If the book looks ahead prophetically but is entirely spiritual, how could you know when these prophecies have been fulfilled?

            * If the book is prophetic mainly about the early church era in which John lived (the preterist view), then to what in the history books does each detail of those prophecies correspond?

            * If God came bodily to this earth as Jesus once within human history, why not again? Do those who doubt his bodily Second Coming differ from someone who, before Christ, scoffed at Isaiah’s prophecy (9:6) of the Incarnation?

            * Do the letters early in the Book of Revelation to seven congregations in Asia Minor really fit successive eras of church history (the ‘historicist’ view), once the neglected tale of Christianity outside the historic boundaries of the Roman Empire is taken into account [see PhilipJenkins’ fine book The Lost History of Christianity], or the existence of dissident churches within its boundaries such as the Lollards and the Waldenses?

            A very readable book on the end times that covers all of this is When Jesus Returns by the well known Bible teacher David Pawson.

          • dannybhoy

            Thank you very much Anton for taking the trouble to write all that.
            Were Revelations the only prophetic book in Scripture it might be more easily comprehended. As it is (and remember I was brought up in the Open Brethren tradition and they love prophecy!) it can be hard to reconcile it eventwise with all the other passages of prophecy.
            I believe you have mentioned David Pawson before . I will have to get that book .

          • Anton

            Gladly! NB I’ve just tightened up what I wrote a bit.

          • magnolia

            Also “I saw heaven opened” is a good commentary in some series (memory lapse….) .It takes a very reasonable amillenialist view.

    • Dominic Stockford

      I hadn’t realised that the number of seals made a difference to all this. Maybe we should have a cull?

      (Sorry, couldn’t resist).

      • Phil R

        You need to get out more!

      • avi barzel

        Good idea, actually. There is a seal overpopulation and they are wreaking havoc on fish stock, especially cod, which nyst recovered.

    • avi barzel

      I believe the sea level is going relatively up on your east coast, as Britain is slowly sinking in the east and rising in the west.

  • The encyclical explicitly recognizes that different approaches and lines of thought have emerged regarding this situation (climate change) and its possible solutions” and that “on many concrete questions, the Church has no reason to offer a definitive opinion; she knows that honest debate must be encouraged among experts, while respecting divergent views.”

    Climate change is a scientific matter and not a theological one. There’s a difference between the prophecy and politics, and theological and physical science. Matters of the faith should therefore not be confused with questions pertain to scientific investigation.

    Pope Francis describes the root of our problems in theological terms – a failure to affirm God as Creator. Because we do not focus on acknowledging God, the Father, we’re drawn into the seeking technological solutions. We seek to subdue and master the world so that it can serve our needs and desires, thus treating “other living beings as mere objects subjected to arbitrary human domination.” If we acknowledge God as Creator, we can receive creation as a gift and see that “the ultimate purpose of other creatures is not found in us.”

    It has shades of Humanae Vitae about it. Without a theocentric orientation we adopt the anthropocentric presumption that we are at the center of reality. This tempts us to treat nature and other human beings as raw material to manage and to do with as we wish – including embryos, our own bodies and sexuality. Pope Francis is clear, “a spirituality which forgets God as all-powerful and Creator is not acceptable.”

    • Inspector General

      “Because we do not focus on acknowledging God, the Father, we’re drawn into the seeking technological solutions.”

      Poor rhetoric, Jack. If Christ came back tomorrow, we’d still have to heat our cold homes, and that means fossil fuel. One would prefer nuclear, but the tree huggers would kill this man given the opportunity…

      • Hmmm … not really up to scratch on the implications of Christ’s return, are you?

        • DanJ0

          It’s more than no lamb chops, I’m guessing.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Well, we might still…

          • avi barzel

            Pfft!

        • dannybhoy

          Lol!

    • Anton

      The problem is that the quotes (from paragraphs 60 & 61 of the encyclical) in your first paragraph are from introductory parts and the encyclical then goes on to commit itself to the assertion of imminent catastrophic anthropogenic global warming. Yet, as you say, this is a purely scientific matter. In science the data trump the theories and it hasn’t got warmer for nearly two decades even as industrialising China and India cause the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration to continue to increase. For what is therefore wrong with the theories and how they got that way, please see my comment below which begins, “There is much more to this encyclical than the global warming issue…”

      In this encyclical Pope Francis seeks to address not only the Catholic faithful but the whole world, so it is legitimate for non-Catholics to respond. My reply is “You have been wrongly advised by your scientists.” I hope that Catholics will say the same to him.

    • Ivan M

      The problem here is that in practice the Pope is requiring sacrifice of those who have already sacrificed through higher taxes , energy bills and carbon credit “indulgences” while requiring little from those intent on continuing to belch carbon into the atmosphere. Case in point are the two largest polluters India and China who are intent on going full steam ahead with coal fired plants. This is hardly consistent reasoning. An error which the previous Pope would not have made.

      • Ivan M

        About the only good that George Bush did for the US was to have kept it out of the climate conventions. The way it has worked out is to tax the poor in the West for the benefit of the rich in the Third World. The grifters and gladhanders of the climate change boondoggle are guilty of corruption and misuse of funds. All this even before judgment can be made if indeed AGW is indeed a major culprit in climate change or merely one minor factor in a secular trend. Which if anything is God’s problem not ours.

        • Anton

          Not that I believe in dangerous AGW, but God has used the climate to discipline mankind before (Genesis 7) and regularly turned on and off the tap to ancient Israel according to its sins as recorded in the Old Testament.

          • Ivan M

            It is science and technology that enables the Earth to support seven billion people the majority of them at a higher standard of living than their forefathers. For all I know there may be much greater sinning now than at the beginning of the 20th century when there was only a billion or more earthlings.

          • Anton

            I agree entirely; your statement is not incompatible with mine.

      • Anton

        It is true that China and India have as much right to burn coal as the developed world, but the notion of “ecological debt” – a phrase which appears in the encyclical – is socialist drivel. If there is such a thing, furthermore, then it has not been priced into the cars and powerplants and other desirable hi-tech stuff that we have sold the Third World.

        Gillan shows a tweet from Pope Francis stating that “The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.”

        To respond to Pope Francis, there are built-up areas but the English countryside near to where I live does NOT look like that. Where this is indeed the case it is mainly because the locals are too poor to deal with their rubbish properly, not because it is our rubbish exported. And poverty is most obviously due to institutional corruption – a statement that the Left never makes when discussing causes of poverty, preferring illiterately to regard economics and pollution control as zero-sum games. Among industrialised countries, which had the worse pollution record, communist or capitalist ones?

        • Dominic Stockford

          Most of Britain, the vast majority of Britain, does not look like that. Neither, I suspect, does the vast majority of the world. The slums of Brazil however, where gross over-population and a population held in thrall by…

          you see where I might be going on this one.

          • Anton

            The difference between North America and South America up to the 1960s secular revolution reflects the difference between protestantism and Roman Catholicism.

          • Dominic Stockford

            You saw… 🙂

        • Mike Houlding

          In the 1990’s National Geographic visited Eastern Europe and displayed industrial filth on an unbelievable scale.

      • India and China are attempting to catch the West in development terms; so too the economies of South America. He makes the point that a minority of the earth’s population is increasingly greedy and living in luxury whilst the majority lives in poverty.

        • Ivan M

          No HJ I think the majority are living a more energy efficient lifestyle. The rich are the same wherever they are, the poor are not all that better. China and India intend to go on their merry ways come what may. Since they and all of the Third World have no intention of ever making more than token sacrifices, it is unjust to put the burden of adjustment on the populations of the West, who in any case form a shrinking part of the world’s population.

  • Martin

    Climate Change is an odd term, since climate is constantly changing by its very nature. Of course it is an alternative term for Anthropogenic Global Warming, which is a term open to ridicule. AGW is a matter of philosophy, not science; a consensus view which sidesteps real science.

    • Anton

      It is a valid question to ask how much of the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere is due to human activity, and it can be answered reasonably accurately since dateable ice-trapped samples show the concentration as constant for centuries until the industrial revolution since when it has risen from some 280 parts per million (on a molecular basis) to 400. It is also a valid question to ask what is the thermal effect on the earth of that enhancement, but the calculation is easy (done by Arrhenius about a century ago) only if the atmosphere is dry. In a moist atmosphere, where clouds can reflect more incoming sunlight to space and evaporation shifts heat around, nobody knows the answer; the IPCC makes a guess for corrupt political reasons that the effect of carbon dioxide is enhanced threefold, and proclaims this loudly. But if that were true then it would have got a lot warmer during the last 20 years as carbon dioxide levels have continued to increase; yet it hasn’t got warmer.

      • Phil R

        If it is true then methane is actually the real culprit

        • Anton

          Methane is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide but there is a lot less of it in the atmosphere and the relative effects of the two can be calculated. What can’t be calculated with accuracy is the absolute effects of each, because of the complicating effect of water in the atmosphere (see my comment below, beginning “There is much more to this encyclical than the global warming issue…”)

          • Martin

            Anton

            And of course, carbon dioxide is essential for life and used by plant life.

    • Dominic Stockford

      They use Climate Change because it is undeniable – the climate changes, and so those who oppose are easily made to seem idiots in the eyes of the more gullible by the press for challenging the school of thought.

      • Anton

        Yes.

  • Mike Houlding

    What a disappointment from his Holiness. The failure of the planet to warm, as measured by tropospheric satellite readings cannot be explained by the Green Church. Francis is now siding with forces that despise him and all he stands for.

    • Dominic Stockford

      The Pope has made a regular deal of doing (or trying to do) such a thing (whichever pope he may be). The prayer with Muslims at Assisi is one previous example of popes (in modern times) trying to side with those who despise him. The attempt to con journalists into thinking he was going to change the church’s teaching on the Biblically-condemned subject of homosexuality is another.

    • avi barzel

      Someone in the NOA has apparently come out with another set of “adjustments” arguing that not all of the data was in, but that now, with additional input from surface temps data they can–surprise, surprise–confirm that there has been no temp flatline and that…it’s worse than we thought! I saw this claim on my app’s weather channel and haven’t had time to chase down the details or what the honest reviewers have to say about it. In any case, since we are supposed to be warming, being in the start of the Holocene, a flat-line “pause” or even mild warming during one of the cooler periods in the last 10,000 years is, relatively speaking still a mini ice age!
      In any case, His Holiness has declared political sympathies for a UN position and made a fashionable social proclamation typical to a South American clergyman, not a science or even a reality-based statement. I hope people realize that. It’s as credible as him calling the antisemitic terrorist tyrant Abbas an “angel of peace.”

      • CliveM

        Avi

        I think people are being unfair. Remember the mess the Papacy got into over the whole, the earth goes round the sun thing? Few centuries back…………, you remember? Well I think this is the over compensating and not wanting to seem anti science.

        • avi barzel

          It’s pandering. It’s taking a populist socialist strategy which isn’t even working in Argentina, in the old attempt to make religion relevant to the young’uns. It will be as effective as church dances pumping “cool” tunes over crappy speakers and serving no-name brand chips with de-alcoholised beer.

          • avi barzel

            PS: He could achieve better results by installing a few solar panels on the dome of St Peter’s and commissioning a green-painted electric pope-mobile.

          • CliveM

            Luckily I wasn’t involved with the Church as teen. Nothing worse then a ‘with it’ vicar! Or Priest.

          • Dominic Stockford

            And handing out doughnuts and coffee on the way in, and having ‘cafe church’ where everyone sits round tables sharing their ignorance..

  • GKStudent

    First, I think you have to understand the issues of the state.Most republicans are concerned about government dictates to the economy and private business. And, the same party, as flawed as the party may be -after all, it’s made up of human members too – is always at aims to counter state run businesses. So, let’s not forget there are earnest people trying to maintain the respect to private property – which includes everyone, not just businesses. Second, most private enterprises have recycling and waste management incentives/programs, and take better care/housekeeping of resources – that’s all incumbent of the business world. Third, the Holy Father’s encyclical is namely for the poor, who suffer catastrophically in places where care of resources are abandoned, pollutants run rampant, and high cost of living also contributes to keeping the poor to being even further poorer than they were before – even encouraging limiting them or de-populating them. Finally, Pope Francis is defending human life. His encyclical is for the necessary talents and gifts (qualities: works of charity and works of mercy) each person has. You cannot do that in a contraceptive mentality, run, and driven world. The poorest and shallowest efforts have come from the UN and other organization encourage population control. After all, each human person, born in new life, is looked as the catastrophic condition and cause to pollution, global warming, and/or climate change. Thus, to create life, which exceeds resources, must be prevented. And thus doing so, you evaluate the person’s being born as numbers exceeding resources – as supply runs short because of demand – thus, each is despised as the onset of poverty. Bad approach and runs to ruin the welfare and safeguard of human life – a decadence and crumbling human civilization.

    • Anton

      The Third World is more polluted and poorer mainly because of institutional corruption rather than a dumping ground. Hearts can’t be changed by legislation – that’s why Israel needed Christ as well as the Law.

      • CliveM

        Anton

        As someone who has worked in Industry his whole adult life, let me promise you, we have been more then happy to take advantage of looser 3rd world environmental rules, to export processes we have banned here. It’s not just 3rd world corruption, but 1st world hypocrisy.

        • Anton

          That’s why I said “mainly”. Anyway they are free to tighten their regulations if they wish.

      • avi barzel

        I’ll let the second sentence slide. For now.

        • Anton

          Shalom Avi ! I hope we can agree on the first clause of that sentence too.

          • avi barzel

            Shalom Anton! We can agree on the first bit if we expand the scope of “institutional corruption.” The regulatory impositions and economic aid conditions made by international bodies and dknir narions on Third World nations are also the cause. Apart from pampering regimes with foreign aid which gets misappropriated and which destroys local economies, internationally imposed restrictions on literally life-saving pesticides, GMO and energy exploitation, as well as select tariff removals (e.g., Chinese tomato paste in Agrica) which local leaders are bribed to accept, all such are devastating lives and potential economies. As for the second part, not a chance.

          • Anton

            I agree with all you say there about the politics of it. One wise man has memorably said that any carbon tax would be “taking money from the poor in rich countries and giving it to the rich in poor countries.”

          • avi barzel

            Yes, a great and very true zinger that came out a few years ago.

            Errata: dknir narions = donour nations, Agrica=Africa

  • CliveM

    I think one of the issues I have most trouble with is the logic that seems to say, when we were all poverty stricken and dying in frequent famines, their wasn’t a problem with Climate change, so therefore the answer is to return to that.

    • Ivan M

      Yes the Pope cannot have his cake and eat it too. The growth in population is the final culprit behind Global Warming assuming it is undisputed. If more people is something the Church is happy with then it cannot distance itself from the activities that make life for them possible . Much of the deforestation or more accurately already happened, is due to the slash and burn practices of poor farmers.

      • JuanFisher

        “The growth in population is the final culprit behind Global Warming assuming it is undisputed”

        What is pretty much indisputable is that there is no evidence of significant anthropogenic global warming. Nor is there significant population growth. (http://pop.org) In reality, we are entering a demographic implosion. The UN’s final “solution” is to abort future generations in order to save them from these non existent problems.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Of course, the RCC also now believe in Evolution, so they accept dying cave men in Ice Ages and a planet too hot for human life…

      • CliveM

        I’m not sure the two are related and also a lot of Christians outside the RCC also believe in evolution.

      • Not strictly true …. the Church allows for God’s creation outside of strict literal interpretations of Genesis. For example, it is agnostic on the ‘Big Bang’ and other scientific theories.

      • Ivan M

        The RCC doesn’t need Darwin to accept that some forms of evolution plays a role in the survival of the species. She has a would be saint Nicholas Steno who got much of it long before Darwin.

  • A timely gift to humanity from Jorge Mario Bergoglio would be a declaration that salvation is a free gift of God, received through faith in Christ directly and alone, without any dependence upon the sacramental system of Rome.

    • Dominic Stockford

      it would be far more use to them than this (coughs nervously before saying) tripe.

      • You think the teaching that we are stewards and should not be rapacious plunders of the earth is “tripe”? That acknowledging God as our Creator, is “tripe”? That applying some moral framework to the way world resources are used, is “tripe”?

        Pope Francis may have the science wrong, Jack doesn’t know, but the underlying message that all people in the world is one family and we should care for our environment, is hardly “tripe”.

    • …. and just ignore that this has implications for how we care for God’s creation and for one another?

  • magnolia

    It is a shame how many people can be bamboozled into misreading a graph, Chemistry graduate or not.

    How complicated is it that a graph needs to show levels of CO2 going up before the temperature goes up for levels of CO2 to be Causing higher temperatures?

    The cause comes before the effect if causation happens.

    But the graphs show CO2 levels go up after temperature rises, in fact that CO2 levels are caused by increased temperatures. The causation happens the other way.

    And when temperature levels go down- and this gets even worse for climate alarmists- then co2 levels follow them down.

    How hard it is to separate a fool from his folly.

    It is clearly thus not CO2 which mostly causes temperature to rise. Could it be that massive lump of burning plasma which we call the Sun?

    No, pull the other one. It is must be athropocentric, even if we are tiny ants when seen from space, and other planets also have temperatures that go up and down and no people to cause it!!

    • Ivan M

      I tend to think like you that the Sun is heating up. The radiant heat of the Sun seems to be more scorching than some 20 years ago. The greenhouse blanket does not seem to account for this, since its effect comes into play only with re-radiated energy at lower wavelengths, and not at the point when the waves of the Sun first hits the skin.

      • avi barzel

        The radiant heat of the Sun seems to be more scorching than some 20 years ago.

        The Sun is not heating up; it’s just that you (and, ok, me too) are getting old. Notice how winters seem colder every year too? The Sun is, of course the main driver of climate, something the alarmists want to forget, but its effect on climate variability is through the fluctuations in plasma activities, not the Sun’s heat output. We are, even below the ionosphere, swimming in (weakened) plasma. It’s the interaction between ionized particles, cosmic rays and water vapour and clouds that seems to affect climate variabity in a consistent way. Look up Henrik Svensmark’s empirically supported hypothesis that changes in solar activity affect cloud cover formation, which in turn determine temperature variations.

        Anyway, none of this matters in the end because it’s not a science argument, but politics. Too much invested, too many trillions blown and more to collect, too many plans made, too many careers and reputations at stake. “Climate change” may be a transparent fraud, but it’s a mantra everyone has been compelled to chant and only an opposing political move will challenge it.

        • Ivan M

          I live a few kilometers from the Equator, where I have no experience of winters. The Sun does seem more merciless now, but I will have to defer to those who have been monitoring these things.

          As you say, there are alternative explanations, but nothing can withstand a tidal wave of cash.

  • magnolia

    Oh, and Greenland used to be green, hence the name, as in the time when Erik the Red (950-1003) discovered it, it was green and fertile. Now it is covered in snow.

    Then of course there was also the Medieval Warm period, and the Victorian cold period. It goes up, it comes down, and always has.

    • avi barzel

      Greenland always had the same massive ice cap inland, but the temperature along the western coast was warmer by several degrees during the Medieval Warming period. Lush meadows and pasture lands for horses, cattle and sheep were accessible and some farming was possible in the sheltered fjords and valleys along the western coastline, which is where the “green bit” comes from. A ship approaching the harbors to the settlements would have seen what looked like endless green lands with what looked like an inconsequential ice-covered mountain ridge in the far distance…the reverse of the reality, of course.

      The cooling happened relatively quickly, within a single generation. The Europeans in the two settlements were unprepared; wrong clothing, thermally inefficient sod housing, and total dependence on already marginally efficient agriculture and herding which were severely affected even by minor drops in the temperature. The Inuit, pushing from the north with their superb skins and furs-based clothing, water-tight kayaks, their shelters and hunting skills and technologies easily displaced (massacred or intermarried, or both) the weakened, semi-starved survivors. The Euro Greenlanders had no purchasing power to attract the annual trade ships, as they had already exhausted the seal populations and could no longer supply valuable ivory, so no help came their way. It’s hard for us to conceive, but the “primitive” band-level Inuit peoples turned out to be technologically more advanced for cold weather living than even the Vikings.

      • magnolia

        Thanks for this excellent and informative account. Also your reply to Ivan underneath; much appreciated

        • avi barzel

          Glad you enjoyed! I was indifferent to the warmist alarmism until I noticed, about 15 years ago, that they “disappeared” the Medieval Warming period which, as medieval history buffs know, revived European civilization. I was also puzzled about why they are trying to scare us with warming, when in every instance it’s responsible for significant betterment of conditions and growrh for humans, animals and plants, while cooling always correlates to famines, wars, plagues and specie extinctions. It seems to me that the alarmism works the way we get kids to do things whwn we start a count-down; they jump into action without even knowing what the the threat is when the counting stops! I would have thought the historical evidence would have burried the alarmism, but never consideted the power of top-down propaganda by elites and the effect on generations which think of themselves as independent thinkers.

          Look at our Gillan here,

          • magnolia

            I thoroughly agree, (though make that CoolAid a bitter shandy for us on this side of the pond 😉 …) You “never considered the power of top-down propaganda by elites”, best characterised I think by the word collectivists, be it of the Communist or fascist variety. Nor did I believe that so many would be mathematically stupid and so blind to a blindingly obvious misread misapplied graph for so so long. Though I remember reading a psychological test done on a group of people where most of the group previously agreed to give a wrong answer to a simple mathematical problem, and the vast majority of the minority adjusted their views to match. Alarming stuff indeed.

          • avi barzel

            Ah, beer shandy, a remnant of the battle against scurvy. Got introduced to it by an English friend, a newcomer to Canada like me. Also to sprinkling the beer with salt, waiting for it to settle to the bottom and banging the mug lightly on the table to release the CO2 bubbles. We did a lot of that. With that and the methane emissions from our adolescent burping contests, I think Paul and I triggeted the whole global warming thing. You might see us in the dock at the ICC one day for crimes against Mother Nature and Holy Gaia.

            I don’t recall what the agreed on excuse for dismissing the data for CO2 following warming, but one was that anthropogenic CO2 is somehow different from the “natural” kind. We have reached levels of scientific idiocy and herd-think reminiscent of the witch crazes in the late Middle Ages. The belief in witches has been around forever, but it hit a demented fever pitch at the time of the sharp dip in temperatures which ended the Medieval Warming period. Predictably, wars, plagues and famines followed the crop failures from short and rainy summers and the wisest minds of Europe, the clerics in the monasteries and theologians in the universities conducted detailed, peer reviewed studies and after many conventions, public participation and international cooperation, discovered the cause: single, typically widowed women who had massively taken to witchcraft in an attempt to destroy Christendom.

            University departments, cathedrals and secular governments from the monarchies down to village mayors got together and formulated a strategy. They would train thousands of experts to hunt down and investigate these monsters and the secular authorities would hold them and execute the penalties. In the process, and for their dedicated work, the ecclesiastic and secular authorities would confiscate and share the assets of these witches. When the smoothly running witch hunt machinery added heresy to its mandates, the income from these holy actions reached stupendous proportions…several trillion in today’s monet. Practically free money and a spinoff in good public service employment opportunities for churchmen, clerks, monks, urban magistrates, barons and even peasant jailers and executioners for the cost of a bureacratic inquest, a few torture chambers with holding centres and wood for the public burnings. A good time was had by all.

            Not that I want to compare the witch craze to the global warming alarmism, Heavens forbid; we are much smarter, less materialistic and far more ethical today.

          • magnolia

            As for the middle ages, and the anxiety about wars plagues and famine, we see the remains of that even in that sophisticate Shakespeare, and his belief in the great Chain of Being, the four humours, bleeding as a remedy, and all the concerns that the whole universe mirrored the disruptions caused by dethroning monarchs, King Lear giving up his throne, and so on. Such was the order of the day and sometimes we take one bit out of the whole, as if it were extraordinary.

            As you rightly infer we have moved to a whole new set of certainties and unexamined prejudices and downright superstitions that will look extremely silly to people in fifty years time- if not sooner. I’m not blaming poor James Lovelock for he never meant an image and a supposition to be taken this far and “Gaia” to be worshipped as an entity. New Age nuttiness at work.

          • avi barzel

            As much as I enjoy marvelling over the mental world of our sorry-arsed specie, I think that the material world plays a greater role in our remarkable antics. The driver behind the witch craze and the climate craze is economics, or to be more precise, the interactions of environments, economies, human individual and societal and cultural needs. The vast sums of wealth and the individuals, families, dependants, employees, groups, orders, bureaucracies, governments, interests and whatnots these crazes fed or feed should not be ignored. While the mythology and theology behind the witch craze is cooky and internally inconsistent, and the science behind the climate craze is fraudulent and hard to support or counter by empirical means, the largely ignored wealth and its beneficiaries behind these two crazes are all very real, verifiable and quantifiable!

    • The Elderking

      And the romans grew grapes in York, we had the frost fairs on the Thames. No doubt pollution and emmisions can’t help but the climate changes without us..even the Sahara used to be green!!

  • magnolia

    And what about Rand Paul as a presidential candidate, or are we to follow slavishly the corrupt mainstream media’ s attempt to write him out of the picture by pretending that he doesn’t exist, as they attempted- and succeeded with his very good and very Christian father, Ron Paul, while they promote any bought any satisfactorily bought and paid for by corporate funding candidate they can lay their hand on?

    Officially Ron Paul is a loon, even though if you go through his predictive speeches on Youtube the number that proved accurate is in the 90-99% group, and his grasp of theology and its relation to politics and even economics is far far superior to any other President or candidate. If you can criticise at the chalkface of the actual opinion, and not be fed poisoned mushy peas at second or third hand.

    Whichever, both Pauls are more scientifically qualified than the Pope, both Doctors with specialities, (gynaecology and optometry) for that matter, and both sound on this. Ron Paul also predicted that swine flu was being hyped beyond all reason, there was no reason to panic, and that TB was a greater problem. I wonder what other international figures were saying as much, or would they rather have their panicky speeches buried and never dug up for posterity?

    • Ivan M

      while they promote any bought any satisfactorily bought and paid for by corporate funding candidate they can lay their hand on…

      The USA – best democracy money can buy.

  • DenisV

    I’ve from down-under where rugby is almost our national religion. During the season, our local newspaper has a weekly column where well-know pundits predict the winner’s of the next weekend’s games. The best people usually have a success rate of 60% – 70%, while others have less.

    Now when it comes to science, you can make very accurate predictions if you really understand something. For example, if I hold my pen 1 metre about the ground and then drop it, then thanks to the work of Sir Isaac Newton, I can predict how long it will take to hit the ground, and the speed it will be travelling when it hits. And I’ll be 100% accurate.

    So how does “climate science” fare when it comes to making predictions? I refer you to this article by one of the world’s top climate scientists, where he compares the average temperatures over the past 25 years to those predicted by the UN IPCC-approved climate models (http://www.drroyspencer.com/2014/02/95-of-climate-models-agree-the-observations-must-be-wrong/). Astoundingly, their success rate is only 5%, with 95% of predictions being too high.

    So the next time you see someone – even the Pope – have a meltdown (excuse the pun) over climate change, I would suggest a simple reality check: How much would you trust a football pundit with a 5% success rate?