"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

The "Green Pope"

Before Francis.

The predecessors of Pope Francis had concerns about the ecology too.

Pope Benedict had much to say - but never dedicated an encyclical to the issue - he left that up to his successor.  Pope Francis' encyclical hasn't even been released yet - nor has it been leaked, as far as I know.  But some Catholics are already attacking the Holy Father, going so far as to dismiss the Holy Father as "an ideologue and a meddlesome egoist."  Wow!

What would Benedict say?

In fact, what did he say?

“If you want to cultivate peace, protect creation.” — Message for World Day of Peace, (par. 14), 2010.
'fruit of the earth,' 'fruit of the vine,' and 'work of human hands.' 
"The Eucharistic form of life can thus help foster a real change in the way we approach history and the world. The liturgy itself teaches us this, when, during the presentation of the gifts, the priest raises to God a prayer of blessing and petition over the bread and wine, 'fruit of the earth,' 'fruit of the vine,' and 'work of human hands.' With these words, the rite not only includes in our offering to God all human efforts and activity, but also leads us to see the world as God's creation, which brings forth everything we need for our sustenance. The world is not something indifferent, raw material to be utilized simply as we see fit. Rather, it is part of God's good plan, in which all of us are called to be sons and daughters in the one Son of God, Jesus Christ (cf.Eph 1:4-12)." — Sacramentum Caritatis (par. 92), 2007. 
Linking ecology and human life
"Our duties towards the environment are linked to our duties towards the human person, considered in himself and in relation to others. It would be wrong to uphold one set of duties while trampling on the other. Herein lies a grave contradiction in our mentality and practice today: one which demeans the person, disrupts the environment, and damages society." — Caritas in Veritate, (par. 51). 
Human ecology
“The deterioration of nature is in fact closely connected to the culture that shapes human coexistence: when ‘human ecology’ is respected within society, environmental ecology also benefits." — Caritas in Veritate, (par. 51; emphasis in original). 

Catholics have to have confidence that the Holy Father (Pope Francis) will not step beyond Catholic doctrine and teaching in the new encyclical.

Again, from Pope Benedict XVI:
Confronting relativism
“Yet freedom cannot be absolute, since man is not himself God, but the image of God, God’s creation. For man, the path to be taken cannot be determined by caprice or willfulness, but must rather correspond to the structure willed by the Creator.” — New Year’s Address to the Diplomatic Corps, January 11, 2010.
Read everything in context here.


  1. Imagine if it had been Francis who approved the covering of Paul VI hall with solar panels instead of Benedict.

    Imagine if it had been Francis who authorized the Vatican bank to purchase carbon credits instead of Benedict.

    Imagine if it had been Francis who unveiled a new hybrid popemobile.

    Oh, imagine all the people attacking Francis!


  2. Oh, and for that third one - the new hybrid popemobile: instead of Benedict! LOL!

    1. That is something though - isn't it. How so many lose sight of that particular aspect of the hermeneutic of continuity.

  3. Et tu, First Things? I was thinking that quotation might be from a woman who has a fondness for pink AR-15s and bacon bookmarks, but alas. As a ten-year fan and subscriber that hurts.

    A while ago--I think pre-Francis, even--Simcha Fisher wrote something--maybe she was quoting, maybe they were her own thoughts, I can't remember--about Ratzinger's "smaller, post-crisis Church" hypothesis (the one covered here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/godandthemachine/2014/01/ratzinger-on-what-the-church-will-look-like/). Her point was something like "everyone assumes this will be because of the 'left' leaving, but maybe it will be the 'right' that walks away." I wonder if we're seeing the beginning of this. Public dissent on "the right" used to be the territory of those who held extreme positions like sedevacanism or denial of the validity of the ordinary form of the mass--stuff "respectable" people knew to avoid. (At least that's the way it seems to me. I'm not a social historian. I am just an office worker at a trucking company.) Now people and publications from "the right" with a substantive public presence are fine with calling the pope an idiot. Not even in a "he may be an idiot, but he's our idiot"-way. Like an asshole spouse who only grasps the indissolubility part of marriage and says to the other "we're married so I can't leave, but man do I wish I had an alternative."

    1. You saw the Barnhardt post too then, huh? That is one strange lady.

    2. I didn't, but I'm familiar enough with her, umm, oeuvre to know "ideological infiltrator" and "prideful egoist" are two of her go-to insults. And, honestly, I figured you needed to be "out there" like Barnhardt is to be so bald in hating the pope. That's why it was such a sting to find out it was from a First Things in-house blogger. Not to be too dramatic, but Micah 7 is a good reading for things like this.

  4. "An ideologue and a meddlesome egoist."

    That's Maureen Mullarkey of "First Things" in case anyone is wondering. The Remnant is covering Mark Shea's 'take'on Mullarkey's article but it could just as easily apply to the this blog and others:

    "Shea does the same thing he always does: hurl insults, caricature the opposing position and hide the real issue."

    And this comparison with Pope Benedict is misleading. No where did Pope Benedict formally advance a geopolitical agenda.


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