PopeWatch was amused by this opening breathless paragraph at the leftist website Think Progress:
Pope Francis made the religious case for tackling climate change on Wednesday, calling on his fellow Christians to become “Custodians of Creation” and issuing a dire warning about the potentially catastrophic effects of global climate change.
Go here to read the rest. Had the Pope gone full frontal warmist? Is green theology to become dogma? I doubted it and so I went to the source. Here is what the Pope said in full:
Today I want to highlight another gift of the Holy Spirit, the gift of knowledge . When we speak of knowledge, we immediately think of the human capacity to learn more about the reality that surrounds him and to discover the laws that govern nature and the universe. The knowledge that comes from the Holy Spirit, however, is not limited to human knowledge: it is a special gift, which allows us to grasp, through Creation, the greatness and love of God and His profound relationship with every creature.
1. When our eyes are enlightened by the Spirit, they open to the contemplation of God in the beauty of nature and the grandeur of the cosmos, and lead us to discover how everything speaks to us of Him and everything speaks to us of His love. All this arouses astonishment and a deep sense of gratitude in us! It is the feeling we experience when we admire a work of art or any marvel that is the result of the genius and creativity of man: before all of this, the Spirit leads us to praise the Lord from the depths of our hearts and recognize, in all that we have and are, a priceless gift from God and a sign of His infinite love for us.
2 .The first chapter of Genesis, at the very beginning of the Bible, shows us that God delights of His creation, by repeatedly emphasizing the beauty and goodness of all things. At the end of each day, it is written : “God saw that it was good” ( 1,188.8.131.52 ) …but if God sees that Creation is something good and beautiful, we too must have this attitude, we must see that Creation is something good and beautiful. The gift of knowledge, of this beauty, we have to thank God for having given us this gift, this beauty! This is the path…and when God finished creating man, He didn’t say that “it was good”, He said that it is “very good!”, He draws us close to Him. And in God’s eyes we are the greatest, the most beautiful, the best things about Creation…”But father the Angels? No the Angels are beneath us! We are more than the Angels! We heard it in the Book of the Psalms! God really loves us! We have to thank him for this!
The gift of knowledge places us in profound harmony with the Creator and allows us to participate in the brightness of His gaze and His judgment. And it is in this perspective that we can grasp in man and woman the summit of Creation, as the fulfillment of a plan of love that is imprinted in each of us and that makes us recognize each other as brothers and sisters.
3 . All of this is a source of serenity and peace and renders the Christian a joyful witness of the God, in the wake of St. Francis of Assisi and many saints who were able to sing and praise His love through the contemplation of Creation.
At the same time, however, the gift of knowledge helps us to avoid falling prey to excessive or incorrect attitudes. The first lies in the risk of considering ourselves masters of Creation. Creation is not a property, which we can rule over at will; or, even less, is the property of only a few: Creation is a gift, it is a wonderful gift that God has given us, so that we care for it and we use it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude.
The second incorrect attitude is the temptation to limit ourselves to creatures, as if they can provide the answer to all our expectations. With the gift of knowledge, the Holy Spirit helps us not to give in to all of this…but I would like to return to the first wrong path…Custodians Creation, not Masters of Creation it is a gift that the Lord has given us, to us! We are Custodians of Creation. But when we exploit Creation we destroy the sign of God’s love for us, in destroying Creation we are saying to God: “I don’t like it!. This is not good!” “So what do you like?” “I like myself!” – Here, this is sin! Do you see? Custody of Creation is custody of God’s gift to us and it is also a way of saying thank you to God. I am the master of Creation but to carry it forward I will never destroy your gift. And this should be our attitude towards Creation. Safeguard Creation. Because if we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us! Never forget this!
Once I was in the countryside and I heard a saying from a simple person who loved flowers and he nurtured these flowers and he said we must nurture these beautiful things that God has given us. Creation is for us to use well, not exploit to nurture…because do you know father, God always forgives – Yes it is true God always forgives…We men, women, we forgive sometimes – Yes sometimes we forgive, not always …But father Creation never forgives! And if you don’t custody Creation it will never forigive you”.
This is what caused all the excitement? Creation is a gift from God and we should use it wisely? I defy anyone to come up with any pope who ever stood in the shoes of the fisherman who would disagree. If Pope Benedict had said this, the media would have reacted with a yawn, if the statement had been noticed at all outside of the Vatican and the more obsessive Catholic blogs. The media meme however is that the Pope is a leftist radical and even this trite sermon on Creation has to be fitted into that meme.