PopeWatch: Canon Law

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Well isn’t this special:


The Vatican’s former top legal advisor is calling on Pope Francis to require Catholics under canon law to care for the environment, calling it “one of the most serious duties” for the faithful today.

According to Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli, Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, is proposing that a new canon be inserted into the Code of Canon Law. The new canon would be dedicated to the “grave duty” of all the Christian faithful to not only “not harm” but even “improve” the environment.

Coccopalmerio told Vatican Insider: “The Code of Canon Law, at the beginning of the second book, in canons 208-221 under the title ‘Obligations and rights of all [Christ’s] faithful’ presents a list of these obligations and rights, and for this reason draws an authoritative sketch of the believer and his life as a Christian. Unfortunately, nothing is said about one of his most serious duties: to protect and promote the natural environment in which the believer lives.”

“My proposal,” the cardinal said, “would be to ask the Pope, on behalf of the dicastery for legislative texts, to insert into the canons I have just cited a new canon that sounds more or less like this: ‘Every faithful Christian, mindful that creation is our common home, has the grave duty not only not to damage, but also to improve, both through normal behavior, as well as through specific initiatives, the natural environment in which each person is called to live.’”

The cardinal first announced his proposal during a July 12 event in Rome titled “Dialogue on Catholic investments for energy transition.” The closed-door meeting brought together representatives of the Vatican and Catholic organizations to discuss how to invest responsibly towards a transition to renewable energies.

Inspired by Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical on the environment, Laudato si’, and by his recent address to CEOs of major oil and gas companies, participants in the July 12 event agreed on the importance of the Catholic Divest-Invest Program currently being sponsored by the World Catholic Climate Movement

According to the organization’s website, the Catholic Divest-Invest Program calls on Catholic institutions to commit publicly to completely divest from all fossil fuels within five years, and to invest in “socially and ethically responsible companies that protect creation and all who share it.”


Go here to read the rest.  Considering how well the Church is succeeding in commanding Catholics not to shack up, slay their offspring by abortion or simply show up at Sunday Mass, PopeWatch views this proposal as a dagger aimed at the heart of the Environmental Movement!

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  1. There has got to be something in it for the Vatican. People who care already are doing so and individuals who do not care are not going to be forced into caring.

  2. I have a question. When Christians lament the course of America, or worry about the fortunes of their country, any more we’re told ‘don’t worry about it, Jesus is about more than the here and now’, or some such. I know in the SBC, Russell Moore made that statement some time back. Don’t get hung up on our country, it’s only temporary. Jesus is forever. But couldn’t the same be said about the world in general? If I’m understanding my eschatology, won’t all this as we currently know it be a thing of the past some day? And by that argument, doesn’t that mean we shouldn’t worry about it? 🙂

  3. The Church run by enviros. What’s not to like?

    Years ago, I read (a prof made me) a scholarly (the author actually consulted primary sources) work on the inquisition in the Middle Ages. One generalization he submitted was te Church wa run by lawyers. Sorry. Mac.

    I care about the environment. I also care about people. Hugely higher energy prices are not good for people and other living things or national economies.

    Fun fact: President Donald J. Trump courageously pulled the USA out of the so-called Paris Climate Accords and was hyperbolically criticized by the usual suspects.

    In the real world (far removed from the Beltway, LA, NYC, Vatican City) results matter. The US achieved the greatest economic growth of the rest, plus the largest decrease (a good thing, Democrats) in CO-two emissions. Take that, tree buggers!

  4. But God invented volcanos and stuff. And the mess to the eco-system after Sodom and Gomorrah, and those poor trees during the great flood, and….

  5. So now the pope is going to make it a mortal sin for members of the Church to use fossil fuels? Simply unbelievable. Is there anything else the Church “leadership” can think of that will make them seem more irrelevant?

  6. “[N]ot only not to damage, but also to improve…”

    Were this to be included in a feu-charter, I am pretty sure it would be held void for uncertainty.

    “Damage” is straightforward enough, corresponding to “waste or spoil,” but what do we make of “improve.”

    Is ploughing up ancient pasture “waste” or an “improvement”? Grubbing out hedgerows? Draining wetlands? Were I advising a liferenter, I should recommend caution that this might well be considered such spoil as would tinsel his liferent, but some would argue that they increase the yield. In this context, many specific prohibitions of such activity were suspended by County Boards of Agriculture, under the Defence of the Realm Act 1940 (DORA)

    At the philosophical level, “improvement” cannot be understood except in the context of some result to be achieved.

  7. I know in the SBC, Russell Moore made that statement some time back.

    Francis. Russell Moore. So many in the clergy give you the idea that Walt Kowalski had a point.

  8. “Get off my lawn” A “NO TRESPASSING” sign also precludes any lawsuit against the homeowner. Any person seeking refuge on private property and injured may then sue the homeowner.

  9. False church where the environment is more important than the salvation of souls, where sin is accompanied, and the Truth obscured.

  10. I can see the solar panels on the dome of St. Peters now.

    Divest-Invest as in buying stock in Solynda type companies. Is this so the Vatican Treasury needs some seemingly legitimate losses to cover up for what? Embezzlements? Extortions -monies paid out for bad behaviors by our prelates? Follow the money.

  11. Beware unintended consequences. Think of the millions of lives lost to malaria after the banning of DDT. How will seven billion people fare, if we ban fossil fuels in five years?

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