PopeWatch: Bullet Points




As expected, the leaked Encylical is being translated.  Here is the take of National Journal from what they have read:



1) Global warming is real

While the document largely focuses on theology and morality, it does go headlong into the science of the causes and impacts of climate change. The draft document says there is a scientific consensus that the climate is warming because of human actions, and that it is reflected in rising sea levels and increasing extreme weather events. The document even goes further into specific consequences of climate change on biodiversity and marine life, among others.

2) Fossil fuels are a problem

The encyclical states that fossil fuels, such as oil and to a lesser extent natural gas, should be phased out without delay in favor of renewable energy. While renewable power is built up, the encyclical says, it is permissible to rely on fossil fuels, but that overall, the extraction and burning of oil and gas is evil. The document further calls for countries to adopt policies that will reduce emissions of carbon dioxides and other gases.


One policy that Francis dismisses is the use of carbon credits, which he says could give rise to speculation rather than direct action to reduce emissions.

3) Governments should act on climate change—and do it right

The timing of the encyclical is no mystery—Vatican officials have said the document is meant to influence the United Nations climate talks in Paris this year. Francis repeatedly calls on governments to fight climate change, both domestically and through international agreements

Francis says previous international negotiations, specifically the 2012 UN meetings in Rio de Janeiro, produced ineffective results because countries were looking after the own interests rather than the common good. Francis also is calling on countries to set their own long-term policies on climate change, warning that environmental regulations should not change as governments come in and out of power.

Go here to read the rest.  The actual words of an Encyclical are of course all important and PopeWatch will be giving extensive coverage to the official translation.  However, what the world is reading now is that the Pope has endorsed the dubious science behind global warming,  attacked fossil fuels as evil and called for governments to take action to fight a problem that may well be non-existent.  If this is a correct reading of the Encyclical,  Catholicism will now be among the institutions damaged when the global warming scam falls apart.  There is a very good reason why Christ said that His Kingdom is not of this world, and would that His present Vicar would take that statement to heart, rather than taking sides in this buffoonish obsession of eco-fanatics, power hungry governments and scientists peddling politicized junk science.

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  1. Is there a “hierarchy of assent” for Catholics when it comes to “novel” Church teaching?
    For example, when an encyclical develops doctrine into a new area, or, indeed, creates a new doctrine in an area in which the Church has never taught, must a Catholic give the same level of assent to that teaching as one would to an encyclical that restates a long-standing teaching (such as Humanae Vitae did with contraception) or as when a Pope declares as dogma something that is a long-standing tradition among the faithful (such as the Immaculate Conception)?

  2. “Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.”

    Cardinal Ratzinger


  3. Yeah, I know about that. There is a clear hierarchy of objective moral issues compared to prudential moral issues.
    But I’m asking about something different. Where a POPE declares something to be so, especially if the declaration is regarding something novel, must I give full assent to that declaration (even though I don’t believe it) in the same way as when a Pope restates something that the Church has ALWAYS declared to be so?

  4. Today like in the time of Galileo, the Church once again has made a grave error when it comes to the Truth. Today, most of the political power that accepts and admits to Anthropocentric Global Warming, the very Head of the Catholic Church has made a monumental error, liken, similar to the time of this earlier scientist Galileo. NOW a horrendous Error in Catholic Action is being made against the thousands of those who scientifically have demonstrated that Anthropocentric Global Warming is a Hoax.

    The following exert is taken from “Why Galileo was Wrong, Even Though He was Right”
    by Cornelius Hunter

    In the early seventeenth century a courageous and brilliant scientist, Galileo Galileo, confirmed heliocentrism, the idea first proposed a century earlier by Nicolaus Copernicus that the sun was at the center of the universe. Heliocentrism challenged geocentrism, the religiously motivated idea that a stationary earth was at the center of the universe. Galileo explained why heliocentrism was true and not surprisingly the church strongly opposed and persecuted the scientist. Ultimately, however, the truth could not be denied and church was forced to, once again, reluctantly give in to the objective truths of science.

    That was the false history of the Galileo Affair according to later revisionists who promoted the view that science and religion were in conflict. In fact while Galileo indeed was brilliant, he also made it difficult for friendly voices to support him. Furthermore he did not confirm heliocentrism, and heliocentrism was not the only viable alternative to geocentrism. And geocentrism was hardly religiously motivated. The church had little objection to heliocentrism when Copernicus wrote of the model in the sixteenth century, and Copernicus was not the first to consider the idea.

    The Galileo Affair is far more complex than the simple-minded warfare thesis supposes. Yes Pope John Paul II issued a declaration in 1992 acknowledging the church’s errors. And the church was no doubt mistaken. But the church’s action in the Galileo Affair was far more complex than simply opposing a scientific finding out of religious conviction (Galileo’s trial focused on his insubordination, not heliocentrism). In fact, there were at least four reasons why the church opposed Galileo’s heliocentrism which confound the naive warfare thesis.

    First, in Galileo’s day internal church politics had made it less receptive to new ideas such as heliocentrism. Second, Galileo’s disobedience and style–such as satirizing his friend Pope Urban VIII who had been a supporter–fomented opposition. Third, it was understood that science could devise models that, on the one hand fit the data but on the other hand were not true or approximately so. In fact, geocentrism modeled the celestial motions quite accurately. And finally, in some cases where geocentrism did fail, another alternative–Tycho Brahe’s hybrid model–succeeded.
    An important failure of geocentrism were the phases of Venus which indicated it circled the sun, not Earth. Galileo expounded upon this point, but what he failed to mention was that the Tychonic system, in which the sun circles the earth and the inner planets in turn circle the sun, handled the phases of Venus just fine.

    Conclusion: Now what will be the consequences when the TRUTH becomes apparent would wide. The Vatican, the Roman Catholic Church, this Pope will have demonstrated that the Catholic Faith PROMOTED a horrible LIE to deceive the entire world. Only those strong in the Catholic Faith will remain Strong. The millions who will fall and have fallen away from the faith because of this lie will perish in their lack of faith, because of the actions of one man Pope Francis.

    The only reason that this pope has overlooked the sound reasoning of those who opposed Anthropocentric Global Warming is “the very Politics” of the moment which in all its falsehoods supports the Popes view that Liberation Theology, Marxism, and doing away with so-called traditions of the Catholic Church of two thousand years fits very nicely with this aberrant but falsely belief in AGW. What is disastrous is that AGW supports the idea that 6 billion people must die in order for it to be arrested. What the significance of 6 billion when 2 degrees of climate variability is politically halted?

    Question: Will there be any pope in the future who would have the courage to admit to the facts (like JPII regarding Galileo) that Pope Francis Error (Anthropocentric Global Warming) was the biggest Hoax every played upon the welfare of humankind?

  5. “Where a POPE declares something to be so, especially if the declaration is regarding something novel, must I give full assent to that declaration (even though I don’t believe it) in the same way as when a Pope restates something that the Church has ALWAYS declared to be so?”

    Prudential is precisely the point Jay. A Pope has no special charism in regard to something that does not involve faith and morals. If the Pope believes in global warming, a Catholic has no obligation to follow him unless, exercising his prudential judgment, he too believes in global warming. If, according to Cardinal Ratzinger, a Catholic could differ with the Pope on War and the Death Penalty in regard to application, how much more so in an area where the Pope is coming down on one side of a question of science. A Pope has great powers, he does not have the power to alter physical reality to coincide with his belief on a question of science.

    If a Pope were to suddenly say ex cathedra that Limbo does exist, we would have to believe it since that is clearly within his charism. Now a Pope cannot contradict Scripture. If a Pope suddenly decreed that Mary is not the Mother of God, Catholics would be under an obligation not to believe it since Scripture would be contradicted. Such a Pope would be a heretic and would have to be deposed:


  6. The Catholic Church was established by Christ for the Salvation of Souls and to nourish those
    souls though their pilgrimage on earth, help those in purgatory and seek help from above. Heaven is the ultimate goal. To love, serve with all our heart. Catholic Social Teaching has been lost and replaced with Liberation Theology ie communism. Climate Change is also population control. Just a little FYI.

  7. Due to low capacity factor because of the intermittent nature of renewable energy – solar and wind – they cannot replace fossil fuel. Not scientifically possible. Nuclear can but Pope Francis does not support that because he regards it as evil as fossil fuel. I say cut him off from fossil fuel and let’s see how he does with shiny mirrors and twirling blades

  8. This is a radical political document based
    on the scientific heresy of man-made climate
    change. What are the moral issues: People
    breeding like rabbits? Consuming too many
    resources to support human life? Dangerous
    western technologies that improve and lengthen
    human lives and reduce human suffering?

  9. Global warming is a load of BS. I would tell that to the Roman Pontiff to his face if the opportunity presented itself. Pittsburgh experienced below-zero temperatures the first week of March not including the wind chill factor which made things worse.

    “Fossil” fuels are not causing non-existent “global warming” . There has been a War on Coal which has caused coal fired power plants to close and if not for the fracking that the Roman Pontiff HATES we would be experiencing massive electricity and gas bills.

    Methane gas is caused by rock formations underground, not by fossils. My geologist cousin who works for the Pennsylvania DCNR has confirmed that. Natural gas is emitted from water wells in Western Pennsylvania. It is natural.

    The Cardinals elected a left wing intellectual lightweight. Christians have been slaughtered in the Middle East. Homosexuality continues its march into its goal to suppress all who disagree and this Pontiff whats to write about global warming.

    This encyclical has less meaning to me than any other encyclical ever written by any pontiff. Let him come to Washington County and tell Mount Pleasant Township and Range Resources that fracking should be banned. He would be thrown out of town.

  10. The people who take “global warming” seriously are some of the worst offenders with regard to that concept. They are generally among the elite of the world, endlessly flying all over the planet to their vacations, conferences, et cetera. Let them show the rest of us how serious they are about global warming and stay home instead of getting on that next flight, which is contributing to pollution and “global warming.” Let’s see them start fasting, too.

  11. 1. The Pope would be infallible in matters of faith and morals.

    2. Climate change is not a matter of faith and morals.

    3. Statist attempts at “addressing” climate change have caused increased global, human misery. A recent US government backed, massive solar boondoggle generated 40% of the fairy tale promised amount of electricity and costs were hugely high.

  12. The stats could not support ” Global Warming” so now the slogan is “Climate Change”. True, there is climate change, but not as defined by ignorant liberals. That the earth is on a cycle has been scientifically proven; however, it is arrogant to think that humans can permanently effect the earth’s climate. The Second Coming will and that’s what mankind should be preparing for.

  13. Wouldn’t be surprised if Bergoglio called for Catholics to follow the WHO guidelines “for Maternal and Child health” and space children 3.9. yrs apart (through licit means of course!) in order to reduce the planet’s population. His sicko “social ontologist” M. Archer (and fellow population control elites) probably coached him on how to present it as women as “saviors of the earth” and thus making them feel “empowered” versus his lame comment of “breeding like rabbits.”

    And since it is claimed that the encyclical is meant for all persons, well all those non-Catholic breeders can use contraceptives, abortifacients and abortions to achieve the minimum 3.9 yrs spacing between children.

    Do it (without breeding) for Gaia!

  14. “I say cut him off from fossil fuel and let’s see how he does with shiny mirrors and twirling blades.”
    Paul W: I would agree with you (and I do want to really) but you surely know that solar and wind farms kill a lot of birds and bats. I am not sure they should have to die so the Pope would be without his Twitter account or able to charge his smartphone.
    Interestingly enough, I went looking for information on the various ice ages some months back. I can’t remember why I was doing so, but I came across the US Geological Survey website. Low an behold! According to the USGS, we live in an ice age. Did someone tell the Pope this?
    I converted to the Church many moons ago, coming from a (lapsed) Protestant background. I find myself protesting Rome and the hierarchy more and more–and becoming a real “protest”ant. Stuff like the Synod on the family and now this encyclical are not helpful to those of us with a weak faith and burned-out emotional state. God bless my parents (RIP) and guardian angel. They’ve been working overtime on my behalf these past few months.

  15. What “weigh” do Encyclicals carry, anyway? Are they up there with the Bible? And why can’t the Pope contradict the Bible, since the Bible is in fact a product of the Catholic Church–the Church predates it by many decades. (The fact/belief that “Mary is the Mother of God, the Theotokas,” pre-dates the Bible.)

  16. Causality is a very vexed question. We blithely assert that “If C happens, then E will follow.” What we really man, of course, is that “If C happens, then unless c1 or c2 or c3… also happens, then E will follow.” The great logician, Bertrand Russell observed, “The principle ‘same cause, same effect’ … is … utterly otiose. As soon as the antecedents have been given sufficiently fully to enable the consequent to be calculated with some exactitude, the antecedents have become so complicated that it is very unlikely they will ever recur.” But any C that occurs only once will invariably be succeeded by any E that just happens to occur on that occasion. The notion of “invariable causality” will not enable us to distinguish any sequence of events from any other.
    The origin of the fallacy is obvious enough. If I catch cold, experience teaches that I can be pretty sure that I have been in contact with someone already infected. What we tend to overlook is that if I have been in contact with someone infected, it is nigh on impossible to calculate my chances of catching it; we simply cannot discover and weigh all the factors involved.
    In reality, science makes its (often very accurate) predictions on the basis of functional relationships between variables (E=MC^2) or on statistical correlations, leaving “causes” to the metaphysicians.

  17. DJ, don’t give up the Faith. There have been times in history when some very bad men have been in temporal charge of the Church and those times pass.

    I have been a lukewarm Catholic. I have been nearly a lapsed Catholic. I am a sinner, have been and will be.

    The entire global warming thing is starting to die out and its supporters are desperate. Remember the hacked emails showing how data was falsified? There is no getting around that.

  18. Will the Pope support clean energy?
    Or will he chase useless worthless wind and solar which DJ Hesselius correctly points out have their own devastating environmentally impact, not to mention that due to their intermittencies they don’t provide energy when you need it. Cannot the Pope think? We went from sailing ships and baking bricks in the sun to using fuels that can reliably provide energy 24 / 7? If wind is so darn great, then why don’t we still use sailing ships as the Vikings of the Middle Ages did? If solar is so great, then why don’t we still bake bricks in the sun as the ancient Summerians did 4000 years ago? It’s called green energy black death for a reason!

  19. I am surprised that using fossil fuels is evil. Without the Industrial revolutions that coal provided we would still be living in the poverty of the middle ages. Or perhaps I should say in the poverty of Africa who never had any capital to start their industrial revolution and were simply used and exploited by Europeans. The Pope has nullified any hop of economic progress in that country. And what is this consensus? If we all agree on something it does not make it fact only hard evidence demonstrates the truth of any proposition. The Left just use this phrase to demonise any opposition. There are thousands of scientists who oppose the crisis of human global warming but they get no media coverage and indeed they were even silenced recently at the Vatican.

  20. Can these knotheads even envision what the world would look like if we banned all nuclear energy and fossil fuels? Hint-it will not resemble a 70’s Coke commercial.

  21. John Kearney writes, “only hard evidence demonstrates the truth of any proposition.”

    But it is not on the basis of demonstrable truth that practical men – men of business, statesmen and others – conduct their affairs. As Walter Bagehot explains, “Most men of business love a sort of twilight. They have lived all their lives in an atmosphere of probabilities and of doubt, where nothing is very clear, where there are some chances for many events, where there is much to be said for several courses, where nevertheless one course must be determinedly chosen and fixedly adhered to… They got rich themselves by transactions of which they could not have stated the argumentative ground…” Most of the delegates at Paris will be men of this stamp.

    Besides, as Aristotle observed, Λόγοσ ούδέν κινεί – Reason moves nothing. If you want people to act, to declare war on Philip of Macedon or pull down the Bastille, or storm the Winter Palace, you must inspire them with passion, say, indignation and (moderate) fear. That’s the recipe.

  22. Meanwhile, ISIS, a brutal throwback to the Bronze Age, is reducing the carbon footprint of thousands of Christians in the Middle East.

  23. “Preservation of the environment, promotion of sustainable development and particular attention to climate change are matters of grave concern for the entire human family. With increasing clarity, scientific research demonstrates that the impact of human actions in any one place or region can have worldwide effects.”
    ~Pope Benedict XVI, Message for the 2007 World Day of Peace, 8.

  24. “Preservation of the environment, promotion of sustainable development and particular attention to climate change are matters of grave concern for the entire human family. With increasing clarity, scientific research demonstrates that the impact of human actions in any one place or region can have worldwide effects.”

    You are comparing two sentences in a general speech to issuing an entire encyclical while religious freedom is under attack around the world and Christians are being slaughtered in the Middle East and Africa?

  25. Of course, operating on this disputable “knowledge” at the UN and world wide level raises issues of violation of the Principle of Subsidiarity…..

  26. I suppose we can assume that The Eye of the Tiber will report that all Masses must forevermore be said only with “chilled wine?

  27. “I suppose we can assume that The Eye of the Tiber will report that all Masses must forevermore be said only with “chilled wine?”

    Chilling wine uses energy and is thus a no-no. What will be prescribed is certified organic, free trade wine and non-genetically modified whole wheat hosts.

  28. One side in the climate debate has repeatedly falsified data, conspired to deny critics a forum to express legitimate scientific dissent, born false witness against those critics regarding their motivations, used whatever legal, social and professional means are available to silence and punish “deniers”, used schools and mass media to frighten children, and, to top it off profited from the fear and chaos. Pope Francis has just aligned himself with these people. Rather than ask whether or not one can receive the Eucharist while disagreeing with Francis, perhaps we should be asking whether anyone who legitimize and support perjury, fraud, false witness and lays out a pathway to global tyranny should be presiding at mass and handling the Eucharist.

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