Tell Us What You Really Think About the Green Encyclical Maureen



Memo to self: Never get Maureen Mullarkey mad at me:


A strain of inadvertent comedy runs through “Laudato Si.” Il Papa assumes the posture of governess to the world—Mary Poppins on the Throne of Peter. Who else could align the magisterium of the Catholic Church with exhortation to turn off the air conditioner, shut the lights, and be sure to recycle? For this Christ died: to atone for petroleum products. And for carbon emissions from private cars carrying only one or two people.

For this Christ died: to atone for petroleum products. And for carbon emissions from private cars carrying only one or two people.

While Christians in the birthplaces of Christianity are crucified and beheaded for their faith, young girls are kidnapped and sold for the price of a pack of cigarettes, our encyclical whines: “In many parts of the planet, the elderly lament that once beautiful landscapes are now covered with rubbish.”

There is more in that letter-to-the-editor vein: “Neighbourhoods, even those recently built, are congested, chaotic and lacking in sufficient green space. We were not meant to be inundated by cement, asphalt, glass and metal, and deprived of physical contact with nature.”

Of course not. We were meant to live in a beautiful, walled-in enclave like Vatican City with splendid gardens, a throng of world-class museums, its own armed gendarmerie aligned with Interpol, and an impenetrable immigration policy.

Gospel quotations are bent to serve. In the chapter “The Gaze of Jesus,” we read this: “98. Jesus lived in full harmony with creation, and others were amazed: ‘What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?’ (Mt 8:27).”

That passage from Matthew has not a thing to do with harmony. Rather, it tells of Jesus’ dominion over nature. It is a statement of authority, of lordship over the natural order. The verse complements one from John: “He that cometh from above is above all.” By abolishing the scriptural intuition of power and might, the truncated quotation makes Jesus a screen on which to project a chimera of cosmic equality.


Go here to The Federalist to read the furious rest.  Having read every word of the Green Encyclical, I suspect the most charitable interpretation of it might be as a huge Papal practical joke.

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  1. Maureen has been right about the Pope’s character and agenda since the early stages even to the point of being criticized by her editor at First Things. I admire her greatly and as one who appreciates bluntness, in a St Pope Pius X sort of way, I find her insights refreshing. Let’s quit playing faux nice with these bishops and the Pope. Bluntness is more charitable than the make believe world of sickenimg dialogue and tolerance for the intolerable.

  2. I was recently in a conversation with my older uncle-by-marriage on the encyclical, and I wanted to point out its utter triviality, saccharine, and arrogance – but I decided to say that it had value (swallowed my vomit at that lie) because it said we should care about the environment, and address the bigger issue, which was that the pope’s moral authority is kinda like the moral authority of anybody else you give moral authority – in that it concerns morality

    Pick your battles with your uncle who hasn’t read it yet. But to the general public, we can’t afford to pretend that this thing screams anything but lack of effort…except maybe desperation to be cool.

  3. Thanks for the link to a fresh, nicely organized article with a cohesive perspective at this point in time when anything but acceptance is deemed hateful intolerance.
    From the comments:
    “As one commenter pointed out elsewhere, we have greater problems to attend to in the Church than what this encyclical deals with. It’s like watching our house burn down while we’re worried of the lawn being scorched.”
    and something about a beanie with a helicopter …

  4. Brilliant! Who could say it better? One imagines that somewhere along the line Pope Francis lost his faith and consequently has nothing to say to the Catholic world that would be helpful. Instead he has now taken up the cause of environmental wackos who actually seem to believe in what they do. And, not to be dismissed, is the world wide progressive acclaim he receives for doing their bidding. Unfortunate for him there is no left wing god up there to give him his reward. But there is Another One who will have something to give him and it won’t be a reward.

  5. Patricia wrote, “[W]e have greater problems to attend to in the Church than what this encyclical deals with. It’s like watching our house burn down while we’re worried of the lawn being scorched.””

    But people never put their desire for goodness, truth and beauty on hold, however adverse the circumstances. Like Socrates, they conduct metaphysical discussions in the condemned cell; like Archimedes, they ponder mathematical theorems in beleaguered cities, like St Thomas More, they crack jokes on the scaffold, like Wolfe, they discuss the latest poem whilst scaling the Heights of Abraham; like Leonidas and his hoplites, they dress each other’s hair in the Pass of Thermopylae.

    Perhaps, at the end of the day, we are all like William the Conqueror’s minstrel, Taillefer, riding alone into the English ranks, juggling with his sword and singing the Song of Roland – Of Roland, defeated and dying in the Pass of Roncevaux.

  6. Maureen is correct: the Gospel is about saving men from the fires of hell, NOT from anthropogenic global warming. We have a horrible President and a horrible Pope – both simultaneously Maybe God has given us what we deserve.

  7. The Bible tells us that sheep know their shepherd by his voice. Half the sheep re running left while the other half are running to the right and I’m having serious audio problems and am getting little more than garbled sounds.

    Perhaps we are, Michael Paterson-Seymour, in less than legendary, heroic, as yet tragic degrees.
    That “people never put their desire for goodness, truth and beauty on hold, however adverse the circumstances.”, whether that desire is manifest in word or deed, must be a grace given by our Lord to accomplish His will. ?
    The paper in question seems infirm in serving to greater glorify Him, who established the office of its origin.
    That house/lawn comment is copied and pasted from the Federalist article, by the way.

  9. Without air-conditioning, would Florida be as developed as it is? Would Arizona have as large a population as it contains? Why stop with air-conditioning? Consider refrigeration. The more one thinks of it, the obvious it becomes that our century of progress has enabled the very existence of the current population of the world. Do not these give glory to God, or are they merely a regrettable burden on the biosphere?

  10. @Michael Dowd: “… along the line Pope Francis lost his faith …”
    This is becoming manifestly clear. To me, even his comportment and exterior actions lack Catholic sensibility. There is a general unwholesomeness about him and again to me, from behind his eyes, there is something really sinister lurking. I recall recent comment and it did not seem to be from a Catholic, and it said, ‘this is not a holy man’.

  11. Pope Francis is prophetic. Some reject his prophetic role because he warns of hell to pay if we continue our unsustainable course on earth. Those who monopolize the earth are not sharing with their fellow creatures. They rip the resources from the earth without paying the cost. If that cost was paid, it would decrease the wantonly despoliation of the earth. In addition, the revenue obtained from paying the cost could be distributed in the same fashion as the Alaska oil dividend. But the dividend in this case would be much greater since the earth holds more natural resources than just a finite supply of cheap fossil fuels.

  12. Ernest wrote: “But the dividend in this case would be much greater since the earth holds more natural resources than just a finite supply of cheap fossil fuels.”
    Those resources are uranium and thorium with which a population of 12 billion can be provided energy at the consumption rate of the average American for tens of millennia. It is that fact which an Argentinian Marxist Peronist Pontiff cannot understand and does not accept. No prophet is he.

  13. Those natural resources are not just uranium and thorium. Natural resources include land, water, minerals, fossil fuels, and even the air waves. Something that all natural resources have in common is that they are underpriced to the user through public subsidies and a lack of rental collection for the privilege of monopolization of the commons.
    As for the utopian dream of electricity too cheap to meter using uranium and thorium, the market disagrees. In fact utilities originally rejected nuclear power without government guarantees. The market was right. Nuclear power is subsidized. And still there is no repository for spent fuel and waste. Just pie in the sky promises.

  14. Ernest, you speak like a true anti-nuclear wacko. The too cheap to meter phrase came in the 1950s in reference to fusion not fission power. Fusion power is still 50 years away and the European ITER will bring it no closer. As for utilities and subsidies, you are wrong. Useless worthless solar and wind are subsidized, but nuclear is hamstrung by precautionary principle excessive govt regulation initiated by anti-nuclear nit wits who then complain nuclear is uneconomicaly when they and their eco-wackism have made it that way. It is almost 10 pm. I have no time to argue nuclear with anti-nuclear wackoes. Bye.

  15. Paul W Primavera wrote, “Those resources are uranium and thorium… “

    You should not overlook the other resources – copper, iron, tin, as well as silver and gold, that in this country (Scotland) have always belonged to the Crown (as representing the public) as part of the Regalia, or to its assignees. In addition, all the non-renewable resources, such as chalk, clay, sand, gravel and other useful minerals belong to the Crown or to the subject superior, not the proprietor or vassal, even under a general disposition of the land. Similarly, salmon fisheries belong to the Crown or its assignee and the timber rights and the game rights, belong to the superior.

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