PopeWatch: Priorities

Here is the response thus far of Pope Francis in regard to the United States Supreme Court mandating gay marriage:


In other news, the Pope has appointed Left wing activist Naomi Klein to co-chair a Vatican conference on the environment.  Klein views climate change as an opportunity to ditch capitalism:

Klein is likely to be a highly controversial choice as co-chair, not only because it is unusual to see a non-religious figure leading sessions in the Vatican, but because she is staunchly socialist in her outlook: her most recent book is entitled This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate.

In it, she insists that the only way to save the planet from annihilation by climate change is to abandon capitalism. “In order for us to make the kind of progress we need to make in the short amount of time we have left we must confront the reigning, unquestioned ideology that sees privatization as always good, and doesn’t question the logic of austerity, doesn’t question the logic of pro-corporate, free trade deals that have stood in the way of progress on climate,” she told Macleans last year.

“That’s not necessarily the most popular message. But emissions are up 61 percent since we started trying to fix this problem in the early 1990s. Obviously, that strategy isn’t working.”

Her views chime with those of the Pope, who used the 180-page encyclical to call on rich countries to hand over large sums of money to poor countries as payment for their “grave social debt”.

“The foreign debt of poor countries has become a way of controlling them, yet this is not the case where ecological debt is concerned,” Francis wrote. “In different ways, developing countries, where the most important reserves of the biosphere are found, continue to fuel the development of richer countries at the cost of their own present and future.

“The developed countries ought to help pay this debt by significantly limiting their consumption of non-renewable energy and by assisting poorer countries to support policies and programmes of sustainable development.”

Klein has praised the Pope for that stance, telling the Observer: “The fact that they invited me indicates they’re not backing down from the fight. A lot of people have patted the pope on the head, but said he’s wrong on the economics. I think he’s right on the economics.”

She added that the Pope’s unique position as a “moral voice” gave him leverage to unite campaigners fighting for a common goal. “The holistic view of the encyclical should be a catalyst to bring together the twin economic and climate crises, instead of treating them separately,” she said.

And she tacitly accused his detractors of racism, suggesting that the Pope was being opposed on the economic arguments because he’s from the Southern hemisphere, saying: “There are a lot of people who are having a lot of trouble in realising there is a voice with such global authority from the global south. That’s why we’re getting this condescending view, of ‘leave the economics to us’,”

Unfortunately for Klein (and the Pope), her writing makes it clear that she has little grasp of basic concepts used in science such as cause and effect or numbers. Four years ago she attended the Heartland Institute’s climate conference in order to critique it.

The Australian climate blogger Jo Nova quickly and comprehensively destroyed her critique, however, saying: “Naomi Klein was the wrong person to send to a heavy-weight science conference  — in “Capitalism vs Climate” she notices hundreds of details, but they’re all the wrong ones.

“The lights are on and no brain is home.  Unpack the loquacious pencraft and we wallow in innumerate arguments that confuse cause and effect, peppered with petulant name-calling. She can throw stones, but she can’t count past “one”.”

Go here to Breitbart to read the rest.  The Vatican has its priorities, and defending marriage is obviously near the bottom, while bashing capitalism is near the top.


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  1. If arms dealers (not so much the users) are evil because they provide the means for evil doers to do their evil, then one has to at least consider the same concept as a result of this “Green (red) encyclical. It is Marxists and radicals of all types that see this as ammunition to be used for their evil.
    Such lack of consideration for who are its appointed and empowered “advocates,” “trustees” and salespeople, “in view of the inevitable and obvious misuse to come, raises serious doubts about its efficacy for good.
    If ammunition creators are wrong to provide weapons for evil then such should also apply to poorly thought out Green (red)encyclicals.

  2. In the encyclical the Pope calls for dialogue and we see rather a hard driven agenda on disply heading into the December summit. Heading to the October Synod, the Pope calls for an open dialogue while appointing Kasperites as advisors and bishops. I see a pattern. He loads the issue in accordance with his motives while attempting to appear conciliatory. Personally, I prefer and expect candor in a Pope or cleric…..but I’m a bit old fashioned, dare I say orthodox, in my sensibilities.

  3. I’m sensing Klein is not buying the dip in the stock market this week caused by Greece faultering.
    Don’t call in for your 401K balance for maybe a few weeks. It’s going to dip. I went to 40% cash last Thursday to buy the dip. Art Deco said it more eloquently the other day. I’ll be rude. The clergy never had to show a profit in a real job for five years of their life…they live by donations unless they write. If Francis was losing parishioners in Argentina, he still had a salary and a roof. If a bakery in Argentina was losing customers, the baker really loses. The clergy doesn’t really lose.
    In fact losing parishioners may mean you and the hundred left are the remnant….the eight people on the ark. Failure can be success in the spiritual world or can be called that. The baker can’t claim that if he loses bread customers.
    Klein sold a book. That’s capitallism. Someone started that book making company by perhaps borrowing capital and paying back that loan by selling Klein’s book. Capitalism is normal commerce.
    It’s nature. It can be sinned against as when bad mortgages and good mortgages were bundled together in 2007 in derivatives that were falsely sold with high ratings. But that was not capitalism. That was its abuse. Tyson was not boxing when he bit Holyfield’s ear off. That was the abuse of boxing. Klein should be fighting the abuses of capitalism…not capitalism which is nature. People are fleeing into capitalist countries…poor people are fleeing towards us….not away….and from about five nominally Catholic countries that are limping. Maybe Pope Francis should be writing an encyclical on why countries on the Catholic continent are limping so much that their poor are trying to get here.

  4. Good piece. I read about Heidi, but you gave some more good info. It’s all coming down to a Third World shakedown while letting the Germans write their own ticket on morals. Some days it’s tempting to just pack up the blog and pretend this is just a bad dream I’ll wake up from after hibernating.

  5. Ecology is basically the study of living things and their environment–thus man and the economic markets he creates are indeed a core aspect of his natural ecology (Did not St. Joseph sell his carpentry work?)
    Market vary–from free, to command (which cause underground black markets)
    The pope seems to have chosen to replicate those command market systems (redistribution by Marxist’s Caesars) that have historically done the worst for the environment while enslaving its people. (I still image those Vopos machine-gunning those little kids )
    The question isn’t so much which market system abuses economics, as it is which market system most abuses people.
    The answer comes down to moral teaching being imbedded–good markets come from good people. Perhaps if the Church focused upon eradicating sin as a priority instead of choosing a failed economic system or playing with science hoaxes, man’s lot here on earth might be bettered.

  6. The Pope put in charge of the conference a Canadian journalist with no background in science, technology, or resource economics and whose current employment is writing polemics for The Nation and The Guardian? The Holy See now has a very high Injelitance Quotient. Thanks, Francis.

  7. Don? St Pope JPII agrees with you in Centissimus Annus teaching that society and the dignity of the person need a virtuous democratic polity, free markets and associations, and a vigorous Church. He recognized our failings in a free enterprise system but also the evil inherent to a command market, ie socialism and its evil siblings.

  8. Thanks Cthemfly. Having a pope agree with my thinking (or vice versa) was once something to help me sleep peacefully. Now I tend to wake often.
    I corrected that Don “?” back to Don L, though I might just consider changing my last name to “?” if the world and the Church keeps going crazy as it has.

  9. according to Wikipedia Naomi Kleins grandparents were Communists – until they found out they were the wrong kind. Klein has no scientific degree and no economics degree and no college degree at all.
    I wonder if the secular Klein is not an atheist? Wiki stated that Klein encouraged the deadbeats from the Occupy movement to join the environmental movement. This pope is a real doozy.

  10. They will be forced to contort the spin on the imminent decline and fall of two social justice edens (Greece and Puerto Rico) or acknowledge the utter error of such unnecessary, economic Hells.

    Very soon, the Pope and the commie-catholics will be slammed with the anti-efficacy of their socialist/statist/justice credo.

  11. That’s why yesterday it was “No pence for Peter!” Sunday for the Shaw. If the parish doesn’t shape up, they’re cut off, too.

  12. Yes, I did not pay Peter his pence and have substantially decreased contributions to my parish. I do give now to other, solid Catholic organizations.

  13. Wonder whether the pences are the how the newly appointed personnel are paid. In any case, there are similarities to situations giving rise to the phrase, ‘your tax dollars at work.’

  14. Same here Philip. And we will make our decision about the diocesan appeal in due course. We will be giving more to those who serve the Body of Christ and searching for others. Up next and quickly, loss of tax status for not only Church but our many brigades of authentic charity. That will mean a recusant tax for Catholics as we carry on the mission while paying higher taxes than others who give to IRS approved charities. But hey the USCCB loves that income tax and besides….global warming.

  15. It is my understanding that one of the chief Commandments of the Church is to contribute to the support of our pastors.
    Comments here manifest some of the snares laid out for us, and the magnitude and depth of our current crisis. Because of our pastors [including the Pope], it is becoming difficult for us to pray [or end up praying badly] and support them and some of us are succumbing to the temptation and failing to do what is incumbent upon us.
    King David has made a deep impression on me in many ways and example. When anointed but not yet king, he had the opportunity to kill Saul who sought his life despite all David had done for him, yet he did not kill him because Saul was the anointed of the LORD. Let’s do what we ought to do and leave the rest to the LORD, he knows best.

  16. We are to contribute to the support of our pastors as they are entitled to pay to meet their needs. This is a basic matter of justice as a worker is entitled to his pay.

    But what if a worker is not doing his job properly? Justice is a two-way street and the employer is entitled to good work. So hat worker in justice is fired. Can one do that with the Church? Of course not. So how does one make one’s voice heard? Remember, we are not passive “pay and pray” figures in the pews. We are rational beings that have dignity also and can voice our disgust with the abuses in the Church – including turning it into a irrational political machine. The most immediate way to do this is through collections.

    If you note also, what is not being funded is Peter’s Pence. This is to fund charitable works of the Pope. This does not pay him and quite possibly no other cleric. I can see the point of Peter’s Pence as there are plenty of charitable works of very deserving people. Now they are getting it directly from me.

    And all through this I pray very faithfully and daily for the Pope and bishops.

    So my conscience is very clear.

  17. I have boycotted the annual bishops fund for the poor (which helped Obama’s election via ACORN) and Catholic Relief Service (and their rice bowls) are in the hands of the wrong people.
    I have changed my almsgiving with far more care, and more money.
    I suspect a movement in this direction might get results, but the masses of sheep have little idea what’s going on with our charities or don’t care.
    But, soon the UN or nations will e distributing (after confiscation) whatever we have anyway–to save the planet.

  18. When silence can make your day. In my Cathedral parish Peter’s Pence was not mentioned and no collection was taken, Also, Laudato Si has not been mentioned in the pulpit or the parish bulletin.

  19. @Phillip: their “employer” is the LORD.
    @Don L: When reports came in regarding CRS [seem to have confirmation after what I have come to learn about Dr. Woo and from her own utterances], and in my parish [and I believe the diocese] the Lenten practices [fasting and almsgivings] contribute to CRS Rice Bowl, I felt uneasy about my family and I contributing to it. What I ended doing was giving our contribution to the parish stating it was from our Lenten practices. What they do with it, they are responsible for it before the LORD.

  20. Then he can pay them. Not sure whether you intended this to be a “smart-alecky” comment. If you put on a serious hat, you will realise you are throwing this into the LORD’s face and not into me.
    @Phillip: and his command from scripture and via his Church is that the payment comes from the faithful. From your own writing, it ought to be clear what you ought to do, yet you say your conscience is your guide.
    We know what the LORD said about the elders of the people, yet he paid the temple tax [which he was exempt because he was the Son], and recall the poor widow who contributed all she had. According to you, what an opportunity Jesus missed to tell her to keep her money because the elders were not doing their work and did not deserve it.
    You cannot uphold you position from Church teaching and scripture.

  21. “Not sure whether you intended this to be a “smart-alecky” comment.”
    It was meant in the same tenor as your comment. What was that?
    Payment indeed comes from the faithful but it is for faithful work. If you read my comments not only do I still contribute to my parish (though much reduced and to cover basic costs because there are also many unfaithful activities taking place there and in the diocese) but also to other religious organizations who I believe are being more faithful.

    Also if you read my comments, Peter’s Pence is not about paying clerics but contributing to charitable institutions. I am doing that also as pointed out.

    So not only am I paying for Church upkeep but at the same time choking off unfaithful activities. At the same time I am paying for more faithful Church organizations.

    Thus again, my conscience is clear.

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