Bad Science and Worse Religion


Weird Smoke


Father George Rutler explains why the Saint Peter’s light show was bad science and bad religion walking hand in hand:

There are legitimate ways to consider the significance of carbon emissions in relation to variations in solar activity, changes in the terrestrial orbit and axis, fluctuations in gamma ray activity, and tectonic shifts, and the solid fact that Earth has been warmer than it is now in 7,000 of the last 10,000 years, but hypotheses should not be pronounced as conclusions. And if the Church’s “voice crying in the desert” is to be prophetic, it should not cry wolf. Nor should the Church allow herself to be appropriated by political elites, business interests, and what Santillana in the instance of the Renaissance called “vested academic interests,” whose tendency is to exploit benevolent, if emotive, environmentalists.

So it was perplexing that on the recent Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the feast itself was upstaged by an unprecedented light show cast on the façade of St. Peter’s Basilica, sponsored by the World Bank Group, an environmental foundation called Okeanos, and Vulcan, Inc., a Seattle-based private company dedicated to exposing “sins against the climate.” Sins? These interests may have good intentions, but the parameters of banking, business and academe do not include imputing sin. There may be offenses and even crimes against the balance of the ecosystem, but not sins, unless science really has become a religion. The irony is that many who impute sins to those who disrupt the balance of nature, also defend and promote unnatural acts among humans. Although the Immaculate Conception was neglected by the New Age light show with its flying birds and leaping porpoises, it is consoling to remember that the Virgin Mary was completely free of sins against the climate, and departed this world without leaving any carbon footprint.

In the saga of environmentalism, the eleventh century Anglo-Scandinavian King Canute is often mistakenly evoked as a symbol of arrogance for setting his throne up on an English beach, possibly at Westminster or West Sussex or Southampton, and ordering the tides to roll back. The details are vague,  but the real point of the story is that Canute deliberately choreographed that drama to instruct his flattering courtiers in the limits of earthly power against the seas and skies. They had preened that their king could slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet. The tides did not withdraw, the king and his court got wet and Canute declared: “Let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings, for there is none worthy of the name, but He whom heaven, earth, and sea obey by eternal laws.”  It was a warning for scientists flattered by clerics, and clerics flattered by scientists. King Canute’s performance was better than any flamboyant light show. Better still, King Canute then placed his crown on the great crucifix in Winchester Cathedral and never wore it again.  In matters of speculative science, it would be edifying to see the members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the directors of the World Bank Group, corporate executives, and academics, do the same.


Go here to read the rest.  The prestige and resources of the Church are being prostituted in the service of bad science.  This is a deeply shameful moment in the history of the Church.  Even more shameful are the huge numbers of Catholics silent or supportive as to this sad spectacle.

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  1. Good post. Environmentalism is nothing more than the resurrected pagan worship of goddess Gaia.

  2. Great post. Pope Francis has drunk from the well of secular life, and now it’s the preferred libation. Sorry PaPa. The life giving waters would never smother the feast of the Immaculata Conception with a dog and pony show on St. Peters dome. Never!

    Mother Mary, our Lady of sorrows, pray for us!

  3. The photo of the light show follows naturally the one of the lightning strike on St Peters a few years (actually, eons) ago

  4. Not only bad science and bad religion, but if one looks closely at the smoke above the edifice, one sees demonic images embedded in the dark shroud hovering over Saint Peter’s. It needs to be swept clean. It is very disturbing to me, just as when Bergoglio stepped out onto the conclave. I can’t explain my revulsion.

  5. Again, why does Pope Francis reject the science of the DNA of the individual, newly begotten child of God and embrace the science of climate change. A house divided against itself shall not stand. How will Pope Francis explain his prejudice, his bias and his denial of the Immaculate Conception of the innocent soul of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Can the sovereign person who is Pope Francis grow to spiritual maturity without the truth of Jesus Christ?

  6. “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor”…ratified by all of the states.
    Has Pope Francis read our Founding Principles?
    Neither Pope Francis nor Obama can ratify any document without the People in the Magisterium and the Congress.

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