Bp. Vasa’s (D. Baker) 2010 predictions

A reader sent me this serious yet amusing bit:

The following hoaxes/myths will be exposed in 2010:
 
Manmade global warming
Atheistic evolution
Relativism is the only absolute
Abortion is "health care"
Nobody can do health care better than the government
A Catholic can be pro-choice
The government will take care of you
How Obama saved America
America no longer needs God
 
Come, Lord Jesus!
 
The Most Rev. Robert F. Vasa is bishop of Baker, Oregon.

 

UPDATE:

Here is the source for those predictions.  Check out Inside Catholic.

An emailer asked me why my predictions weren’t on their page.  I wasn’t asked for any.  Thus, I posted them today, HERE.

Fr. Z’s predictions for 2010

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28 Responses to Bp. Vasa’s (D. Baker) 2010 predictions

  1. Prof. Basto says:

    ok. This is His Excellency’s list, and there are things in it that every Catholic is bound to regard as hoaxes indeed, that should be exposed as such.

    But at least one belief included in the list is not of the kind that all Catholics need to reject: the belief in manmade global warming.

    Here in this site we tend to be tradition-minded Catholics, and those, at least in America, tend to have right wing political leanings, but we shouldn’t confuse Catholic beliefs and tenets with the ideas, beliefs and tenets that are espoused by a certain section of the Conservative political faction.

    One can believe in manmade global warming and be a good Catholic, in good standing with the Church.

    This is not a religious issue, and one may accept or reject the scientific findings that point to manmade global warming without denying one iota of the Catholic teaching on Faith and Morals.

    The problem is that, being signed by a Bishop and containing an invocation of the Lord’s Name, this list adds to the confusion between Catholic tenets and tenets that are not related to the Catholic religion but are in vogue in the right-wing political environment, giving somehow the false impression that the rejection of manmade global warming is an element of the Catholic faith.

  2. lofstrr says:

    The questions of scientific fraud and lying to the public in order to obtain grant money and influence political decisions, however, is one of morals and therefore within the scope of the Churches interest.

    I would agree that the Church should be neutral about the ultimate outcome of the scientific findings much as it was and should have been about the question of the geocentrism vs heliocentrism so many centuries ago. The truth is the truth and finding it is good. But the Church and the rest of society has every right to be concerned that the “Rules” of scientific inquiry are being followed. What is going on with global warming right now is not science and it is damaging the publics trust in the neutrality of scientists.

    Global warming may very well be a problem but now we can’t know if it really is. That may very well be the real danger.

  3. Henry Edwards says:

    Prof. Basto: One can believe in manmade global warming and be a good Catholic, in good standing with the Church. This is not a religious issue …

    Actually, there are possible underlying moral issues that comes to mind. Almost all scientific research is funded by government grants. In applying for the government grant that ordinarily is necessary for carrying out the research, one must describe in detail the research to be carried out, what its goals are, etc.

    Now suppose that two equally qualified scientists submit a research grant proposal to a U.S. government agency. One’s research (if successful) will substantiate a man-made component to global warming, the other’s (if successful) will refute it.

    Which proposal do you expect will be funded?

    Is there a moral issue here, if almost all scientific research that supports man-made global warming has been bought and paid for on the basis of promised results?

    And if these bought-and-paid-for results are used as the basis for social programs that transfer wealth from one class or nation to another?

  4. JonM says:

    Speaking for myself and the counterforce to the anthropogenic global warming/climate change movement, we are totally convinced beyond any shred of doubt that this is an enormous hoax.

    Many benefit from this. Marketing agencies and departments now emphasize a product’s alleged ‘green-ness’ instead of its benefits (or for that matter, the non-CO2 impact of production). Wall Street stands to make a new fortune off of CO2 credit sales and trading. Current CO2 emitters stand to pull in quite a haul if they are written into the CO2 regulation bill. Enemies of the Church and humanity like the Rockefellers will continue their push for abortion, contraception, and euthanasia.

    Given that we know now that the ‘experts’ have been lying about temperature data, that temperatures plateaued about seven years ago despite a firm increase in man-made CO2 (c/o Australia’s government global warming ministry), and that the original physicist who proposed the CO2 as a greenhouse gas hypothesis have gone on record saying that their formula is objectively wrong, it is very orthodox of a bishop to point out this mass error and in many cases lie.

    The Holy Father needs an advisor like Most Rev. Robert Vasa.

  5. iowapapist says:

    Man made global warming has been exposed as a fraudulent theory by the lack of evidence in support of the claims (there exists no scientific consensus), the emails from East Anglia University which show a concerted effort to suppress facts which do not agree with the theory and a simple excercise in “following the money” to find that supporters of the theory have much to gain in terms of money and power (e.g. T. Boone Pickens, Nancy Pelosi, Al Gore and even entities associated with “Wall Street” as a cap in trade policy would create another commodities market, albeit an unnecessary one). The Bishop has acted within the scope of his duties by addressing matters that are purely false and will certainly be employed to create deeper divisions between the wealthy and poor while giving impetus and credibility to the population control police. Jesus is truth; thankfully, there is a bishop willing to proclaim it.

  6. Oneros says:

    I totally agree with Basto. I’m tired of trads and neocons being “right wing” politically just defined by America’s idiotic “political spectrum”. Man made global warming is a fact. The only “scientists” who disagree are politically and economically motivated. The fact that the Cable News folks spun this into a political issue is ridiculous. Just because environmentalism became associated with “hippies” and new age Earth-mother worshiping freaks…doesnt mean that “conservatives” need to knee-jerk react against that by simplistically taking the polar opposite position and looking like red-neck fools.

    I also worry that the thing about “atheistic evolution” is some sort of veiled reference to Intelligent Design, which is likewise bunk. While people like Richard Dawkins trying to argue that evolution disproves God are also crazy…people trying to argue that there is scientific or statistical evidence in material biology that requires an intelligent creator, are misinformed about biology AND theology.

    The arguments for the existence of God available in nature are METAphysical ones, not physical ones. The purely material question of mutation and natural selection is, from the standpoint of the scientific method, God-neutral, just like the existence of gravity or magnetism or a solar flare. Science determines what happened and how. “Why” in terms of underlying meaning or ultimate reality…is a question for philosophers and theologians, not scientists. Whether the events of mutation and selection were just “random” fluctuations of some deterministic system, the result of Multiple Universe histories splitting at each quantum “choice”, or (as we believe) of God’s Providence…is a philosophical one, not a scientific one. A universe of “random” events playing out would hypothetically look externally the same as one Providentially guided. Science remains neutral on that question.

    Likewise, the jabs at government healthcare are another problem with mixing right-wing politics with orthodox religion. Conservative Catholic voices risk becoming just the mouthpiece of the Republican platform when they say stuff like this (as they did when they supported the unjust war in Iraq). The bishops SUPPORT healthcare reform, and were fine with a public option. The State does not exist to defend the interests of the Market, as lots of conservatives seem to believe, but to establish justice, ensure the general welfare and, hopefully, to advance the interests of Civil Society.

  7. Philippus says:

    Dear Prof:

    It becomes a moral issue when the government decides it is going to take action the only way it knows how – taking away our reproductive rights. Do tell me one plan that comes to mind that is a useful proposition to stopping, reversing or slowing down global warming that does not have to do with population control. That’s the basis on which I judge things that are bogus or not.

  8. StevenDunn says:

    I strongly agree with both Prof. Basto and Oneros. Conservative, traditional Catholicism exists independently of right-wing American politics.

  9. Genevieve says:

    Fr. Z,
    your friend is very optimistic if he thinks all those things will be exposed as frauds in the next 12 months.

  10. EXCHIEF says:

    How does one explain the scientific evidence that the earth warmed and cooled multiple times before man first inhabited the earth?

    Impact on the environment (including the economic environment) has been used in some countries (China as an example) to mandate both contraception and abortion. Moral issue!

    While I guess it is possible to be a trad Catholic and not be conservative politically I think to not be one in the same is almost a logical inconsistency.

    For some of us the hoaxes listed by Bp Vasa have already been exposed long ago.

  11. Paul M says:

    Dear Prof:

    It becomes a moral issue when the government decides it is going to take action the only way it knows how – taking away our reproductive rights. Do tell me one plan that comes to mind that is a useful proposition to stopping, reversing or slowing down global warming that does not have to do with population control. That’s the basis on which I judge things that are bogus or not.
    Comment by Philippus — 5 January 2010 @ 2:19 pm

    A Sept. 2009 article in the UK Telegraph pushed this very point: http://bit.ly/Fg3Yd

  12. chironomo says:

    How depressing…

    I was under the impression that the man-made global warming thing had long ago become the domain of political hacks and carbon-credit traders with a dog in the fight. Does anybody really believe in it anymore? Did anybody ever really believe in it? Sure, we need to reduce pollution and all, but how does that translate into Co2 being a hazardous substance which needs to be regulated and traded by an international financial instruments trading scheme? Ironically, I’m writing this while having to wear a sweater in Southern Florida because it’s so darn COLD outside!

  13. Brian Day says:

    Prof Basto wrote in part: “Here in this site we tend to be tradition-minded Catholics, and those, at least in America, tend to have right wing political leanings…”

    “Right Wing Political Leanings”
    Dear Professor, I think you need to define that term. My impression is that many, if not a plurality of the commenters here would fall within a “center-right” political philosophy. Maybe you would agree but call everyone who is right-of-center “right-wing”.
    To help define the term, please list an American politician who you would consider; 1) left-wing, 2) center-left, 3) center, 4) center-right, and 5) right-wing.

    And I agree with others here who caution against conflating religious tenets/terms with political positions/terms.

    As a tradition-minded Catholic myself, how would you describe my belief in subsidiarity and how it relates to a general dislike of the current trend to federalize everything, including heath care?

  14. PomeroyJohn says:

    I see that Bp. Vasa will have been Bishop for 10 years at the end of this month. Maybe he’ll be given a promotion to the diocese directly north of Baker City as that bishop is now 75 and 10 months old.

  15. JMody says:

    Yes we can believe in global warming, and yes, it will be shown to be a fraud/myth/hoax.

    I would say that someone who takes his Catholic faith seriously would look at just a few of the facts so far and concede that yes, we should pollute less, but as God made us stewards of the Earth, He did not set up something so fragile — He knows our potential, after all:
    + Climate-gate e-mails show very clearly that the leaders of the “settled science” have behaved in a criminal way and have skewed the public record through fraud and intimidation. It is, as put forward by the likes of Jones and Mann and Gore, based on a lie.
    + For many years now, people have pointed to apparent cooling trends, and PRESTO! it was not “global warming” it was “climate change”. The beauty of this turn of phrase meant that anytime the weather was not exactly as yesterday or last year, it MUST be because the US has SUV’s. Warm spell is because of climate change, cold spell is because of climate change, and a neutral spell is because of climate change. As people have said in other fields, when no evidence can disprove a theory, it is not a theory, it is an ideology.
    + If we look at the proposed fix, and see that it is nothing more than bald-faced global socialism (shake down USA, Japan, Western Europe, and provide money to thug dictators in the “developing world” who haven’t developed a flippin’ thing with the mountains of loot they’ve already been given by these nations), I would HOPE that we would recall the instruction of popes like Bl. Pius XI, et pred., who warned us that this is an inherently immoral form of organizing.

    So yes, by all means conserve and steward the resources wisely, but Global Warming is a fraud, and will soon be acknowledged as such the world over.

  16. JMody says:

    And as far as mimicking in the name of Faith something that one political party or the other says, if you believe in an absolute Truth, and one side happens to defy that Truth at every turn, whether through the mulching of the unborn, or the expropriation of private property, or the promotion of libertine deviancy, or the destruction of the family through no-fault divorce, contraception, and so-called-gay so-called-marriage, then the other side will say things that tend to echo the Church. One cannot oppose abortion without saying SOME things in ways similar to what the Church says about abortion. It’s sort of a logical trap, if you will.

  17. chcrix says:

    - Athestic Evolution

    Evolution, like the Big Bang is neither athestic nor theistic. It just is.

    Certain religious folks have a problem with evolution. Their problem could be stated:

    Major Premise: The Bible says that the world is only a few thousand years old
    Minor Premise: Evolution requires millions of years
    Conclusion: The Bible is false

    To avoid the conclusion they reject the minor premise. Actually they should reject the major premise i.e. reject a too literal reading of Genesis.

    The minor premise is too well established (ignoring the other sciences that also support a multi billion year old earth and universe) to be rejected. Thus such religious objections only damage the faith in the view of outsiders in the way that Augustine of Hippo warned so long ago. The Church never did anything wiser than reserve the authoritative interpretation of scripture to herself.

    – Anthropogenic Global warming

    The verdict may not have been read on this one. But the jury is filing back into their seats, and the foreman has given a meaningful wink to the defense table – expecially after the leaked documents from the CRU.

    The important thing is neither of these are matters of faith and morals and are up to each individual to examine and judge for himself. Of course, his judgement must be an informed one if we are to take it seriously.

  18. Tom Ryan says:

    Regarding #2
    Bishop Vasa wrote the forward to “The Doctrine of Genesis 1-11″

    http://kolbecenter.org/forward.htm

  19. Oneros says:

    “Do tell me one plan that comes to mind that is a useful proposition to stopping, reversing or slowing down global warming that does not have to do with population control.”

    Oh for goodness sake, there are tons of these. Namely, clean energy sources. Also, encouraging industry to be more efficient about these things through incentives. The Vatican became carbon-neutral, remember.

    And, besides, population control need not be synonymous with abortion and contraception and forced decisions on reproduction. For example, encouraging girls to go to school and have a career and MARRY LATER is an effective tactic to slow population growth without necessarily involving anything immoral (assuming the woman is also chaste before marriage). The romanticization of big Catholic families for bignesses own sake…is twisted. People in poor areas almost always have that many kids for socio-economic reasons where the child becomes a marketable commodity for the parents.

    “While I guess it is possible to be a trad Catholic and not be conservative politically I think to not be one in the same is almost a logical inconsistency.”

    A growing number of young people I know would disagree. There is nothing particularly good to support in the status quo, nor in the force-based relationships of the State or the commercially-based relationships of the Market.

    The problem with your statement is that “politically conservative” has, even in the most simplistic models, at least two value axes. Sometimes called Freedom vs Order and Freedom vs Equality, or “social” and “economic” conservatism, etc. I’d agree that trads, and Catholics in general pretty much have to be “socially” conservative inasmuch as that means defending Life and the Family and being against libertinism and secularism and such. But the other axis is much more up to debate. There is actually, I think, a growing conflict between “Conservative” Catholics and “Communitarian” Catholics. And the latter is the wave of the future.

    “one side happens to defy that Truth at every turn, whether through the mulching of the unborn, or the expropriation of private property, or the promotion of libertine deviancy, or the destruction of the family through no-fault divorce, contraception, and so-called-gay so-called-marriage, then the other side will say things that tend to echo the Church”

    I vote Republican, but reluctantly, and for only two issues: abortion and gay marriage. Otherwise, the Democratic socio-economic platform has been traditionally much more Catholic on everything from welfare to immigration to war, etc, and was the “Catholic party” up until after the 60’s.

    If the abortion issue was off the table, I might even vote Democrat even if the gay marriage issue remained, because civil marriage has become a joke anyway. I say get the State out of the marriage business. Let people form civil “partnerships” with whomever, and however many, people they want when it comes to power of attorney, inheritance, common property, visitation rights, etc…without any assumption one way or the other that such “business arrangements” are going to involve romantic relationships.

    The Republican/”conservative” Fox News side of the spectrum is hardly all Catholic. It mainly gets us on the Abortion issue (one reason why I have a nagging suspicion they DONT actually want abortion stopped: they’d lose a huge constituency if it was). Otherwise, that side of the spectrum is the side of the Military-Industrial complex, the usurious financier capitalists, crazy fundamentalist City-on-a-Hill types, war-mongers, xenophobes, etc. Your talk about “private property” is informed by a certain school of libertarian capitalists, not Catholic Social Teaching.

  20. Central Valley says:

    Oh how we need a man like bishop Vasa in Fresno, Ca. The comments in the bishops post would get priest expelled from the Fresno diocese. The democratic party rules the pastoral center in Fresno. Faithful echoing these coments would be blackballed wthin parishes.

  21. Oneros says:

    “No Fault Divorce” isnt anything to attack either, frankly. Like I said, leave the state out of the marriage business, and let civil partnerships be dissolved however. If people are staying in a marriage only because of the financial consequences of leaving…that’s hardly a good motive or “defending marriage”. It’s just economic coercion, the reverse equivalent of marrying for money.

  22. amdg123 says:

    Oneros says:
    “And, besides, population control need not be synonymous with abortion and contraception and forced decisions on reproduction. For example, encouraging girls to go to school and have a career and MARRY LATER is an effective tactic to slow population growth without necessarily involving anything immoral (assuming the woman is also chaste before marriage). The romanticization of big Catholic families for bignesses own sake…is twisted. People in poor areas almost always have that many kids for socio-economic reasons where the child becomes a marketable commodity for the parents.”

    This kind of thinking is exactly why the domestic church is in such a mess today. Look at the numbers. Families with more children divorce less. Women who marry later are rarely chaste before marriage, and then have higher rates of infertility. People in poor countries do not see their child as a commodity, but as blessing. Women seeking careers instead of families promote feminism. Humanae Vitae speaks clearly about our obligation to be generous with family size. Pope John Paul II’s encyclical, Familiaris Consortio, addresses many of these issues. It may be worth anther read.

  23. Dr. Eric says:

    It’s an acrostic that spells MARANATHA.

    His Excellency is very clever!

  24. iowapapist says:

    A poetic fantasy:

    “If Bishop Vasa were assigned to Dubuque
    Heads would spin and spew pea soup
    Faith would sparkle like the rarest of gems
    ‘midst abdicating BVM’s

    In Catholic Schools ecology and yoga
    Would go the way of the Roman toga
    For Trads perhaps there’d be regard
    And Latin Masses would not be barred

    UNICEF, with its evil proclivities
    would not be sanctioned for church activities
    Feminist nuns and rebellious priests
    could have a conversion or be released

    I know ’tis mere fantasy to hope for this end
    But as the Church is infected, I deign to pretend
    of a leader who displays courage and moxie
    In world filled with lies and heterodoxy.”

  25. bookworm says:

    Oneros and amdg123 raise important points concerning population control which need to be addressed.

    First of all, the notion that forcibly slowing down the birth rate in a poor country will cause that country to become less poor is a classic case of putting the cart before the horse. What actually happens is that as standards of living and education improve, birth rates go down “naturally” because women (and men) wait longer to marry and start families. This is not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself or necessarily motivated by impiety or selfishness, it is simply reflective of a change in society.

    When Oneros says that children are “marketable commodities” for parents in poor countries, he is NOT saying that these parents do not love their children or do not see them as blessings. I think he means that in poor countries with economies based on agriculture or small-scale, family-based business or crafts, parents rely upon their children to support the family from an early age, and also rely on them for security in their old age (especially in the absence of anything like Social Security or pension plans or 401Ks).

    In an agriculturally-based society where just about any able bodied person can support themselves and children start working at a much younger age, having lots of children is an economic advantage from the moment the oldest child is able to walk, talk and perform simple tasks like feeding animals or planting crops.

    In an industrial or information-based society where not only basic literacy but also training to handle complex technology or practice a specialized profession or craft is necessary in order to earn a living wage, having lots of children tends to be an economic disadvantage in the short term (while the children are minors and living at home) due to the costs of housing, feeding, and educating them (most urban and suburban families can’t grow their own food and slaughter their own meat, and homeschooling is not always a viable option if both parents must work to pay the bills).

    Moreover, in desperately poor or famine-stricken countries like Haiti, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, etc. with high infant and child mortality, a couple that has 10 or 12 children might see only 5 or 6 of them survive to adulthood. Hence their “replacement level” birthrate is higher than it would be in a developed country where the vast majority of children can reasonably be expected to live to adulthood.

    The main driving force behind the significant increase in world population during the 20th century was NOT increased birth rates (those have been falling steadily all over the world for the past 40-50 years) — it was decreased DEATH rates and longer life expectancies due to improved sanitation, better nutrition, vaccinations that eradicated or controlled once-deadly diseases like smallpox, and other medical advances. As Steven Mosher put it during a recent radio interview, “People didn’t start breeding like rabbits — they stopped dying like flies.”

    The bottom line is that from an economic and demographic point of view, it may not be as “necessary” for everyone to have a large family as it was in the past — but that does NOT mean couples who want to have many children should be discouraged from doing so — far from it. For one thing, in order to maintain the “average” fertility rate of 2 children per woman that is needed just to maintain a stable population, some couples have to have 3, 4 or more children to make up for those who have only 1 child or none at all.

    As for the notion that “women who marry late are rarely chaste before marriage,” well, I waited until I was 30 to marry, and my mother waited until she was 28, and both of us were virgins when we got married. I know several other good Catholic women who waited well into late 20s or early 30s to marry and managed to remain chaste nonetheless. It may be difficult but it’s NOT impossible.

    As for the idea that “families with more children divorce less,” that could be an example of a “post hoc, ergo propter hoc” fallacy. Does having more children make a couple’s marriage stronger, or do couples with stronger marriages tend to have more children? It’s sort of a chicken-and-egg argument. I think the same might be true of the often quoted statistic that only 2 percent of couples who practice NFP divorce — yes, NFP does enhance marriages, but a couple with enough commitment and mutual respect to successfully practice NFP in the first place probably would probably be less likely to divorce anyway.

    I have nothing against large families, nor do I have any quarrel with the Church’s teachings on contraception or sexuality. I have only one child myself and wanted desperately to have more (I’m going to be 46 years old next week, so it’s probably not gonna happen). However I’m not so sure that turning back the clock 50 or 60 years to the era when women were assumed not to “need” education or career training (as amdg seems to imply) would be a good thing.

  26. boko fittleworth says:

    Some people are in no danger of “mixing right-wing politics with orthodox religion.”

  27. amdg123 says:

    Thank you Bookworm. You always give thoughtful comments. I still maintain that women who marry late, Catholic or not, are rarely chaste. I think you and your mother, God Bless You, are rare.
    As far as lower divorce rates, I think it works both ways, not either/or. A good marriage tends to produce more children which then strengthens the marriage. Pope John Paul II addresses this over and over in his writings and they are worth re-reading.
    I do not want to “turn back the clock,” for women in the workplace. This is like the “turn back the clock” argument people give against the EF. A just wage should be the rule. Anything else cries out for vengence, etc. But as is pointed out in Familiaris Consortio, women should be encouraged, both by the state and the church, to stay at home with their children. If a woman cannot marry and/or have children she should have access to the same career options as men. This would not be a step back, but a step forward towards healthier families, and therefore a healthier society.

  28. Ferde Rombola says:

    “Is there a moral issue here, if almost all scientific research that supports man-made global warming has been bought and paid for on the basis of promised results?”

    I assume you take ‘bought and paid for’ to apply to both sides of the question.

    “How does one explain the scientific evidence that the earth warmed and cooled multiple times before man first inhabited the earth?”

    Volcanos on a massive scale and other heat-producing phemenoma, to heat things up; meteor impacts raising massive amounts of dust into the atmosphere to cool things down; shifts in ocean currents. Stuff like that.

    “Did anybody ever really believe in [global warming]? Sure, we need to reduce pollution and all, but how does that translate into Co2 being a hazardous substance which needs to be regulated and traded….”

    Do you know what the tailpipe temperature of a jet engine is? There are hundreds of them in the air 24/7. Hundreds more idling on the ground, 24/7. That doesn’t count the internal combustion engines in autos, busses and trucks, millions of them, running all over the world, 24/7. To suggest these man made heat sources do not contribute to climate change gets first place in the head-in-the-sand competition.

    “Ironically, I’m writing this while having to wear a sweater in Southern Florida because it’s so darn COLD outside!”

    It’s cold outside, in Florida and in Massachusetts, because of global warming. The polar ice caps have melted and put millions of barrels of cold water, which used to be ice, into the northern oceans. Water evaporates faster than ice. Ice water in the atmosphere makes the air cold. In Florida, Massachusetts and elsewhere.