Turning St. Peter’s Basilica into a projection screen for climate change panic propaganda

UPDATE 8 Dec 2015 GMT:

I pulled up the live stream of the webcam over St. Peter’s Square.

The facade of San Pietro…

15_12_08_lightshow_08

I am trying to imagine what St. Peter would think about this.

Based on his anger toward priests who misused sacred vessels and did not provide for the dignity of the sacred mysteries, I am trying to what St. Francis of Assisi would express at the use of the basilica housing the tomb of Peter this way.

As I watch, there are different images of animals, bugs, lizards, birds with the corresponding critter noises, punctuated by sound effects, new age zings and zoongs.  It’s like the LSD psycho tunnel at the Detroit airport.   But… it’s St. Peter’s.

And, of course.. the baby seal…

15_12_08_lightshow_11

I haven’t seen any human beings yet.  Remember… we aren’t part of nature.

Okay… as I wrote that… they showed human hands planting a tree.

15_12_08_lightshow_13

That’s a good human, I guess and not a Mother Earth destroying virus.

15_12_08_lightshow_07

When they came to this, with the obligatory roar, I didn’t think of the inscription on the base of the obelisk at the center of the piazza, but rather:

Sobrii estote vigilate quia adversarius vester diabolus tamquam leo rugiens circuit quaerens quem devoret cui resistite fortes fide scientes eadem passionum ei quae in mundo est vestrae fraternitati fieri… Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist ye, strong in faith: knowing that the same affliction befalls, your brethren who are in the world.

The “show” finally cycled around to a few people (not city dwellers mind you).

____ ORIGINAL Dec 8, 2015 @ 01:30

I thought I could just let it pass… but I can’t.

On 8 December (Feast of the Immaculate Conception) at 7 pm climate-change zealots will be allowed to project a light show entitled “Illuminating Our Common Home” onto the facade of St. Peter’s Basilica in order to “educate and inspire change around the climate crisis across generations, cultures, languages, religions and class,” a press release states.

On the opening of the Year of Mercy?

Why not rent out the Sistine chapel too, while they’re at it? HERE

The Vatican basilica is a consecrated building.  This is a non-sacred use – in fact it is an irreverent use – of a consecrated building.

St. Peter’s is, without question, a sacred place and object (a very large one, too!).  It is, without question, dedicated by the Church to sacred purposes.  The use of this sacred building and place (where St. Peter was martyred and buried, a pilgrimage place, etc. etc. etc.) as a projection screen for mere secular purposes is irreverent treatment.

From The Catholic Dictonary:

Sacrilege: “The irreverent treatment of sacred things, persons or places, i.e., those dedicated by God or the Church to sacred purposes.  It is a sin against the virtue of religion, of its nature grave, but admitting smallness of matter. Sacrilege may be either personal, as when violence is done to a cleric or religious; local, as when certain crimes are committed or actions done in a church; real, as by the abuse of sacraments, the theft of sacred objects or their irreverent misuse and the sin of simony. These varieties of the sin differ specifically from one another.”

And… on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception?  Really?

What’s next?  A change to the Litany of Loreto?  St. John Paul II inserted two titles of Mary into the Litany by which we invoke her intercession… Holy Mary… “Mother of the Church” and “Queen of the Family”.  What looms on our horizon now?

Holy Mary, innocent of carbon footprint… pray for us.
Holy Mary, conceived without climate change… pray for us.

This has gone beyond ridiculous.  The next thing you know, we’ll be told that we have to give obsequium religiosum to observations about air-conditioning or off the cuff remarks about changes in the weather.

We fly to thy patronage, O holy Mother of God; despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O glorious and blessed Virgin. Amen.

The moderation queue is, of course, ON.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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71 Responses to Turning St. Peter’s Basilica into a projection screen for climate change panic propaganda

  1. Fr_Marc says:

    I wonder if, beside all the penguins, koala bears and white tigers they will project a photograph of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate onto the facade? They surely are an endangered species by now. And it’s their feast day…

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  2. organistjason says:

    More of the same from a BOR that appears to want notoriety, acceptance and celebrity from the secular world and media. “Who is going to save our Church? Not our bishops, not our priests and religious. It is up to you, the people. You have the minds, the eyes, the ears to save the Church. Your mission is to see that your priests act like priests, your bishops, like bishops, and your religious act like religious.” –Venerable Fulton J. Sheen, 1972

  3. Warren says:

    Will there be free popcorn?

  4. TWF says:

    I respect the office of the papacy, and I respect our Holy Father and don’t question his sincerity… but, like many priests of his age, he is definitely a man of the 70s.

  5. Mariana2 says:

    I am so embarrassed. I hope my still Lutheran husband won’t see this, he will be more than underwhelmed at the stupidity. Surely Catholic scientists could be consulted?

    “educate and inspire change around the climate crisis….”

    Educate? Inspire change? Around here, Scandinavia that is, intelligent people think that the instability of the climate in the last few years could point to our sliding towards another ice age. Not much one can do about that!

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  7. Geoffrey says:

    I don’t think it is as much sacrilege as it is extremely tacky.

  8. Imrahil says:

    Well…

    we’ve got to give the responsible officials the credit that they think this is a pressing moral issue.

    And assuming – just by plain hypothesis – that it is the pressing moral issue they think it is, I think the use of St. Peter’s Basilica is not irreverent. Assuming they act on that basis, one thing is clear: they are not using the facade for a religious purpose; perhaps a religious purpose based on an error, but not a secular purpose.

    It all boils down to the fundamental question of whether they are right, or wrong. Of course. As always.

    [Of course: Actually most things that are important enough to even get our attention, belong to both religious and the political sphere.]

  9. Andrew D says:

    Infuriating. I am now praying for God’s Mercy and a new holy father to lead us. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Bergoglio hater and in fact, I pray for him daily but the Church is not getting stronger under his leadership – the exact opposite is happening.

  10. Charlie says:

    “Climate change” is the new religion and especially so here in Canada.Two bishops marched in a procession to Parliament Hill recently with the new and newly converted .I wonder: Is there an indulgence for such a thing? If I deny the doctrine am I a heretic? Is it to become the #1 sin to confess?Where is Dr Peters on this when he is so needed!

  11. Imrahil says:

    And of course there was one “not” too much in what I wrote. Sorry. “They are, in fact, using the facade for a religious purpose.” (whether a good, or an erroneous one) If I have to disagree, I had better not turn the key point into its contrary. Sorry.

  12. LarryW2LJ says:

    This is so, so sad. Next thing you know there’ll be signs in St. Peter’s Square to “Save the baby whales” and “Save the baby seals.” Whither the signs that say “Save the baby humans”?

  13. TheDude05 says:

    Somebody should hijack the projector and have it show middle eastern Christians, they are vanishing from the earth due to human activity.

  14. James C says:

    Oh dear. The Pope has seen fit to allow the Basilica of St Peter to be turned into an eco-educational theme park ride like those you see at Disney World’s Epcot. Lord have mercy.

    I’m a strong advocate of the environment as the creation of God, and there is certainly an authentic Christian voice on the topic (Francis Schaeffer’s brilliant little book, “Pollution and the Death of Man: A Christian View of Ecology” is an outstanding exemplar) but this stuff is cheesy and new age, not to mention shrilly sanctimonious.

    What’s next? I feel like I’m a kid again, getting fed 1980s indoctrination in public school. This is beginning to play out like that trite cartoon. Shall we rename the Pope Captain Planet and call ourselves his Planeteers, with God as Gaia? And replace the Seven Sacraments with Earth, Fire, Wind, Water, and Heart? this is about as silly as that.

    http://youtu.be/ogMBLRHJYXU

  15. Catholic_Convert2 says:

    I would like to see the commentary on the use of the holy structure separated from the controversial issue (environmentalism is as important a topic on stewardship as physical-fitness, however WE have allowed it to become hijacked by the left and injected with venomous anti-market thrusts).

    Perhaps the two are inseparable because conservatives don’t push conservativism through liberal means, but I – one who at least tries to walk in the realm of objectivity – tend to see as much imbalance from the conservatives on this issue as the liberals. It’s sad. Anyone who can add one and one can see the tragic short sightedness and selfishness of the modern rate at which we consume resources. Politically, I would wager that I’m far more radically right than most posters here (50,000 x 5.56 ring any bells?) – and yet I’m made to feel like a liberal for being at a healthy weight, eating organic, filtering my water, composting, avoiding GMOs, and re-dicing waste to the extent that my large family can’t fill up even a 15 gallon bag of landfill garbage once per week? Insane. I am only grateful that most of these conservatives have destroyed their awareness/culpability on this issue.

  16. JamesM says:

    On another note, my wife and I will be saying prayers in reparation when this is on.

  17. Father Bartoloma says:

    Perhaps the famous Benedict Resignation Lightening Bolt will make a reappearance.

  18. Titus says:

    Without engaging the merits of this particular use, and without any desire to be tendentious, how should one distinguish this sort of secular use from the use of a church building for the secular purpose of a music venue? Many places will see that this advent season: choir concerts that, even if featuring exclusively music with a religious theme, is presented as and for entertainment, not prayer and contemplation (and, of course, there are not-infrequent instances of churches being used for musical performances that are, if beautiful, not even arguably sacred, string quartets and the like).

  19. DisturbedMary says:

    I pray for a lightening bolt as when B16 left. Question is: will it hit before or after they put up the rainbow lights?

  20. TimG says:

    I appreciate your writing about this event Father Z….to not do so may imply it is not a “big deal” (or worse, that you agree with it.) It is of course a horrible mistake and I cannot get my mind around the amount of change inside the Vatican from 1979 to today.

  21. CountryCatholic says:

    Was it me and my not-so-great eye sight, or did it look like there were not that many people in attendance at St. Peter’s today?

  22. Konichiwa says:

    Parenthesis, Father! Parenthesis! *runs and hides*

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  25. Jon says:

    Psalm 108:8 or bust.

  26. JKnott says:

    Well we’ve been exhorted to “embrace the world” on this celebration of 50th anniversary of Vat II.
    And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
    “And I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your descendants and her Descendant. He will crush your head, and you will bruise His heel.”
    Oops -wrong light.
    Something is askew here – like an upside down cross maybe.
    Happy Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. Time to do reparation for this demeaning of our Church.

  27. Lavrans says:

    Dr. Feser had an article about historically-underwhelming popes. It helped put things in perspective. We were spoiled lately, passing through a rather extraordinary period of holy and capable pontiffs. I hate to say it, but we were overdue for one to be…less than magnificent. Pray for him all the more because of the fact that he may not be as capable as those prior, and is thus susceptible to exploitation by the enemies of the Church. Hopefully the Cardinals learn something from this particular papacy and take that knowledge into the next conclave.

  28. Gratias says:

    The Magisterium of the Catholic Church condemns air conditioning but is silent on son et lumière. s/o

    Happy feast of the Immaculate Conception, everyone.

  29. Lutgardis says:

    Well, nothing says care and prudent conservation of our natural resources more than a whopping great light show.

  30. robtbrown says:

    Catholic Convert2,

    I don’t know where you live, but I have often seen other conservatives at recycling bins, including those at Catholic churches. Carpets and Polar Fleece are commonly made from plastic pellets, many of which are produced from recycled plastic bottles.

    I also know many who filter their water.

    IMHO, it’s a mistake to conflate those practices with the question of Global Warming/Climate Change.

    IMHO2, the jury is still out on GMO’S. And if you’re eating corn on the cob, it’s likely a GMO

  31. pj_houston says:

    This is not Catholicism, it’s GAIA worshipping using the most important Church in Christendom no less. Anyone doubt now then Card. Ratzinger’s prophecy of a smaller but more faithful Church? It’s going to be painful.

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  33. ThankyouB16 says:

    https://twitter.com/edwardpentin
    The photo really turned my stomach. Then it made me feel like crying.
    This is what I’d expect to see going on with a dead church: Episcopalian, etc.
    If anyone knows of a petition that condemns this disgrace, please let me know.

  34. Polycarpio says:

    Let me take a stab at defending the light show, which coincides with established light shows in Europe which commingle secular and sacred objectives. December 8 is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, celebrated in France since the 1800s with the Fête des Lumières, in which the Basilica of Fourvière and other buildings are lit up with flares, fireworks and other light-based decorations including similar projections as the one today. Obviously, the tie-in with the environmental imagery is the recent papal encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ by Pope Francis. Moreover, the presentation today was entitled “Fiat Lux,” an obvious reference to Genesis, and the showcasing of the wondrous biological and natural diversity in the slide show is a great tribute to God’s mercy as reflected in the Creation. In short, the projection can be argued to constitute the technological 21st century version of the Sistine Chapel ceiling for a digital age. I thought it was beautiful.

    [Nice try. Anyone else have any thoughts on this?]

  35. Robbie says:

    We are living in an era of Catholicism that is in desperate need of a closing parenthesis.

    I don’t know how this climate chance light show can be viewed as anything other than shameful.

  36. kiwiinamerica says:

    This is “Laudato Si”-the movie. You know the line…..“you’ve read the book……………now see the movie!” This is the Pope’s encyclical in images, rather than words. Like most movies which are based on a novel, it’s much worse and the novel was bad enough!

    It’s the New Age, Father. We no longer focus on saving souls, since everyone is going to be saved anyway. Now we’ve matured in our spirituality and we are now focused on saving the planet, instead!

    Mercy for everyone (except fundamantalists)!! C’mon Father, y’aint one of then awful funadamentalists what goes to calumniatin’ an’ such, are ye?

    [Laudato Si’ – The Movie]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  37. Netmilsmom says:

    No, sorry Polycarpio. This is still a tomb of St Peter.
    It’s tacky. One can twist and swing to find the Christian in it, but it’s akin to “The Last Supper” on velvet in my old aunt’s dining room.

  38. redshoes says:

    ‘O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.’

  39. Traductora says:

    You all do realize, I hope, that this was sponsored by the World Bank along with the Pope and other “agencies,” as the World Bank and the Vatican say in their press release. The new faith superimposed over the tomb of the Rock of the Faith.

  40. khw8814 says:

    Yes, I have a thought. ON THE FEAST OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION??????????!!!!!!!?????

  41. kurtmasur says:

    Hmmmm, as somebody living in Europe, I can certainly vouch for what Polycarpio said about there being a wave of light shows traveling through many major European cities, including the one in which I am located (to digress a little, they used a local church’s facade to project a very impressive animated 3-D show…and it was purely for entertainment purposes, so there was no climate change or “save the environment theme”…but they used a church’s gothic facade for that, nevertheless which did look impressive). So when I saw the news here about such a light show taking place using the facade of St. Peter’s Basilica, I wasn’t shocked….I figured Rome was not gonna be an exception to host its own light show. Having said that, I wish this would have been done on a completely neutral day….certainly not on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception….and certainly not on the opening day of a Holy Year! Also, I would have preferred if they had kept Rome’s light show agenda-free (i.e. no climate change stuff).

  42. mysticalrose says:

    Well, we’ve witnessed a lot of bad things in the Church for the past few years, but this is the thing that absolutely scandalizes me. To project the face of a monkey on one of our most sacred places? In my estimation, that is truly evil. And it does smack of the uber evolution loving, Gaia worshipping nuns of my youth. They must be in their glory right now.

  43. Ann Roth says:

    I find this deeply offensive on any but on on Our Lady’s feast day it really takes the cake.

    Vultus Christi has a photo of St. Peter’s with this:

    “Be sure she weeps; there in the darkness her cheeks are wet with tears; of all that courted her, none left to console her, all those lovers grown weary of her, and turned into enemies.

    Grievous the memories she holds, of the hour when all her ancient glories passed from her, when her people fell defenceless before the invader, unresisting before an enemy that derided them.”

    (Lamentations 1:2,7)

    http://vultuschristi.org/

    No explanation, just the photo and the quote. Says it all, no?

  44. eulogos says:

    The FFI are not extinct yet, and tonight one of them celebrated the EF for the feast at St. Mary of the Assumption in Binghamton, NY. I am just now back from there, and just had to report that rumors of their demise have been greatly exaggerated.

  45. NBW says:

    I hope there isn’t a photo of a snake projected on St. Peter’s, that would be a telltale sign……

  46. MouseTemplar says:

    Ok. That’s it. I am climbing out onto the ledge now.

  47. Kirk O says:

    Ironically it is Her day to shine but the prince of this world wanted it to shine on him. He knows Mary was conceived to crush his head and is just tying to soften the blow.

  48. Rachel K says:

    The first photo (is it a lemur?) made me jump, it looks like the face of the devil.

  49. Suburbanbanshee says:

    If the Pope were serious about environmentalism, he would reinstitute the Rogation Days and the other days of prayer for crops, weather, and the natural world.

  50. JuliB says:

    Oh Catholic_Convert2, I’m a TEA party Catholic, and try to be obedient to the Faith. I’m a GW/AGW/Climate Change/whatever they’re calling it today skeptic.

    I compost, reuse/reduce/recycle, have a small garden, eat local pastured meat/poultry/eggs, shop at Whole Foods, turn off lights, etc. Doesn’t mean I’m a liberal in any modern sense of the word.
    ~~
    I think this activity showed poor judgment. I get that being good stewards is important, but aren’t there souls to save? Aren’t many Catholics in danger of going to hell? I cannot understand the priorities…

  51. Semper Gumby says:

    The Fiat Lux/Our Common Home website lists six “coalition partners.” One is the Vulcan Co., also the Roman fire god, owned by Paul Allen- the Microsoft founder, philanthropist, and AI researcher. Another company is Okeanos, named after the Greek fresh-water god. One of the two curators is Travis Threlkel of Obscura Digital, who was involved in a rather pagan light show at the Empire State Building earlier this year.

    From looking at video clips, it appears that in addition to fish and animals there were images of the moon, trees, people with umbrellas, and human hands. This reminded me of Neolithic cave paintings and rock art, such as at Lascaux, Valcamonica (Italian Alps), and the Cave of Hands.

    Henri Bruel theorized that Paleolithic hunter-gatherers meant their art for magical usage to increase available animals. David Lewis Williams theorized this art was for shamans to interact with animal energies in a trance state.

    This is absolutely inappropriate for St. Peter’s. Progressives have a knack for disguising a pagan agenda behind spectacular lighting and inviting photography. St. Michael pray for us.

  52. Mariana2 says:

    Catholic_Convert2 says:

    “I would like to see the commentary on the use of the holy structure separated from the controversial issue….”

    Quite right! So:

    a) I’m so embarrassed by this silly climate change nonsense.

    b) Using St. Peter’s for this type of son et lumière is so wrong!

  53. Filipino Catholic says:

    It’s going to take a serious amount of self-restraint to refrain from quoting the words Dante put in St. Peter’s mouth decrying three times what had happened to his place (“il luogo mio”) all those centuries before.

    Speaking from a country regularly battered by mad weather phenomena (Haiyan in 2013, and now an El Niño this year), I can’t say I’m a climate denier. But I will NOT say that preservation of the earth [I]suprema lex esto[/I].

  54. Traductora says:

    I have been unable to stop thinking about this; it really is like being punched in the stomach, to see this building and its centuries of significance suddenly defiled by what is virtually the triumphant banner of a New Faith. And to think that it was done with the connivance and permission of a person who is supposedly the successor of Peter. The lament and photo on Vultus Christi are the best expression of it all.

    Note that no advance notice of this was given, since stealth and abrupt unexpected moves are the hallmarks of Francis’ mode of governance. That said, however, does anyone know if it is possible to do anything about this? I believe it is supposed to be up and running for the entire year and is not just a one time event.

  55. pmullane says:

    Perhaps on the feast of the Exultation of the Holy Cross, they could project images of the pensioners freezing in their homes because they cant pay the heating bills because of the taxes added by the ‘climate change’ scam?

  56. Akita says:

    I understand a picture of a woman in a burqa was projected. There is something terribly disturbing about that on the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Mary’s feast commemorates her spotless beauty and the Truth of God. Mary, always full face, brought forth our beautiful Savior.

    The burqa represents darkness and something hidden and sinister. That so many Muslim women and children are hidden in the shadows of vast swaths of our planet, often subject to genital mutilation and other unspeakable violations is evil. That this is celebrated on the face of our holy place is abominable.

  57. s i says:

    I don’t know what to say. I am utterly speechless from the shock of this whole horrid event.

  58. Mike says:

    All I seem able to do is to try to unite my breaking heart to the Sorrowful Heart of Our Blessed Mother, in reparation for my own sins and indolence which helped (in whatever small way) to sunder the Mystical Body of Christ from Our Blessed Lord and to fuse it to the forces of evil.

    Cor Iesu Sacratissimum, miserere nobis!

  59. av8er says:

    At some point God will say “Enough.”

  60. Semper Gumby says:

    The day after Fiat Lux there are at least two Catholic commentators referring to those of us with concerns about this stunt as “grousers” and “conspiratorial.” These writers overlook, or are ignorant of, the sacrilegious nature of this light-and-sound show, and instead are intent on belittling legitimate criticism.

    Perhaps these critics forget that one can care about the environment and also not be an enthusiast for a socialist agenda. One can have a pleasant disposition and also not be pleased about a light show with a sacreligious nature. And it is not conspiratorial to point out who funds and creates these shows and other dubious events.

    These critics of a traditional Catholic view would benefit by understanding that pagan images reinforce pagan behavior. This was true 30,000 years ago when shamans painted ritual art on cave walls and it is true today.

  61. Immune2BS says:

    Revelation: 6,9

  62. In general you have some good sense but 2 assertions are a little strong.

    “Why not rent out the Sistine chapel too, while they’re at it?”

    As a means of fundraising, large donors can get private tours of the Vatican Museums. After hours private tours to people who give 4-digits and up for the preservation of that art are somewhat regular. Having a small concert in the Sistine chapel seems like an extension of this. It would be very different if Porsche had some corporate board meeting in there.

    “The Vatican basilica is a consecrated building. This is a non-sacred use – in fact it is an irreverent use – of a consecrated building.”

    I find it hard to argue that showing the beauty of the creation God gave us is irreverent. A video-show of animals seems no different that how many Churches will hold concerts with secular but not irreverent music. Even if there is some political intention behind it, the showing of animals in/on/at Church is NOT irreverent. You may not do the St Francis blessing of pets but the practice is not irreverent.

    [Nice try. Rethink it.]

  63. Wiktor says:

    I think the basilica needs to be reconsecrated after this.

  64. Polycarpio says:

    A couple of additional thoughts. 1. “Et vidit Deus quod esset bonum.” I think you really have to have a conspiratorial mind to find this objectionable. Sure, it may remind you of the caves of Lascaux, and that in turn may remind you of pantheism or whatever, but forget that. Turn to Genesis 1:10: “God saw that it was GOOD.” 2. The gargoyles at Notre Dame. Somebody wrote that a lemur reminded her of the devil and people have written that this florid spectacle is “off the world” and an affront to the Blessed Virgin on her day. Ever look at a Gothic cathedral? The gargoyles, the stained glass. My God, the stained glass at Chartres is like a kaleidoscope. 3. Faith and reason. As Pope Benedict taught, “only a harmonious relationship between faith and reason is the right road that leads to God and to the person’s complete fulfilment.” (11-21-2012 G.A.) Reason is able to ascertain that God exists through the Creation, he said, and the Church only opposes those efforts that stand “in opposition to God’s original plan.” It is providential that this first light show started us at Genesis.

  65. Catholic_Convert2 says:

    Haha. See? My beliefs and way of life are not given the benefit of doubt (even to the point of suggesting that I am unaware of what is and isn’t GM’dO) – a sure sign of prejudice. (Whereas a post filled with folly is allowed to pass.)

    The juries are well decided.

  66. ckdexterhaven says:

    The Vatican needs to cancel Epiphany unless it’s proven that the Three Wise Men gave Baby Jesus sustinably harvested frankincense and myrrh.

  67. Sonshine135 says:

    Somehow, the lion trouncing about the face of St. Peter’s Basillica seems like a very ironic to me. Something about enemies, and the devil, and devouring everything.

  68. Imrahil says:

    Dear ckdexterhaven,

    forgive the serious answer, but you’re leaving out of the picture that, actually, one of the big appeals of organic farming is that it is, or it is more close to, farming like they used to do in the old times*.

    As the Epiphany predates the Industrial Revolution (which many regret in their heart of hearts*), the frankincense and myrrh was sustainably harvested.

    [* Pope Francis’s criticism of the modern technological and capitalist world is actually surprisingly close to the nostalgia present in the Catholic populace which the more modern preachers constantly admonish against.]

  69. Grateful to be Catholic says:

    There is no doubt that both Laudato Si’ and Fiat Lux are political messages. Of course they use religious images and language or, in this case, a religious venue, but it is all in the service of a secular, political agenda. And that agenda is anything but religious; it is in fact anti-human and therefore anti-Christian.

    This is a new beachhead in the long march through the institutions.

  70. James says:

    Couldn’t this be justified as “prob[ing] more profoundly into the…social necessities [..] belonging to the primary duties of modern man” (Gaudium et Spes 2) ? That event was pretty predictable after what happened to the Sistine Chapel – it is not likely to be the last event of its kind. What is far more disturbing, because much more closely related to the mission of the Church, is this:
    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/relations-jews-docs/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_20151210_ebraismo-nostra-aetate_en.html

    Section 6 is in continuity with one or two past statements, but no less disturbing for that:

    “6. The Church’s mandate to evangelize in relation to Judaism

    40. It is easy to understand that the so–called ‘mission to the Jews’ is a very delicate and sensitive matter for Jews because, in their eyes, it involves the very existence of the Jewish people. This question also proves to be awkward for Christians, because for them the universal salvific significance of Jesus Christ and consequently the universal mission of the Church are of fundamental importance. The Church is therefore obliged to view evangelisation to Jews, who believe in the one God, in a different manner from that to people of other religions and world views. In concrete terms this means that the Catholic Church neither conducts nor supports any specific institutional mission work directed towards Jews. While there is a principled rejection of an institutional Jewish mission, Christians are nonetheless called to bear witness to their faith in Jesus Christ also to Jews, although they should do so in a humble and sensitive manner, acknowledging that Jews are bearers of God’s Word, and particularly in view of the great tragedy of the Shoah…”

    ## It would be better for St Peter’s to collapse in ruins, than for the Church to forsake her *universal* mission to bring all the nations to Christ. If the Church can seriously say that she “neither conducts nor supports any specific institutional mission work directed towards Jews”, it is no wonder if she is capable of abusing sacred buildings. These two blunders are linked – they are both evidence of something very sick in the Church.

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