Before anything else… don’t just bash the new encyclical. Some people are having full-fledged spittle-flecked nutties today. I suspect that some of them are people who are happy only when they are unhappy.
Dear readers… take a deep breath.
There are good things in it. Yes, there are bad things in it too. Pope’s don’t get all things right all the time. Sometimes Popes are… GASP… wrong, especially when they stray onto unfamiliar turf.
Also, let me say that Popes can and should write about the environment. It is the Pope’s job to explain the theological and spiritual dimensions of creation to the flock. Whether it falls to them to talk about predictive models for environmental changes…
A link to the official text of the encyclical HERE
Since you may see in the interwebs some serious bashing of the encyclical, I bring to your attention a couple good resources to help you digest Laudato si’ … if you chose to bother with it.
First, check out the resource page that Acton Institute has provided. HERE
The encyclical addresses issues that are solidly in Acton’s wheelhouse. You cannot find more thoughtful and better informed commentators than those who are around Acton.
Also, at Stream, check out this piece: 11 Things You Probably Won’t Hear about Pope Francis’ Encyclical
These are 11 good things in the encyclical… which is why you won’t hear about them in the MSM.
Each point of the following is explained in the piece with quotes gleaned directly from the encyclical. Here are the bullet points:
The official version of Pope Francis’ eco-encyclical Laudato Si was released this morning. While much of the media focus will be on the sections devoted to climate change and global warming, here are eleven things from the encyclical you probably won’t see in the headlines.
(1) Creation has a Creator, and is more than just “nature-plus-evolution”:
(2) Human ecology means recognizing and valuing the difference between masculinity and femininity:
(3) Jesus sanctifies human work:
(4) Look up from your phones and encounter each other:
(5) Save the baby humans:
(6) Helping the poor requires more than just handouts:
(7) Overpopulation is not the problem:
(8) True ecology requires true anthropology and respect for human dignity:
(9) Real change requires a change in culture, not just politics:
(10) The Church does not presume to settle scientific questions, and we need an honest and open debate:
(11) Stop with the cynicism, secularism and immorality:
What the Stream piece does is emphasize the letter’s strengths. That’s important for you to know. Perhaps you might want to your look at the encyclical by reading the paragraphs the Stream piece provides before moving to a reading of the whole thing… if you bother with that. I’m not saying that you should, by they way.
There are some things in the encyclical that don’t make the list of the 11 good points. They are the less good things. Some of them will obtain nearly infinite attention from the MSM and liberal catholics. There are a few things in the encyclical that are face-palm inducing, such as the section on how we should not use air conditioners. The theme of North v South is tired and pretty much wrong (clue: Australia is in the South and Russia is in the North). The emphasis on predictive models is, it seems to me, a mistake. Time and again predictive models wind up being wrong. Blaming markets and wealth for environmental problems seems absurd to me. Most Popes don’t, can’t, write everything they issue. They rely on ghost writers. I think the Pope needs a new staff. The document isn’t all that coherent, across its sections.
Anyway… my point here is not to pick on the document. There may be time for that later. The point of this is to guide to some of the better aspects of the encyclical so that you are not immediately turned off to it because of the wiggy meltdowns some are going to have.
The combox is, now, open. Keep in mind my guiding rule: I’d rather see thoughtful comments – though few – than the sort of stuff you see elsewhere in abundance.