Good news about the new encyclical Laudato si’ – #PopeForPlanet

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.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Siculum says:

    Wonderful writeup! Thank you!

  2. NBW says:

    Thanks Fr. Z.

  3. The Astronomer says:

    Excellent synopsis of the encyclical.

    I pray for Pope Francis, the Vicar of Christ. He’s directly answerable to the Lord Jesus Christ. I’d rather spend time pulling the beam out of my own eye before pointing out a splinter in the Pope’s.

  4. benedetta says:

    Thanks for framing today’s reading, Fr.

  5. Mary T says:

    Thanks Father Z. I agree – lots of good things, including very strong language protecting the unborn (embryos), saying that abortion is not an option and overpopulation is not the problem, and emphasizing the uniqueness of human dignity even if all creation IS an interconnected web. Good Biblical stuff etc. on creation.

    Everything else was what I expected, but I have to admit, I did not expect that a hat tip to Leonardo Boff would actually make it into the final version (the “cry of the earth, cry of the poor” line, which was the title of Boff’s book).

  6. Save the LITURGY, Save the PLANET.

  7. Cavaliere says:

    Sure there are good things and we could have spent our time evangelizing others as to what those good points are. Unfortunately that will be difficult as the focus will be on those items the MSM will highlight. Especially that first part of the encyclical which looks like it was written by Al Gore. There are abuses of the environment as he clearly points out as did his predecessors. But what happens when the pseudo-science surrounding global warming/climate change is proved wrong? Then you look silly and people ignore the good you had to say. Willy nilly dumping of toxic waste, massive polluting is wrong regardless of whether or not it contributes to global warming.

  8. Uxixu says:

    I really like the implication that the Holy Father will replace the ‘Popemobile’ with the Sedia Gestatoria. For humility and the environment and all that.

    I love the repudiation of abortion and overpopulation alarmists.

    May the Blessed Virgin and all the saints uphold the Holy Father and that intercede that he listens to the orthodox prelates such as Abp. Cordileone.

  9. Woody79 says:

    Don’t bash it because there is some good in it? It should all be good! This is an official document from the Pope! There should be no bad in it. To me, this is like making a batch of brownies that looks and smells sooooo good. But then you find out that there is a little bit of dog poop in it. Not enough to kill you or make you ill BUT there is some bad stuff in it. I’m not going to eat it. And I’m not going to read this encyclical. This document is of the world. The pope can keep it on his book shelf. It won’t be on mine.

  10. Geoffrey says:

    No Latin text so far, I see…

  11. AnnAsher says:

    So Pope Francis is promoting liberation theology in his latest encyclical and good Catholics should seek to cherry pick some good points? One should accept that the world is in such decay because Mother Nature is punishing us? Yep, it’s those dust bunnies annihilating Christians (of all flavors) in the Middle East.

  12. albizzi says:

    “The emphasis on predictive models is, it seems to me, a mistake.”
    Dear Father Zuhlsdorf,
    You are right. The IPCC computerized models on AGW are being proven wrong since the temperatures rise stalled in 1998 (delta T between 1998 and 2014 is 0,02 °C only).
    They relied too much on their models which are now completely unable to explain why the warming stopped while the CO2 concentration in the air joyfully kept climbing. Moreover they cannot predict when this “pause” will cease. And what then if the temperatures trend becomes decreasing ?

  13. DisturbedMary says:

    80,000 words. Is this the longest encyclical ever? and predominantly in the language of climate changers? Pass me the Excedrin, please.

    Years ago I worked for a brokerage that was issued subpoenas for trade information by the U.S. Attorney’s office. As we sent truckloads of computer tapes in response, I realized that the best way to control the information, was to provide way too much for investigators to digest. 80,000 words containing a couple of needles. My impression right now if you get a copy is to tear out the relatively thin Catholic part and dump the rest into the paper recycling bin.

  14. Supertradmum says:


    Taking care of the poor is not liberation theology, which pushes violence and states that Jesus is a political messiah…..sorry I do not see that here. As to helping the poor, yes, we are responsible for world poverty, although too many people do not want to admit this. It is not, however, the role of governments to take over from individual responsibility to help societies to create good conditions for work and life for the poor.

    It is too bad that those Catholics who are comfortable choose not to get involved on the grass roots level to help the poor. The poor needs to remind us all of our duty to the poor. Every American should travel to other countries to see how the rest of the world lives. I even hear comfortable Americans claim they are poor when they simply do not have everything they want or have limited vacations.

    And, if O’s idea to push religious based charities to hire LGTB employees, that will be the end of Catholic charities. When there are no diocesan charities, individuals will have to listen to the real Gospel and the Church’s teaching on the corporal works of mercy.

    “Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.” St. Teresa of Avila

  15. Sonshine135 says:

    It isn’t that I have a dislike for the Pope addressing the environment. It is that there is so many other more important issues that need to be addressed in the Catholic Church. An objective observer understands that a certain amount of pollution is necessary to create jobs. Manufacturing, the main job creator in lower income countries, necessarily pollutes. The bigger question is what was this encyclical supposed to accomplish? I don’t think anyone who practices Catholicism openly goes out an pollutes on purpose. Thus, I am confused over what the point of this encyclical was.

  16. Geoffrey says:

    How quickly the mainstream media forgets that it was His Holiness Benedict XVI who was referred to as “the Green Pope”!

  17. The Masked Chicken says:

    ““Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.” St. Teresa of Avila”

    I realize this quote is often attributed to St. Teresa of Avila, but a search of her writings do not show it.

    The Chicken

  18. Pingback: I am reading the encyclical even now | Catholic Heart and Mind

  19. Imrahil says:

    Indeed I never heard it attributed to St. Theresa of Avila (or any other St. Theresa), but I did hear it attributed to a soldier (I think a French officer) who, the legend goes, found a crucifix in a Church where war had somehow cut our Lord’s arms off.

  20. Thorfinn says:

    “Thus, I am confused over what the point of this encyclical was.” – Sonshine135

    The Holy Father is attempting to reframe the ecological movement within the Catholic world view as part of his engagement with modernity. There is something in it for many different audiences (or a little lecture for nearly everyone, Imrahil says), such as the middle class seduced by consumerism; but particularly consider young nominal Catholics, or ex-Catholics, who follow secular environmentalism, as is common in the West. I believe the intent is to engage with that audience and draw them back to the faith. Can you see the opportunity for catechesis for the chaplain presenting this letter at your local Catholic high school? For some, it could be an opening (ahem) to wider engagement on life, on gender theory (155), on the dignity of the human person and his proper relation to God. In this way, the encyclical does address (successfully or not) a critical problem: souls led astray by ideologies inconsistent with Christianity.

  21. Pingback: Laudato Si: Reactions from Catholics and the World - Big Pulpit

  22. Hart says:


    This section alone is worth it. Holy father paints a loving picture of God’s dealings with man, and faith based, scriptural reasons our work is not in vain. It moved me to joy, as I strive to be a part of the mission of our Church (Matthew 28:19,20).

  23. rodin says:

    Thanks for your very reasonable observations and I am very willing to wait for the final copy.

  24. lweisenthal says:

    My own view of encyclicals is that they should be received with an open heart with the aim of informing one’s conscience. I don’t think that belief can be commanded to exist. One doesn’t choose what one believes; one should openly receive teachings, which will inevitably affirm or challenge one’s pre-existing heart of hearts.

    I personally didn’t like the admonition to read the encyclical will a check list of 11 “good” points, particularly accompanied with the statement that the encyclical contains “bad” points. I think that Catholics should read the entire encyclical with an entirely open heart — this goes for “liberals” vis a vis abortion and global population and male/female gifts, but it also goes equally for “conservatives” vis a vis climate change.

    My consistent observation, as an inconsistent reader of this particular blog, is that — with each papal pronouncement, the blog author looks to seek out silver linings and separate these from what he considers to be the clouds. What I believe that we owe all popes, at minimum, is to read their encyclicals without biasing our readings with preconceptions and also to read these encyclicals with open minds and open hearts. In the end, we’ll end up believing only that of which we are capable, but we shall have done our best to be open to both information and inspiration. — Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

  25. Hart says:

    One more: 100;

    “This leads us to direct our gaze to the end of time, when the Son will deliver all things to the Father, so that “God may be everything to every one” (1 Cor 15:28). Thus, the creatures of this world no longer appear to us under merely natural guise because the risen One is mysteriously holding them to himself and directing them towards fullness as their end. The very flowers of the field and the birds which his human eyes contemplated and admired are now imbued with his radiant presence.”

    A powerful reminder of the Hope we share in God’s plan.

  26. Eugene says:

    With all due respect Father, I don’t fell like writing anything about this encyclical.
    I am too overwhelmed with the fact that this Pope has confirmed as a partcipant to the family a Bishop who has publicly supported homosexual unions, i.e. Bishop Bonny of Belgium, ..the encyclical mentions the state of the environment being full of filth, I think there are other environments that are even filthier…How long Lord Jesus!

  27. (X)MCCLXIII says:

    Is not “we have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters…” firmly within the Holy Father’s purlieu (she being “Sister Earth”)? And is it not – when used in the pejorative sense intended – simply inept? Especially is it not so inept in the same (second!) paragraph as a citation to Genesis chapter 2?

  28. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Supertradmum – No, we’re not “responsible for world poverty.” We have a responsibility to help, and to try to alleviate world poverty, but we’re not responsible for it.

    I’ve been out of work for ten months now, and nobody in the world is “responsible for” my lack of income except me. Nobody is responsible for finding me a job except me. I’m not a minor, and I’m not suffering from disability or illness, so of course I’m responsible for myself. If someone else were responsible for my earnings and employment, how would that work unless he were my legal guardian or my slavemaster?

    When I become employed by someone or some company or by the government, it will be a voluntary agreement between the other party and myself. The other party will not be “responsible” for me. I’m sure that I will be happy to have such a voluntary association, but I’m not consecrating myself to their use or selling myself into slavery, much less having my employer marry or adopt me. As a responsible adult, I take care of myself and I take responsibility for my actions.

  29. albizzi says:

    In addition the Pope invited in that Synod a cardinal who is guilty of a cover up of an abuse by a bishop on his OWN nephew and if that wasn’t enough this same cardinal was recently exposed as having advised the holy king Baudouin of Belgium to sign the law on abortion in that country.
    However the king, certainly better inspired by the Holy Spirit than this cardinal, declined.
    Sad times for the Chuch.

  30. Gil Garza says:

    What are your thoughts on the apparent lack of Latin versions of Papa Francisco’s encyclicals.

    [Since I’ve been to confession recently, I’d rather not say!]

  31. anj says:

    I found something important there for my day to day life:

    I now have ammunitation to persuade my wife to turn up the temperature control on the air-conditioning. She has it stubbornly set at 72 degrees F. Every time I sneek it up to 74, somehow she knows. Now, I can say: Stay! The pope has declared in his Encyclical that use of the air conditioner is a act of violence against our sister/mother the earth. Don’t you think we should nudge that thermostat up to 75? Maybe even 78? Otherwise, the next confession is going to have to add irresponsible air conditioning use to the list.

  32. Baritone says:

    Thank you, Fr.Z, for telling me to take a deep breath :-) I agree there are some good things in this encyclical (especially the Pope saying overpopulation is NOT the problem).

    One thing that strikes me about this encyclical is it’s call for a universal dialogue with every person on earth. I decided to take the Holy Father up on it on my blog with my sincere thoughts, although I’m pretty sure Pope Francis doesn’t read my blog :-)

    Our priests just this past Sunday described the crisis in the world and the Church as a crisis in fatherhood (or rather the lack of fatherhood). I hoped to channel that message as it pertains to our moral environment.

    I wholeheartedly agree with Henry Edwards: Save the LITURGY, Save the PLANET.

  33. excalibur says:

    South Africa is in the South, and until we all felt big and grand and forced apartheid away, they had a very good economy. So much so that many black Africans emigrated there. Since apartheid ended the violence has massively escalated, and their economy is not what it was. So what should we have done is the question.

    Going off fossil fuels is not an answer. That is why God provided them, for our benefit. I haven’t noticed, is there any railing against using fertile land to grow ‘green’ fuels? Now that is something to rail against. Failure to address that issue (if indeed it is not addressed) is very wrong.

    And Chile is in the South. The South American from Argentina forgot that too?

  34. John the Mad says:

    Yes, there are some good things in the encyclical. But how is moving to a green economy going to help the poor? Here in Ontario the Liberal government has gone into wind turbines and solar power in a big way. These green alternatives are only viable with government subsidies about 15 times the going rate for other forms of electrical power generation. These profits go to international mega-corporations like Samsung, who are rolling in Ontario taxpayer subsidies.

    Tens of thousands of birds are slaughtered by the wind turbines, the power generated tends to be not at the peak use times, resulting in the province paying billions every year to neighbouring American states to take it off our grid. Did I mention the despoiling of the landscape in many many places?

    Ontario used to have the cheapest power in North America. We now have the most expensive power. How exactly does having more expensive power than California help the poor, who struggle with paying their utility bills? Ask the elderly, shivering in their homes in January because they can’t afford to heat them properly?

    We are observing another Galileo affair in the making. Bad science and worse economics does not make for good theology.

  35. Fr. Vincent Fitzpatrick says:

    1) The Earth has been cooling for 18 years and 6 months.

    2) By far the most abundant and most powerful “greenhouse gas” is water vapor. Try, just try, getting rid of water vapor!

    These two facts are sufficient to explode this encyclical–all its assertions AND all its recommendations, other than its recommendations to pray, practice charity, believe in Jesus, and such things..

    The satellite data show that the Earth has been cooling for a long time. The pro-abortion, genocidal, totalitarian Left says the Earth is warming. The encyclical aligns the Church with the pro-abortion, genocidal, totalitarian Left.

    There is nothing “good” that the encyclical does contain, or COULD contain, that can neutralize the scandal that has been caused by the acceptance by the Pope of the global-warming hoax. The provenance of this hoax–the pro-abortion, genocidal, totalitarian Left–only exacerbates the scandal.

    This encyclical will shortly reside on the ash heap of history–except that it will take a permanent place among the great Papal scandals.

  36. Pingback: A series of posts on the encyclical Laudato Si | Catholic Heart and Mind

  37. Filumene says:

    Evil usually incorporates a little truth to make something…….. palatable. Doesn’t take much poison to kill the well. If there is garbage in the encyclical , than that’s just problematic… matter the eleven good points.

  38. Bea says:

    Why was not Humanae Vitae given such hoopla?
    Why was not Summorum Pontificum demanded to be followed as this encyclical has been in certain quarters?

    Matthew 11:5Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)
    5 The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead rise again, the poor have the gospel preached to them.

    (Luke 12:22-34)
    25Therefore I say to you, be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat, ……. Consider the lilies of the field ……(etc)…how much more you, O ye of little faith? 31Be not solicitous therefore, saying, …(etc) 32For after all these things do the heathens seek. …….. 33Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you.

    I, for one, would prefer an encyclical on Teaching the Gospel and Seeking the Kingdom of God and NOT environmental and worldly problems. “For after all these things do the heathens seek”.

    Some bishops want LS to be taught and preached from the pulpit
    I will pay as much attention to this encyclical as our Priests and Bishops paid to Humanae Vitae and Summorum Pontificum.

    This encyclical does not make me unhappy.
    I am not happy by being unhappy.
    I am happy, period, because Christ came, loved us, taught us and saved us from our sins. What else do we need? THIS is all that the poor and the rest of the world need to focus on.
    Generosity towards the poor will automatically flow if we seek FIRST God’s Kingdom. An encyclical on Love of God and His Word is all we really need. Why do “they” want to complicate God’s simple message with so much rhetoric?

  39. servus humilis says:

    A footnote citing Fr. Teilhard de Chardin? Is this a first, and will it be the last? And what about all those citations to documents drafted by episcopal conferences, as if they were elements of the ordinary magisterium? That’s a tell-tale marker for much, much worse things to come (those documents always get drafted by agenda-driven faceless functionaries).

  40. Elizabeth D says:

    Pope Benedict used to cite Tielhard de Chardin now and then, and even praise him, though whether he ever did so in an encyclical I do not know. I am no Tielhard fan, because I am not a fan of ambiguity and I understand his flights of theology have that flaw, but it is mostly Tielhard’s numerous heterodox interpreters that are the real serious problem, and it does not surprise me Tielhard would be quoted in this kind of encyclical. And he is hardly the only imperfect theologian who gets cited in Church sources. How many through the years benefited from Origen? Tauler and others of the Rhineland mystics had some inspiration from Meister Echkardt. Etc.

  41. Supertradmum says:

    Chicken et Imrahil,

    Then, you need to correct at least six Carmelite sources either in print on online, both in the States and Europe, which quote this as attributed to Teresa as part of her writings. I saw this in print in a Dublin Carmelite publication among several others.

  42. Ben Kenobi says:

    When can we get the Catholic encyclical? :) Looking forward to it.

  43. StWinefride says:

    As Chicken suggests, it seems that the saying often attributed to St Theresa of Avila is not found in her writings. The author(s) could be English from the late 19th C., and are either the Rev. Pearse, Sarah Elizabeth Rowntree or Rev. John Wilhelm Rowntree.

  44. Fr Z.:
    “Perhaps we can pay as much attention to the sections on markets and environment, as the catholic Left pays to Humanae vitae.

    When the libs shove it in our faces and command us to accept every word, we can pay as much attention to it as they gave to Summorum Pontificum.”

    But the difference between them and us is precisely that we believe in God, in His Church, and the Magisterium.The difference is precisely being or not a “faithful Catholic” !

    However, paragraphs 199-121 seem to me unbelievable ! How is it possible ?
    Where is the one true religion ? Can a Pope write for one moment as if he was not the head on earth of the one true church and the one true religion, and as if the other religions were not false and were not lies ? Or is my interpretation wrong? Certainly it is, it can’t be otherwise.

    But how can the heretical Fr Teilhard de Chardin become now a theological reference ?

    Note [53 ]:
    “[53] Against this horizon we can set the contribution of Fr Teilhard de Chardin”

    Sorry, could someone help me understand that ??

  45. Perhaps the Pope needs to call certain nations. In the USA the National Park System includes 407 areas covering more than 84 million acres in every state, the National Wilderness Preservation System includes 54 areas (9.1 million acres) in 13 states were designated, the National Wildlife Refuge System covers 150 million acres of land, this is a total of 12% of the land area in the US.

    The U.S. also had a total of 787 National Marine Protected Areas, covering an additional 242,410 sq mi, or 67 percent of the total marine area of the United States. Every state has a system of state parks.
    Then in the US there are also the:
    National Monuments
    National Marine Sanctuaries
    National Recreation Areas
    National Landscape Conservation System
    National Estuarine Research Reserves
    National Trails System
    National Wild and Scenic Rivers System

    And we’re still complaining about producing the necessary wood, fish, oil, and other natural resource products on a very small portion of the remaining lands in the US that aren’t occupied as cities, farms, and desert? This isn’t the 1800’s any longer. There is such a thing as idolatry that aims to replace Genesis 1:26-28.

  46. Praynfast says:

    Pope Francis and those who want to make drastic changes to the Church must do so slyly, seeming to appease the pro-life side because they are most vocal. Just recently Cardinal Kasper let the cat out of the bag and described a “Vatican II strategy”, where both sides are apparently appeased. That is precisely what is done in Laudato Si. A writer at LifeSiteNews summarizes the strategy phenomenally:

    “The Second Vatican Council was also faced with challenges to traditional Catholic doctrine and practice, which were opposed by large numbers of bishops. Despite this opposition, many items on the agenda of the ultra-liberal French and German bishops, a faction known as the “Rhine Group” which was supported by Pope Paul VI, were accomplished by the use of often vague, ambiguous and even apparently conflicting language that seem to have appeased both sides. These expressions were later referred to as “time bombs” which some theologians were able to exploit following the council for the purpose of undermining the Church’s traditional teachings.”

    I fear that you have fallen for Vatican II strategy, Fr. Z.. The first part of the encyclical is clearly anti-life, and it implies multiple times that removing humans from earths’ spaces (land) is the solution to their false problem. Then, it attacks large cities and is opposed to migration (and air conditioning, mind you).

    So, the encyclical is against migration and large cities, and it is against humans populating certain areas. The obvious assumption is that the solution is less humans, aka, population control by a central authority (government enforced control). Of course, they will claim abortion is not an option, so they will likely say it is “responsible” to force Catholics to use NFP. Do you not see this, Fr. Z.?

  47. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    Supertradmum noted: “And, if O’s idea to push religious based charities to hire LGTB employees, that will be the end of Catholic charities. When there are no diocesan charities, individuals will have to listen to the real Gospel and the Church’s teaching on the corporal works of mercy.”

    You are so right about that, Supertradmum.

    My hope would be that something like this might come about: that the dioceses will be run by volunteers. A volunteer organization staffed by true volunteers. And the Catholic people to whom God has given extra treasure might then be called upon, informally and voluntarily, of course, to set up an organization along the lines of the one described in the Sherlock Holmes tale, The Red-Headed League, in which, in exchange for an hour or two a month of reading some material, the subject is paid a handsome fee. Perhaps in the modern-day scenario, the volunteers for the archdiocese work at selling shares of some Catholic corporation or another for an hour a month, and receive in exchange a “draw” on future earnings that would amount to what their monthly salary plus benefits from their diocesan job would have been. Or some such arrangement. I’m sure some very clever lawyers or accountants could figure something out. Of course, the IRS or the yet-to-be-created Thought Police will come after the dioceses for this scheme; then the clever fellows must figure something else out, always staying one step ahead of the agents of Dark Side of the Force.

    In a nutshell, that the diocesan employees are true volunteers, and these volunteers also moonlight as sales agents for a Catholic-run industry. For about one hour a month. And for that, get paid an amount that equates to something close to their previous diocesan salary. Others smarter than I, I’ll bet, could figure something out.

  48. Imrahil says:

    Dear Filumene,

    is there? I happen to have found no garbage in the encyclical (note that “garbage” is something distinctly more than “I personally shouldn’t have said that at that place”, but at the least includes “that is downrightly wrong”).

    Dear Praynfast,

    the quote of Cdl Kasper I’m not aware of, but I’m quite sure he was referring to the Family Synod, which is a horse of an entirely different color.

    Also, I did not read anything about people having to go. Whatever supposedly have been implied, the explicit statements were that more people are not the problem; and anyway, one of the nice things about NFP is that it can’t be enforced, nor can denial or failure to use it be punished by people who don’t want to risk abetting abortions.

    It did, indeed, attack large cities. That (a pity, coupled with a bit of disdain, of the “cityerers” as they are called around here) is, in fact, is a topos as frequent in the ideas and conceptions of traditional, faithful Catholics of the first half of the 20th century – and their heirs who may have grown lax in practicing religion, too – that (on thinking of it) I’m definitely surprised, almost astonished, at hearing such tones from a Pope nowadays. Fr Vincent McNabb said that anyone is, on pain of sin (through bringing oneself in danger of sin), obliged to flee the city and settle in the countryside (unless in exceptionary circumstances). I’m not of his opinion, nor did the Pope go so far; but I think we can infer that these talk about cities is not exactly a new thing, can’t we?

    On the other hand [someone said there were self-contradictions and I asked where], to be, on the one hand, against megacities and to praise, on the other hand, the beauty of a scyscraper… is a strange combination. [not directly a self-contradiction, but I admit it comes close]

  49. Markus says:

    This is good news. I will follow the Vatican (European) model and turn off the AC. I will take six weeks off of work in late summer and then will have to close my business (for good). I would go to the cool mountain retreat, but I already live there and it is going to get to 96 degrees tomorrow. I will still attend Mass in our mountain chapel where 250+ jamb in a 400 square foot “nave” and our “green” pastor always complains that it is too hot or too cold.

    I will feel good but will no longer be able to contribute to my parish or charities. I will become a ward of the state. Rome and Washington, DC are becoming more alike everyday. Do as I say, not as I do.

  50. kimberley jean says:

    Let’s be honest. How many of us really paid attention to JPII’s or Benedict’s encyclicals? I will give this one no weight than I did the others.

  51. alanphipps says:

    “I personally didn’t like the admonition to read the encyclical will a check list of 11 “good” points, particularly accompanied with the statement that the encyclical contains “bad” points. I think that Catholics should read the entire encyclical with an entirely open heart — this goes for “liberals” vis a vis abortion and global population and male/female gifts, but it also goes equally for “conservatives” vis a vis climate change.”

    Amen! We shouldn’t approach matters of faith and its application through the lens of a particularly political ideology. It ought to be the other way around. To hear that there are those who are outright refusing to read the encyclical at all seems childish and petulant to me. I find in this encylclical a beautiful reflection on human ecology. And even those who disagree with talk of “global warming” have to agree that there are obvious things that we humans do that damage the environment in which we live, even in our local communities, and for a variety of reasons. I recall that Tolkien lamented the increase of automobiles in his home town just for the ways in which they destroyed the peace.

  52. Supertradmum says:


    If you get a job, it will be because of God’s mercy and Providence, not your own merits. Gratitude for security, money, jobs, housing must be given to God Who gives us these things. It is men who deny some things to people, but God allows the poor to be in the world for our benefit.

    All we have is from God and all we give is from God. There are thousands of unemployed people who are so for no fault of their own. There are millions of poor people in the world through no fault of their own, and some are in penury. Greed and bad stewardship, as well as the unwillingness to get down and dirty with the poor, but merely throw money at charities, plagues the Catholic world, especially in America.

    And yes, we are all responsible for poverty–that is what Christ meant when He said the poor will be with us always, for us to care for, whereas He was only on earth for a short time. I suggest you read, if you have not, all the documents on this page–which I have and have studied. We cannot choose which doctrines we want. We must accept the teaching of the popes and the fathers on care for the poor.

  53. Gratias says:

    I am not Polyannish about this. From Crux magazine: “Argentinian Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, Chancellor of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences, shrugged off the criticism the document is receiving from some sectors of society, “particularly those funded by the oil industry.” “He said that even though Catholic skeptics on climate change are within their rights not to believe in it, that doesn’t mean can ignore the fact that Laudato Si’ is now part of the Church’s official teaching.”

    Problem is, Global Warming is false. The church is aligning itself with the wrong conclusions. The climate has not warmed for the last 18 years despite a modest increase on CO2. The hockey stick curve data was falsified by a clique of scientists involved in the United Nations, as revealed in the Climategate emails. There were warmer and colder periods in the Middle Ages. Only 10,000 years ago North America was covered in glaciers. For leftists the ends justifies the means and now the Pope has aligned the Church with the wrong theory and the wrong people. In addition, most of Laudatory Sii (not even Latin) is an economic socialist manifesto out of the sixties (cf. #94). The world will be well pleased with this Encyclical.

  54. kimberley jean says:

    I used to be poor. I thank God for giving me a mother who instilled so much pride in me that I fiercely fought off the well meaning middle class ladies who would have turned me into a zombie shuffling from one handout center to another. Anyone who dared pity me got a sharp rebuke and was sent away with a flea in their ear. I have relatives who are completely dependent on the government and it’s horrible what it did to their children and characters.

  55. lweisenthal says:

    To Fr. Fitzpatrick,
    Water vapor is a greenhouse gas, and it is fortunate that we do have greenhouse gases, to moderate the temperature of the earth. But the other greenhouse gases (including water vapor) are in an equilibrium. Water evaporates from oceans and the remainder of the earth’s surface; it collects in the atmosphere as water vapor. Then it falls to earth as rain. No net water is being added to the system. It’s been in a stable equilibrium for millions of years.

    Not so in the case of the fossil fuels. They have been sequestered underground for millions of years. When we pull them up out of the earth and burn them up, we release new CO2 into the atmosphere. This disturbs the preexisting equilibrium and add a net “forcing” (greenhouse intensifying) effect to the atmosphere.

    Secondly, it’s not true that the global warming trend has in any way abated. In the first place, the warming has always followed a saw tooth like trend upward. There are temporary influences which can push it up or down in a given year. In 1998 there were other factors which temporarily elevated global temperatures to an unusually high spike. But the overall trend line continues relentlessly upward. There has been no “hiatus” or “pause” in global warming. e.g. – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

  56. Fr. Vincent Fitzpatrick says:

    Larry Wiesenthal:

    CO2 is not a problem. It is a minuscule part of the atmosphere (400 PPM). The optimal level for plant growth is 1500 PPM. We could use much more CO2 than we currently have. The poor would benefit the most. The greenhouse effect of such an increase would be negligible. And “forcing” is another hoax. CO2 increases follow rising temperature–in the ice core record, in modern times, always.

    In support of your claim about the “pause” you give a link to one of the premier corrupt “scientific” organs in existence.

    Has the Pope ever asked any of his pro-abortion, atheist advisers: “What is the temperature of the Earth? What was the temperature of the Earth 20 years ago? What is the CORRECT temperature of the Earth?”

    Not on your life.

    The totalitarians chose CO2 to raise alarms about for a simple reason: Every living thing, and everything every living thing needs to live, is made of carbon.

    PRESTO! If carbon must be controlled, instant and total government control of all food, all fuel, all economic activity, and, best of all, all human bodies.

  57. Dave P. says:

    Fr. Fitzpatrick:

    Does Bishop Folda know about your comments on the Pope?

  58. lweisenthal says:

    To Fr. Fitzpatrick, As a guest on Fr. Z’s blog, I’ll endeavor never to argue politics. And I don’t wish to foster what would end up being a back and forth re-hash of all the old arguments relating to climate change debate. I’ll limit my reply to a single scientific point, which is something which is never discussed but is certainly worthy of consideration.

    You state that the optimum CO2 level for plant growth is 1500 PPM. I’m certain that you do concede that there has been an inexorable rise in atmospheric CO2 since the dawn of the industrial revolution and that current CO2 levels (400 PPM) are higher than they have ever been since the emergence of homo sapiens (i.e. humanity) 250,000 years ago. In other words, humans did not evolve to be breathing air with the current high (and continuously rising) levels of CO2.

    CO2 is an integral part of the bicarbonate/CO2/carbonic acid system which maintains our body pH at 7.4. When the level of inspired (breathed in) CO2 is increased, the pH falls, and the body must compensate metabolically to raise the pH back up. The kidneys excrete NH3 to retain bicarbonate. The amount of free ionized calcium goes up. Calcium has important effects on protein structure and muscle and neuronal function, among a great many other things. Imagine minute changes in neuronal excitability multiplied by the 100 billion neurons in the human brain. Have we all become so disagreeable to one another because our neurons have become progressively “edgy?” with the relentless rise in atmopheric CO2?

    We have absolutely no idea what effect the need for chronic metabolic compensation may have, over a lifetime, at 400 PPM, much less 1500 PPM.

    The massive increase in atmospheric CO2 now ongoing is the greatest human guinea pig experiment in history and my own personal opinion is that it is anything but conservative to allow it to continue.

    I personally am in the process of reading the entire encyclical, with a heart open to all information and inspiration contained therein.

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

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