One of Fr Z’s first reactions to the encyclical ‘Laudato si”

The Italian was leaked and now there is an English version out.  There are some good moments in it.  There’s something for everyone.

However, it’s pretty hard on free markets.  I don’t care much for that discussion.

So, here’s an initial approach… the … “recyclical”?

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.



In the new stage of Encyclileaks, I saw that the über-liberal Robert Mickens, who was fired by The Tablet (aka The Bitter Pill) for his nasty social media comments about the former Pope (HERE), opined that the English version was leaked in an effort by “conservatives” to embarrass the Pope!

It is to laugh.



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Siculum says:

    Great. Let’s do that.

  2. a catechist says:

    …or as much attention as just about everyone, parish priests included, paid to “Verbum Domini.”

  3. Mary T says:

    Interesting that there are SO MANY FOOOTNOTES linking to various nations’ Episcopal Bishops Conferences. I don’t think we’ve seen anything like it in papal documents before (but i could be wrong).

    I was happy to see that the technology section heavily referenced Guardini. A lot of people have been claiming that the encyclical would (on technology and other issues) be based on Leonardo Boff (apparently his followers have been publishing the alleged “fact” that he was consulted – something that is never, ever done by those who actually ARE consulted).

    I did not care for the long section toward the end on Rio, Stockholm, etc. etc. etc. Way too much political detail…..

  4. Mary T says:

    I should add that though my Italian isn’t perfect, it’s fair, and I think a lot of the sections on Creation and the Bible are quite good. But of course all the theological stuff will be ignored by the press as they google only the word “climate.” It reminds me of Pax in Terra, which the left thinks was about nuclear disarmament, yet was filled with things like conscience, family, etc.

    And on a topic I argued in print about with a famous “public intellectual” not only did the Pope NOT call for population/birth control, he SPECIFICALLY said that was the wrong way too go.

  5. “The Spirit of Laudato si”

  6. LarryW2LJ says:

    I agree – 1000%.

    I hate to be in anyone’s face about this, because I agree with the basic concept. We are called to be good stewards with the gifts God gave us. It just plain bothers me that environmentalism has become its own religion, and the Progressive Left sure isn’t slow to “judge” anyone who they believe transgresses against their Gaia.

    I suppose it’s difficult to come out with an encyclical like this and not have it used as a trump card by the Progressives. Funny how they’ll be so willing to bash everyone over the head with this and at the same time treat Humanae vitae as if it were nothing but a high school creative writing assignment.

  7. That will make us just as bad as they are.

    [Advice: If you are going to be around here for a while, you might sharpen your sense of humor and irony. But, seriously, if they are going to shove this in our faces, shove Humanae vitae in theirs. They can’t have a pass on this. They can’t have it both ways.]

  8. george says:

    Not really, Nathan Barontini. If the approaches to handling economics and the environment are means to a just end which are subject to prudential judgement, then they are not matters of faith and morals and are not binding on the faithful the same was Humanae Vitae is.

  9. Elizabeth D says:

    I agree with Nathan Barontini. Time will tell on this not-even-yet-released encyclical, and in 10 years it may seem clearer whether it was prophetic or a little naive, but in principle it should be listened to respectfully. Saying “perhaps we can pay as little attention to parts we don’t like as they paid to Humanae Vitae” would seem to legitimize the devastating way Humanae Vitae was ignored. Goose, gander, etc. I am skeptical of the Acton mentality. [Which you know oh so very well, I suppose.]

  10. Polycarpio says:

    Agree with Elizabeth. Although George is right, it will look like convenient rationalization to most. Additionally, the distinctions that could be made for Humanae Vitae do not apply to Summorum Pontificum.

    [Okay… I am now convinced that I have to turn on the moderation queue. Honestly! You would think the commentators here were liberals.]

  11. Rellis says:

    Where can we find this English translation attempt?

  12. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    LarryW2LJ sensibly writes, “I suppose it’s difficult to come out with an encyclical like this and not have it used as a trump card by the Progressives.” Given that, how might one write such a document in terms of both style and content to minimize that risk as far as possible? A thought experiment which can be tested against the finished product when it appears.

  13. Moral_Hazard says:

    Something that’s always been a head-scratcher for me is how is an intelligent, educated guy from Argentina not look at his own country’s economic history, compare it with that of its neighbor, Chile, and not draw some conclusions about free markets.

  14. Lavrans says:

    I do not have a problem with the teaching that we need to be good stewards of creation. As I teach my students, God gave us the world and creation as a home. It is hostile to us because of the Fall, but nonetheless, it is home and we have to manage it as best we can. No one likes a house that is filthy and dangerous, especially because toxins and dangers affect the weakest and most vulnerable the most: unborn children and infants. When I frame it this way, it makes more sense than speaking in vague “corporatese” I do not care about the market and big picture stuff so much as I care about my own home, land, and neighborhood. It will always be individual conversion that matters most. If this allows for a few greenies to come home, then it is a success.

  15. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Good question! The search machines I’ve tried found nary a trace!

  16. ecs says:

    I share the thoughts of many that this pope’s priorities for three years now seem so incredibly out of sinc with what his actual job is. He might as well run for a position with the UN.

    It is an embarrassment as a Catholic to see my pope participate in the man made global warming fraud. I do not believe for one second that he really believes in it either. This is all political. If he truly believed in man made global warming what I the world is he doing jet setting all over the world. His single carbon footprint is larger than my entire family’s carbon footprint combined. He should cancel his trip to the U.S. this year immediately to set the example. And furthermore, does he use electricity? Does he wear manufactured clothes? Does he ride in a car?

    And who in the world is he speaking to with this encyclical anyway? What is the average Catholic to do with this? My family already recycles. We don’t litter. We eat all our food. Are just all supposed to be Democrats now and support the shakedown via the international carbon tax that is really the thing that is being pushed here?

    None of this has anything to do with the earth. This is all politics. Which is now the norm with this pope. Politics 24/7.

  17. robtbrown says:

    Encyclicals that are very long, rather than short and to the point, all but guarantee that they will not be read by many people. Instead, certain texts will be used to justify various ideologies, which of course include the media.

  18. Latin Mass Type says:

    People looking for the English version (and I have not looked)–

    If it isn’t at Crux or Fishwrap — that would me a good sign!

  19. Latin Mass Type says:

    “…BE a good sign”

    (sorry, didn’t preview…)

  20. Dear Father:

    I chuckled at your jocular “first response,” but I agree with those who say we should do better. Here’s my suggestion. Read this besides both Rerum Novarum and Centessimus Annus. Read it along with the Catechism. That will help avoid falling into the trap, which the left wants to fall into, of reading this like a party political platform. [Thanks, Father, for “getting it”. But I don’t think the libs have any sense of trap. They merely look down on us from a position of moral superiority. And they are the ones who are supremely political.]

  21. Geoffrey says:

    I agree with LarryW2LJ. We are indeed stewards of creation. Mankind is no doubt having some negative effect on the environment since the advent of the Industrial Revolution. But, is it as dire as the climate changers believe? I honestly have no idea; it’s above my pay grade. In the U.S., it has become a political argument, which it shouldn’t be. Let politicians (and bishops) get out of the way and let the scientists debate it.

  22. Mike says:

    We can (and should) read the encyclical and its contextual documents all we want. But we must also be prepared to face the bludgeon into which the self-described “social justice warriors” will distort this work.

    It is doubtful how much opportunity we can expect to engage in rational discourse. The SJWs are increasingly baring their fangs. And they are enlisting the support of crony capitalists from hipster coffee-shop chains to venerable insurance companies — not to mention chanceries and bishops’ conferences. Expect media bawling and brawling (the latter not confined to the media) to ensue beside which the accustomed braying of the Reporter and its comrades will appear quite mild in retrospect.

    Evil is on the march. Now is the time to fast, watch, and pray. And, as our blog-Father reminds us, to go to confession.

  23. mburn16 says:

    The basic idea of being a good steward od the Earth is fine and well and good. There are good reasons not to dump toxic waste into rivers. There is a reason the no-toxic-waste/no-carcinogens form of environmentalism enjoyed support on both left and right.

    But when environmentalism latches on to the idea that we must sacrifice human well-being for the sake of trees and polar bears…then we have a problem.

    It is hypocritical to skewer materialism as the primary evil in the world while dedicating so much of your Papacy to expressing concern for the material position of the poor; and it is paridoxical to have the well-being of the poor as your primary cause, while ridiculing the one economic system that has displayed a capacity to deliver widespread and sustained improvements to the human quality of life.

  24. Toan says:

    Elizabeth: “Saying “perhaps we can pay as little attention to parts we don’t like as they paid to Humanae Vitae” would seem to legitimize the devastating way Humanae Vitae was ignored.”

    I agree.

  25. Imrahil says:

    I’m pretty much in favor of having not paying overmuch attention to all the things that come out of the Vatican. An encyclical, in principle, is different, though.

    So, the principle is: read, and if necessary, annotate, or add cautionary remarks, or even contradict with arguments (as far as allowed, for which see the instructions in Donum veritatis); not ignore.

    I see that it may sometimes, for the individual, be a wise choice not to read something which would disturb him.

  26. pseudomodo says:

    Tell me if you’ve heard this one before…

    So, a Cardinal , an Orthodox Metropilitan Archbishop and a radical environmental extremist walk into a bar….

    The Pope, who is the bartender, looks at them and says, “didn’t I throw you guys out of here in 1962?”

  27. Imrahil says:

    That said, two things are to be remembered:

    1. Only dogmas are dogmas.

    2. The chief problem with the adversaries of Humanae vitae was not that they ignored a papal instruction, but that they advocated for birth-control and birth-control is in fact wrong. (Forgive me for repeating that as sort of a mantra, but:) There is no substitute for truth, not even obedience.

  28. Imrahil says:

    Dear pseudomodo,

    no, I didn’t. One question, though: The joke sounds cool and interesting… but I don’t understand it. What is it alluding to? 1962: Vatican II? old liturgy? how should the Pope have thrown all of them out, then?

  29. pseudomodo says:


    Before going off to seminary in the 60’s, Jorge Bergolio worked as a bouncer in a nightclub.

    IMHO this particular work experience would have more than qualified him for his role as Supreme Pontiff!

  30. Imrahil says:

    Aaahhh… good one!

  31. SKAY says:

    Imrahil said:

    “There is no substitute for truth, not even obedience.”

    I agree.

  32. Traductora says:

    ecs, I thought those comments and your questions were excellent.

    Who exactly is this “encyclical” aimed at? Obviously, not at Catholics. It’s entirely political, because this pope thinks of himself as a political power – but not in the way the medieval popes did, meaning that they used political power to defend the Church and Christian principles – but as a secular player trying to get an issue that will validate him with the world.

    There is something for everyone in this encyclical, which is verbose, vague, self-contradictory, not well cited in Catholic terms, and is obviously meant to appeal to the leftist power brokers while not entirely alienating the people who actually pay for the operations of the Vatican…which would be primarily orthodox Catholics in the US (biggest contributors) and elsewhere, since orthodox dioceses or parishes always give more.

    Sister Snowflake may be doing the liturgical dance of the seven veils or, nowadays, the gay pride march, but nobody is stuffing dollar bills into her costume and she lives mostly on the wills of long-gone widows who really thought the order was going to pray for them. On the other hand, orthodox Catholics are giving to orthodox causes, their seminaries and schools are growing…and they’re still giving money to Rome.

    So I think the Pope is treading a fine line. He wants to ingratiate himself with the left and the international powers that be, but he doesn’t want to lose the people who pay the bills.

  33. chantgirl says:

    If this encyclical criticizes the pill, which not only destroys souls but wreaks havoc on our water supply and causes sexual dysfunction in fish, I will be the first one to stand up and cheer. Any bets?

  34. Supertradmum says:

    OM Goodness…the younger generation does not have a sense of humor? And why?

    The need for a historical and theological context is vip. I cannot agree more than 100 percent with Father Martin Fox. Hey, politics are not the same as theology, and we have a long history in the Church of popes writing about things which should be considered in the marketplace, from the viewpoint of religion, not politics. Leo XIII never endorsed any political party in his encyclicals.

    OK, I get the knee-jerk Dems, but now I am seeing too much written by knee-jerk GOPers. which I am not either. And, I do think that some commentators here are extremely disrespectful to the Pope. If one does not like him, one must respect the office, or one is in danger of becoming a sedevacantist.

    Imrahil, you do not understand obedience. By definition, it is adhesion to the truth–it is a virtue of “righteous conduct”.

  35. Supertradmum says:

    ecs, I do not know where you live, but after living ten years in Europe in the 1990s and being there consistently for three more years recently, I can assure you Americans waste tons more food, electricity, gas and other stuff than the Europeans. I know people here who leave their cable tvs on all day, leave lights on all day, consume way too much food and throw away tons of food, buy things just for the sake of buying something and travelling for fun or not planning sensible trips to stores and such, but going on whim.

    This is not how I live, being frugal by necessity and trying to live a simple lifestyle. Europeans have public transport, (where I live practically none), eat less, wear clothes longer and tend to be aware of electricity usage as well as water usage more.

    Americans are spoiled and we need a lecture. More than one.

    I shall really study this document later and look at all the footnotes, as I usually do with encyclicals.

  36. rcg says:

    I like Fr Fox’ response. As a strong capitalist I feel people miss a huge factor in it: it is only free and open if the capitalist is allowed to bear responsibility. A capitalist poisoning land or water is no different than the plumber who leaves a huge mess after working in your kitchen. If you are free to go to another plumber then things can be made better and the plumbers keep themselves straight. The big industrial polluters always have the blessing of government and protection and support to make their messes. Another form of “Too Big to Fail”.

  37. Ben Kenobi says:

    Personally, I love it when they want to fight on my turf. Usually I start by asking them if they’ve read Rerum Novarum. That’s usually enough to end the conversation.

  38. excalibur says:

    CO2 is not a pollutant, and as far as other matters, we are a cleaner, and greener, planet than we were in the 1960’s. All this trumped up Marxist climate alarmism is about is control. Period. And if the encyclical does call for some world governing body/authority, then it is garbage. Because it would then be part and parcel, in spite of any ‘good stuff’* in it, of a one world Progressive power grab. And this is the Papacy that has given voice to Prof. John Schellnhuber.

    Professor John Schellnhuber has been chosen as a speaker for the Vatican’s rolling out of a Papal document on climate change. He’s the professor who previously said the planet is overpopulated by at least six billion people. Now, the Vatican is giving him a platform which many expect will result in an official Church declaration in support of radical depopulation in the name of “climate science.”

    *As if there isn’t already enough ‘good stuff’ written and rewritten in the past Church history. IOW, ‘good stuff’ repeated does not trump new ‘bad stuff’ that promotes what amounts to Marxism-Leninism hegemony, and population reduction. Because the left will indeed use this encyclical, if it is as it appears now, to promote population reduction, which is where they’ve long been headed.

  39. benedetta says:

    This thread: LOL!

    People: an encyclical is an encyclical is an encyclical. Encyclicals were not born tomorrow…Humanae Vitae & Evangelium Vitae…serve as able bases for this one which we will glimpse officially tomorrow (my Italian is not good enough so I’m not going to attempt a perusal although I can’t say I am not curious)…Fr Z is correct as usual (ha)…A broad embrace of this encyclical can only affirm that encyclicals have meaning and weight and are based on…hey, some things! Real things even. Some substantive realities, even, dare I say it, truths! Huzzah!

  40. benedetta says:

    And also: Did somebody up there just say the word “dogma”?!?

    Oh the hilarity. Yes Father Z you would think…because humorless is synonymous with…

  41. Mary T says:


    I already said above that the Italian “draft,” which I read in full on Monday, doesn’t countenance birth control or population control – quite the contrary, it specifically addresses it as an ERROR the environmentalists make.
    I don’t expect this to change in what is released tomorrow, but who am I to…….. etc.

  42. Imrahil says:

    Dear Supertradmum,

    I was taking “obedience” chiefly in its colloquial sense. My point was that “Catholicism is to hold what the Pope says” is, in spite all the obedience which really is due to him, not any sufficient description of it.

    Dear benedetta,

    I did, in the phrase “only dogmas are dogmas”. It is i.m.o. important to treat the encyclical as what it is: Papal teaching, which is to be received as such including its principal claim of obedience – not just some sermon we can freely ignore -, but all the same (if we are not all much mistaken) still such that respectful disagreement is not utterly ruled out for Catholics.

    Dear excalibur,

    I can see many things that can be brought forward against a world authority; however, we have to note that the idea of a world authority happens to have been officially favored by virtually all the latest Popes, reaching back (if I’m not quite mistaken) at least to the Ven. Pope Pius XII; which pretty much rules out the “innovation contrary to previous tradition” idea, doesn’t it (whether or not the t is capitalized).

  43. comedyeye says:

    Exactly how does an encyclical like this bring souls to Christ?

    [When you wrote this, had you read it?]

  44. The Masked Chicken says:

    I haven’t read the encyclical, yet, because I haven’t perfected my time machine so that I can go into the future (June 18) and snag a Realcopy ™. I suppose that leaks have their place, but my analysis will be better served with the historical document rather than with the almost-historical document. You know, there is a rumor (started by me), that someone leaked an early draft of a play Shakespeare was going to call, Romeo and Julio, but, fortunately, someone caught the error before the opening night. I am prepared to wait for the opening night performance of Laudato si (in Klingon, of course)

    The Chicken

  45. Thorfinn says:

    I would like to see a children’s book published incorporating the best points of Laudato Si, consistent with the entire tradition of Catholic teaching in this area. It’s an opportunity for evangelization, for helping orient children toward an understanding of ecology that is Catholic rather than socialist, anti-human, or anti-Christ, which much of the existing, pervasive, propaganda is.

    The area I was most interested in reading was the value of labor — considering recent projections that the work of tens of millions of existing jobs will soon be accomplished by robots. This is not necessarily a tragedy — was Man really created to work shifts in a manufacturing facility or performing menial tasks at a desk all day? — and this is a tremendous challenge for markets & policy to avoid a situation where many people are deprived of the dignity of work, at a time when policy makers and market leaders do not have appropriate answers to the questions: “What is the purpose of our life in this world? What is the goal of our work and all our efforts?” #129, in particular, is practially a welcome endorsement of the value of distributism.

  46. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    I have not yet read (much of) the now officially available document in any language, much less collated the official Italian version with what L’Espresso published, but I do note that they end with the same declaration concerning the date. If the l ‘Espresso one was, as Fr. Lombardi stated, a ‘bozza’, and there should be any difference beyond any obvious correction(s), how would it come to pass that a ‘bozza’ and a not only corrected but rewritten officially published text bear the same date? What is the significance of the date? Is it something like a ‘polite fiction’?

  47. chantgirl says:

    Mary T- I was specifically referring to the ecological damage done by hormonal contraceptives. A Catholic encyclical on the environment which denounces population control shouldn’t miss the golden opportunity to point out the damage to the environment by hormonal contraceptives. It’s a golden opportunity.

    If the secular world won’t listen to us on the morality concerns about the pill, maybe they will care if the pill destroys the environment. That is, unless sex trumps everything else.

  48. Andrew says:

    Oh, I thought there had been a long anti capitalist tradition at the Vatican. Jonathan Kwitny in his biography, “Man of the Century” about John Paul II, describes him in the introduction as the “world’s most eloquent critic of capitalism”.

    Looking at his encylical letter Solicitiudo Rei Socialis and Centessimus Annus, one would form that opinion.

    Distributism rules. That was an attempt by G.K Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc to put into practice the Church’s social teachings. [Here they come! No, I don’t think it does. However, there are a couple spots in the encyclical that ought to make a thrill run up distributist legs.]

  49. KateD says:

    The climate may be changing, but it is not anthropogenic. Warming and cooling periods are part of a planet’s natural cycle. We have a duty to Our Creator to tend the garden responsibly, but it is the heighth of human arrogance to believe that our gas is so powerful that it is setting the world on fire.

    Global warming is being used as a justification for depopulation via eugenics programs such as Margaret Sanger’s Planned Parenthood and the HCG tainted tetanus vaccinations administered by WHOUNICEF in Kenya (, Mexico, Nicaragua and the Philipines. California has a forced immunization bill making its way through the legislature, SB 277 will open the door to these forms of sterilizing vaccinations.

    When it’s Catholics and the Catholic clergy who stand up to defend the people from these nefarious schemes, is it any wonder that our faith and institutions are being persecuted? California just passed a bill that will force all pregnancy centers, including Catholic and other life affirming religious denominations to include abortion information when counseling at risk pregnant mothers. Catholic Hospitals have stood as the authority in medical discussions for centuries, but are now in the process of being removed from the arena.

    And these are just the obvious assaults….imagine what we are blissfully ignorant of…..

    Global warming, harrumph!

  50. Imrahil says:

    Interesting, the encyclical I mean.

    Some observations if you suffer them:

    1. As we all expected, the encyclical does not contain any new dogma. (Even taking “new” in its colloquial sense.) It would then in all probability have been an Apostolic Constitution, anyway.

    2. Now what I didn’t expect: The encyclical didn’t even contain much formal teaching. I don’t say: nothing of it; but in very many occasions, the Holy Father quotes “the bishops of x-country say that”, “Patriarch Bartholomew says that”, “y-person says that” as an, it seems to me, sort of literary device where it is not imperative to infer an “and I, the Pope, teach that same thing in full force of my ordinary magisterium”.

    3. In particular, though I may have overlooked such lines, I did not see any specific action of an individual be condemned as sinful. (But mankind, you know, as such does not sin. Sin is always the conscientous, or rather anti-conscientous, action of one specific soul.)

    4. No offense to the dear Traductora, but my primary impression was that, rather than ingratiating himself with every faction, the Pope took pains to disingratiate himself with every faction. I did only a quick read, but is there a specific group of people of a certain attitude which was not lectured by the Pope somewhere?

    So, for instance, the Pope lectured environmentalists too (along the lines of “it is unconceivable that people join an animal projection society while not caring about human trafficking). The slight remark that plants produce for the plant-eaters and the plant-eaters produce for the meat-eaters (who then give dung to the plants) might become interesting enough in due course, given that fashionable environmentalism is now heavily aligned with veganism. He even mentioned somewhere the beauty of technical creations, such as airplanes! (Though I’m not so sure whether I agree as to scyscrapers.)

    5. On a similar line, the Pope is giving a highly balanced and thought-out treatment of genetically modified organisms in no. 130-136 (which I totally subscribe to).

    Also, though he is eager to point out that this is not the only reason for protection (no. 33), he mentions first that there are even (long-term) economic reasons for protecting endangered species (no. 32).

    6. Again as to what the dear Traductora said, on my quick-read I did not find an actual self-contradiction. Doesn’t say they aren’t there, though.

    7. I really like the quite pious traditional concrete examples of what people can do, such as to say grace before meals (no. 227). Indeed also the no.s 235 through 237 are a downright pearl. Note that with the particular focus on the East, and with the suspicion of technology displayed previously, I could not but think: “And that being so, shouldn’t we rather have a less man-made technological rite? Doesn’t all this imply that, for us Westerners, the EF is the thing to prefer?”

    8. Generally, the Pope has said somewhen previously that he does not like casuistry. I do, though, and much of his suggestions, if read in the tone they suggest, while each of them (as far as I see) quite Catholic in themselves, are going to produce a “malo ex aliquo defecto” feeling. If on Sunday Mass is at ten, it’s 9:55 and I’m late, you can see me running. If I hear the bell ring out “ten o’clock” and I haven’t reached the door, I cannot help but immediately slow down; I’m late anyway. On the other hand, if I’m in Church already and they say they’re still going to have Eucharistic adoration afterwards, I might as well stay, though I’m not obliged to. – If someone sat down and tried to fulfill all the Pope wants, not to fall in any category he rejects (and indeed he does also reject the crowd who wouldn’t leave any place for, say, consumption as fostering human happiness), the impression would probably be that I cannot ever see me fulfilling that, so if I’m bad anyway what’s worth the trying.

    “There’s so much that one can do” (Pope Francis, no. 180) indeed, but there also seems to be so much that people don’t do. – As I said the Pope does not condemn particular actions of individuals as sinful (apart from corruption which he mentions somewhere), but you can feel your actions and choices condemned and that, apart from leaving the world (as St. Paul said – which might be realized in a monastery, of course), every direction is false.

    In such a situation, what is needed for the particular Catholic is a neat distinction of obligations and non-obliging good actions and omissions…

    9. Strangely, not as usual the title page, but only no. 62 makes clear to whom the Pope is actually writing this encyclical (which is “to all men of good will”).

    10. For an encyclical addressed to all men of good will, and for an encyclical in which the Pope takes pains to excuse himself about bringing religion into the subject at all (no. 62), the encyclical is rather strikingly “just a Catholic encyclical”, with all its “the Catechism says”, “footnote: See St. Thomas Aquinas, etc.”, the pious practices I already mentioned and so on.

    11. By no. 23, the question “is there a climate change” is being answered with “as far as we know yes” by the Church. This does not mean people cannot, with respect and caution, speak against that conclusion, but it would be wrong to just treat the Pope with ignorance, and it would at least in colloquial speech be misleading to say that the Church is indifferent on the subject.

    12. no. 129 is great (and yes that is core Distributism).

    13. Dear chantgirl, good observation.

    So, after a comment as long as that I should usually beg for an excuse… but this time, for a change, I really did try to be brief (short of just leaving things away, of course).

  51. BenYachov says:

    The left is going to treat the Holy Father’s pronouncements on Climate change as Ex Cathedra statements when they are more like the pronouncements of Pope Paul V on the movement of the Earth. Of course in the later case it would take two centuries for science to prove the Earth moves & thus it was incumbent on Catholics to submit to Paul V instructions till they where revoked in 1824. The way I see it from skimming the Encyclical. I should avoid materialism and consumerism. I should be concerned about the poor. I should not pollute the environment or abuse the Earth.

    Well I can (&should) do all that even if I am completely skeptical climate change is a result of human activity.

    It’s not hard. But the right wing anti-Catholics will use this as an occasion to attack the Pope & the left will elevate this Encyclical ignoring the Pope who wrote it condemns Abortion, Gay marriage, gay adoption and women priests. None of which gets any press from the usual suspects.

    I get the feeling the whole world is at war with the Church. But I am not surprised.

  52. xavierabraham says:

    I read some excerpts, and I already love it !

    A fundamental point in the encyclical is that of Creation, and how the modern man is defining his freedom as limitless to destroy not just the dignity of human life, but also everything else in our planet. Pope makes it clear that one cannot be an environmentalist and then support abortion at the same time, because human life is at the most valuable of all the creations. While at the same time, one cannot be pro-life on one hand, and then support a total plunder of the mother earth without consideration of the natural habitat. Jesus has asked us to preach his gospel to every being in nature (Mark 16:15), and not just to humans. As Pope writes, every creation reflects the Trinitarian mystery, and it exists because of the expressed will of God.

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