In another post I mentioned the Stream piece which points out 11 great moments in the new encyclical Laudato si’.
Here is one of the good moments. Read:
(1) Creation has a Creator, and is more than just “nature-plus-evolution”:
(75) A spirituality which forgets God as all-powerful and Creator is not acceptable. That is how we end up worshipping earthly powers, or ourselves usurping the place of God, even to the point of claiming an unlimited right to trample his creation underfoot. The best way to restore men and women to their rightful place, putting an end to their claim to absolute dominion over the earth, is to speak once more of the figure of a Father who creates and who alone owns the world. Otherwise, human beings will always try to impose their own laws and interests on reality.
(77) “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made” (Ps 33:6). This tells us that the world came about as the result of a decision, not from chaos or chance, and this exalts it all the more. The creating word expresses a free choice. The universe did not emerge as the result of arbitrary omnipotence, a show of force or a desire for self-assertion. Creation is of the order of love. God’s love is the fundamental moving force in all created things: “For you love all things that exist, and detest none of the things that you have made; for you would not have made anything if you had hated it” (Wis 11:24). Every creature is thus the object of the Father’s tenderness, who gives it its place in the world. Even the fleeting life of the least of beings is the object of his love, and in its few seconds of existence, God enfolds it with his affection. Saint Basil the Great described the Creator as “goodness without measure,” while Dante Alighieri spoke of “the love which moves the sun and the stars”. [The Poet really said “the love which moves the sun and other stars“, but that’s a small point. It’s the last line of the Divina Commedia. Did you know that each section ends with the word “stars… stelle“?] Consequently, we can ascend from created things “to the greatness of God and to his loving mercy.”
This is pretty good. It isn’t ground breaking (in a metaphorical sense… let’s not harm Mother Earth), but it is good. I like that point about how God knows, chooses, cherishes even the most fleeting of lives.
And then there are paragraphs 60-61, at the end of Chapter 1, wherein the Pope (or his writer) seems to call for dialogue between people with differing positions only to follow right way with a statement that seems to say that there isn’t really any room for debate, the issue is settled. Really?
I’ll repeat what I wrote the other day, but in a different way.
When the catholic Left insist that you accept everything in this new encyclical because “the Pope said so!”, remind them to accept every word of Ordinatio sacerdotalis, St. John Paul’s definitive document that affirms the infallible teaching that the Church has no authority to ordain women to the priesthood. Not only did “the Pope say so”, but he was merely repeating what the Church as always taught!
Remember: Some documents are more important, and better grounded, than others.
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.