J Robert Smith
- Dec. 2, 2019
- 4 min read
VATICAN CITY — Following through on a proposal made at the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon, Pope Francis said there are plans to include a definition of ecological sins in the church’s official teaching.
“We should be introducing — we were thinking — in the Catechism of the Catholic Church the sin against ecology, ecological sin against the common home,” he told participants at a conference on criminal justice Nov. 15.
— Catholic News Service, via EarthBeat, November 15, 2019
Climate change is a favorite issue for Pope Francis. It is almost certain that it will be a major aspect of the catechism on “ecological sin.”
But his understanding of environmental care and climate change is bankrupt theologically and scientifically. [snip]
— The Christian Post, November 24, 2019
Roman Catholics beware. Pope Francis wants to introduce “ecological sins” into Catholic teachings. But the pontiff wants even more than sins against the environment, evidently. Francis has declared that eco-sins are crimes. Presumably, Francis will leave writing legal codes to secular powers. But that’s no consolation. Here’s why.
Catholics and others who care about liberty and natural rights should be troubled by the pope’s intention. His declaration impacts more than Catholic Church doctrine. There are practical implications. The pope’s imprimatur will embolden climate extremists. His declaration and further actions will grant the cabal of climate zealots and statists greater validation to expand governmental powers, here and overseas. The fight against “climate change” will receive legitimacy – and cover – it doesn’t merit.
Francis made his chilling pronouncement before the “Criminal Justice and Corporate Business” conference held in Rome in mid-November. He used the term “ecocide,” which imputes criminal intent. To whom? Industrialists and manufacturers? Agribusinesses? Even large family farming and ranching concerns?
Per the EarthBeat post:
Chief among those crimes, he added, are acts that “can be considered as ‘ecocide’: the massive contamination of air, land and water resources, the large-scale destruction of flora and fauna, and any action capable of producing an ecological disaster or destroying an ecosystem.”
Note the terms “massive” and “large-scale.” This is apparently an attempt by Francis to limit criminality. But what constitutes massive contamination? Can “massive” be applied to aggregates? The devil is in the details, no?
For instance, every summer, across Canada and the U.S., countless backyard BBQs burn coal and wood, releasing carbon into the air. Is this a form of ecocide? Will this activity be criminalized and banned?
Frivolous, you say?
How about automobiles? Their aggregate use around the globe doesn’t despoil air, water, and land? Will private ownership of cars end? How about freight transportation, which is intrinsic to the lifeblood of modern societies? Must all mechanized transportation be severely restricted to save the planet? Then, of course, the proliferation of horses and ox for transportation would create environmental hazards, too.
What about the use of modern artificial heating and cooling? Will thermostats be fixed to limit outputs? Will those who attempt to skirt laws prohibiting “excessive” heating and cooling be treated criminally?
Will meat consumption be strictly proscribed? We’ve heard much from climate extremists about cow flatulence being a major contributor to ozone depletion. (Zealots make this claim with straight faces.)
Of course, no one is suggesting that Amazon rain forests (a.k.a., jungles) should be denuded. No common sense person opposes reasonable stewardship of the earth. But climate zealotry is anything but reasonable.
There are the cynics, who use “climate change” to acquire more power and money. There are the true believers, who entertain fanciful notions that the earth can be transformed into a Garden of Eden, via alternative energy, smart technology, and “primitivizing” societies. Isn’t this utopianism a form of idolatry and a challenge and affront to Christianity?
Is Francis falling in with climate fanatics who claim that the end times are at hand due to modern human activity?
Billions of humans around the world depend on modern industry to survive – forget thrive. Large-scale scale farming and ranching feed hundreds of millions of souls, day-in and day-out.
The Cornwall Alliance (“For the Stewardship of Creation”) issued an open letter to Francis about the perils of falling for junk science. The group is comprised of eminent professionals from the sciences, academia, and faith.
This from the letter, dated April 27, 2015:
Much of the debate over environmental stewardship is rooted in a clash of worldviews, with conflicting doctrines of God, creation, humanity, sin, and salvation. Unfortunately, that clash often works its way into the very conclusions of environmental science. Rather than a careful reporting of the best evidence, we get highly speculative and theory-laden conclusions presented as the assured results of science. In the process, science itself is diminished, and many well-meaning moral and religious leaders risk offering solutions based on misleading science. The effect, tragically, is that the very people we seek to help could be harmed instead. [italics added]
Adhering to spurious “climate science” can have dire consequences for God’s children, particularly the humblest.
“Climate change” is more a quasi-religion – including end time predictions from notable politicians, Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Beto O’Rourke. Sanders, in a recent Democratic presidential debate, made the absurd claim that major cities will be underwater in “eight or nine” years.
Has Francis been bamboozled? Is he just a well-meaning cleric suckered by claptrap dressed up as science? Or is he a leftist intent on dovetailing his worldview with Catholic faith? If so, it’s an unholy marriage. Might the pontiff be flirting with propositio theologice erronea – a divergence from revealed truth? We’ll leave that to theologians to determine.
Worse for people, Catholic or not, will climate “sin” be used as a justification to create climate crimes and draconian laws?
Roman Catholics shouldn’t be silent about Francis instigating for climate sins. Catholics are instructed that Jesus Christ is the head of the Church. Clerics and laity are the body. Lay Catholics, first and foremost, must to be guided by the teachings of Christ in the New Testament, the Word of God in the Old, and conscience, which is informed by both.
Remember, the way to hell is paved with good intentions.
What do you think? Weigh in!