I once read a papal encyclical: John Paul’s. With his 1998 encyclical, Pope John Paul sounded a lone voice for both “Faith and Reason” in the postmodern religious wilderness. Who else spoke with unhectoring clarity about the errors of relativism in modern thought? Certainly not Pope Francis. He’s too dumb to consider such abstractions.
That Jorge Bergoglio is shaping up to be a bit of a bumpkin is no surprise. He hails from the Latin American strain of Catholicism. And he, Pope Francis, is threatening to undo what Pope John labored to achieve: “steer liberation theology away from the influence of Marxist social analysis.”
In the 2015 encyclical, the Holy See saddles the richest nations with the blame for the despoliation of the earth, when the truth is that the developed world’s advanced technology has helped clean-up the atmosphere, the oceans and the waterways. It is the developing nations—China, India—that despoil the earth and its creatures most. The earth looks like “an immense pile of filth” not in Canada, Germany, or the US (except for where illegal immigrants tread: see “Illegal Immigration’s Negative Impact on the Environment”).
The love for the earth, its creatures and our pets (parrots, dogs, cats) is a distinctly Western sensibility.
The Catholic Crisis Magazine can’t help but take a swipe at the anti-intellectualism of this pope’s “close advisors”:
… the hortatory Cardinal Maradiaga of Honduras said [this] with ill-tempered diction: “The ideology surrounding environmental issues is too tied to a capitalism that doesn’t want to stop ruining the environment because they don’t want to give up their profits.” From the empirical side, to prevent the disdain of more informed scientists generations from now, papal teaching must be safeguarded from attempts to exploit it as an endorsement of one hypothesis over another concerning anthropogenic causes of climate change. It is not incumbent upon a Catholic to believe, like Rex Mottram in Brideshead Revisited, that a pope can perfectly predict the weather. …
Intellectually, Pope Francis is no match for his predecessors. And that’s putting it kindly.
“Environmentalism in the Light of Menger and Mises” By George Reisman (The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics)