By Irene F. Starkehaus -
You know what? I'd better say this quickly before the words are considered a sacrilege against the approaching papal encyclicals.
I deny manmade, global climate change. I FERVENTLY DENY IT. That's right. I'm a climate change denier. Please, by all means, feel free to make that my epitaph. One never knows when one will be burned in the town square for heresy anymore.
Not only do I deny man-made climate change, I reject the secular humanism and moral relativism that lives at the center of the environmental movement. I reject the narcissism that is required to believe that humans – even as a collective – possess the god-like power to kill a planet. Further, I refuse to bow to the golden calf of environmentalism even if Pope Francis himself were to demand it of me as a Catholic. Frankly, he would be wrong to overreach his papal authority in that way, and it is my hope for the moral wellbeing of the Catholic Church and our nation that he will avoid such pandering to globalism. We'll know soon enough.
American Catholics are certainly in a tizzy about the Pope's not as yet released encyclical on climate change, because American traditionalists know (as all traditionalist Catholics throughout the world know) that we are living in very dangerous times – or at least the times are dangerous for those persons attempting to follow the tenets of their Christian faiths.
Additionally, American progressive Catholics know that this pope will go a long way in serving their insurgency. They hang on every encyclical with baited breath and poisoned pen.
To date, Laudato Si has been supposedly leaked to an Italian news organization which has released its version in…I don't know. Italian? Spanish? Latin? I took French in high school, so it's all Greek to me. The point is that as I am writing this post, it hasn't been officially published. It certainly hasn't been offered in English and the Vatican is asking the unwashed masses to chill out and wait for it:
An Italian text of a draft of the Pope's Encyclical "Laudato Si'" has been published. Please note that it is not the final text, and that the rules of the Embargo remain in place. We ask journalists to respect professional standards, which call for waiting for the official publication of the final text.
So this illustrates perfectly what I've been saying about Pope Francis for some time. I dislike his papal style enormously. I'm sorry. I despise word games of this nature where we never really know where the Vatican stands anymore. At any rate, there's nothing particularly brave about the polluting of Church teachings with populism, and when Catholics are confronted with inarticulate, muddled encyclicals, it is wise to proceed with caution in embracing the teachings.
Catholic concerns increased in proportion to the density of the fog covering the pope's true position on key issues. It is reported that as archbishop in Buenos Aires, apparently wishing to be loved by all and to please everyone, he would send out mixed signals, "so one day he could make a speech on TV against abortion, and the next day, on the same TV show, bless the pro-abortion feminists in the Plaza de Mayo; can give a wonderful speech against the Masons and, a few hours later, be dining and drinking with them in the Rotary Club." ~ Father Linus Clovis of Saint Lucia at the Rome Life Forum on May 9, 2015
At best, he's a communications train wreck and at worst, he's intentionally ambiguous without the slightest consideration for the moral clarity that his job requires. I don't know what he thinks he's communicating, but it sounds like he's in favor of the ascendency of the United Nations, that we should achieve Heaven on Earth through methods of population control and forced redistribution, that gay marriage is not an intrinsic evil and that American prosperity is an intrinsic evil. If he's not saying such things then I whole heartedly beg his forgiveness while at the same time asking him to speak more plainly in the future so these little misunderstandings won't continue to occur.
I wonder though. Does it do any good to dissent?
Who knows? Only God, I suppose. But it is becoming increasingly clear that the Vatican has declared spiritual war not only on the historic value of United States as a political and economic example to duplicate but also on the value of free enterprise, self-reliance and economic achievement as a whole.
But relax…this wasn't the final text. Right?
The biggest argument against the plausible deniability that the Vatican wishes to project upon the early release of Laudati Si is that when we read these leaked quotes, they sound like something Pope Francis might say because he has frequently said, then retracted, then reworded, then restated similar anti-American sentiments beginning with the first year of his papacy. We can believe that the line in the sand has been drawn. We can believe that the pope has just granted papal blessing for a one world governance with central planning as its objective.
Pope Francis's socialist/progressivist/Marxist/fascist/collectivist…whatever you want to call them…tendencies are on the wrong side of history – both the Church's and world's – not only as evidenced through every economic, social and political failure and every genocide that central planners have provided the human race, but by every authentic teaching of the Catholic Church that she has provided through her own Doctors. And not to get all end-of-the-world, Church mystic on you but every reliable Marian vision…I mean every single one, from Medjugorje to La Salette to Our Lady of America to Akita to Our Lady of Fatima … reinforces that it is Marxism that will bring suffering to the world. Not the United States.
So let's be clear for clarity's sake. In no way are Catholics encouraged to work with collectivists for a "common good." In no way are Catholics expected to accept the sin of abortion or contraception. In no way are they expected to see the "good" in gay unions or the "sanctity" of forced redistribution of wealth. In no way are they required to believe that America is killing the planet. All of these confusions are the cruelest form of propaganda because they are said to represent God's warnings.
Regardless of what the pope intends, he weakens the Church through what we will generously refer to as vacillation and encourages schism, but only in the sense that people have come to think the pope is more important than that which he was hired to represent. The pope is not above the Church's teachings any more than the president, Congress and Supreme Court are above the Constitution. They are… all of them… stewards and, let's face it, some stewards throughout history have been better than others.
These are truly the times that try men's souls…Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.
But it is vital for Catholics to remember in these times of obfuscation that nowhere in authentic Catholic teachings are Catholics commanded to embrace militant environmentalism over stewardship. Nowhere are we commanded to reject our national heritage or Constitution in favor of globalism. Nowhere are we required to reject free markets or other applications of free will in favor of state-mandated social justice. Nowhere are we mandated to accept intrinsic evil in order to keep the peace.
Traditional Catholics have choices during this time of upheaval, which isn't the first upheaval the Church or America has known and likely won't be the last. They can submit to the dissonance propagated by an incomprehensible politician who misinterprets the important thread that ties him to the apostle St. Peter, or they can understand the true lesson that this experience is teaching.
Catholics must educate themselves and confront fallacy that masquerades, deceives and misdirects. Learn from the Church Doctors just as Americans are called to learn from the Founders and always, with love and fortitude, inform when ignorance deludes even well-intentioned people.