by Jonathan Ekene Ifeanyi
In 2013, shortly after he was elected, Francis I joked with Cardinals saying,“May God forgive you for what you've done.”
The highly anticipated "encyclical", Laudato Si’, came out on the 17th of June, 2015. Before we proceed to discuss what the document is all about it is necessary that we first of all enquire what an encyclical really is. Put simply, an encyclical is a teaching document issued by the pope. Encyclicals are among the more solemn and thus more authoritative papal documents. It is a letter written by a Pope to a particular audience of bishops. The audience of bishops may be all of the bishops in a specific country or all of the Catholic Bishops in all countries throughout the world. Virtually all encyclicals in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries are usually addressed to all the Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops, and Bishops of the Catholic world.
A more complete description can be found in the Catholic Encyclopaedia entry Encyclical:
According to its etymology, an encyclical (from the Greek egkyklios, kyklos meaning a circle) is nothing more than a circular letter. In modern times, usage has confined the term almost exclusively to certain papal documents which differ in their technical form from the ordinary style of either Bulls or Briefs, and which in their superscription are explicitly addressed to the patriarchs, primates, archbishops, and bishops of the Universal Church in communion with the Apostolic See. By exception, encyclicals are also sometimes addressed to the archbishops and bishops of a particular country.”
The 1917 Catholic Encyclopaedia entry on Bulls and Briefs further explains other papal documents:
“In official language papal documents have at all times been called by various names, more or less descriptive of their character. For example, there are "constitutions," i.e., decisions addressed to all the faithful and determining some matter of faith or discipline; "encyclicals," which are letters sent to all the bishops of Christendom, or at least to all those in one particular country, and intended to guide them in their relations with their flocks; "decrees," pronouncements on points affecting the general welfare of the Church; "decretals" (epistolae decretales), which are papal replies to some particular difficulty submitted to the Holy See, but having the force of precedents to rule on all analogous cases. "Rescript," again, is a form applicable to almost any form of Apostolic letter which has been elicited by some previous appeal, while the nature of a "privilege" speaks for itself. But all these, down to the fifteenth century, seem to have been expedited by the papal chancery in the shape of bulls authenticated with leaden seals, and it is common enough to apply the term bull even to those very early papal letters of which we know little more than the substance, independently of the forms under which they were issued.
The main point we are trying to raise here is the fact that papal encyclicals—and indeed some other papal documents just mentioned—are simply letters addressed to those within the Catholic Church, and not to those outside the Catholic Church. Now just a sample: Pope Pius X’s encyclical PASCENDIDOMINICI GREGIS starts thus:
PASCENDI DOMINICI GREGIS
ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS X
ON THE DOCTRINES
OF THE MODERNISTS
ON THE DOCTRINES
OF THE MODERNISTS
To the Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops, Bishops
and other Local Ordinaries in Peace
and Communion with the Apostolic See.
and other Local Ordinaries in Peace
and Communion with the Apostolic See.
Venerable Brethren, Health and Apostolic Benediction.
The office divinely committed to Us of feeding the Lord's flock has especially this duty assigned to it by Christ, namely, to guard with the greatest vigilance the deposit of the faith delivered to the saints, rejecting the profane novelties of words and oppositions of knowledge falsely so called. There has never been a time when this watchfulness of the supreme pastor was not necessary to the Catholic body; for, owing to the efforts of the enemy of the human race, there have never been lacking "men speaking perverse things" (Acts xx. 30), "vain talkers and seducers" (Tit. i. 10), "erring and driving into error" (2 Tim. iii. 13). Still it must be confessed that the number of the enemies of the cross of Christ has in these last days increased exceedingly, who are striving, by arts, entirely new and full of subtlety, to destroy the vital energy of the Church, and, if they can, to overthrow utterly Christ's kingdom itself. Wherefore We may no longer be silent, lest We should seem to fail in Our most sacred duty, and lest the kindness that, in the hope of wiser counsels, We have hitherto shown them, should be attributed to forgetfulness of Our office.
Like this, all the encyclicals of the 19th and early 20th centuries are lucid and clear, and likewise those of the previous ages. Their purpose is to expound Catholic doctrine and defend it against modern errors, which they do very admirably. Yes. Pope Pius XII, the last universally acknowledged supreme head of the Catholic Church, taught that the encyclical was the normative means by which the Roman Pontiff exercised his teaching office.
When we get to Vatican II, however, a noticeable change—indeed a deadly one—comes about. “Nowadays however, the Spouse of Christ prefers to make use of the medicine of mercy rather than that of severity. She considers that she meets the needs of the present day by demonstrating the validity of her teaching rather than by condemnations,” so said Vatican II pope John XXIII, a man rumoured by some to be a Freemason. And so it started! This principle has effected the manner in which the post-1965 ecclesia docens functions. As someone puts it, “essentially, the post-Conciliar encyclical doesn't know what it wants to be when it grows up.” Vatican II popes have still utilized them as a means of “teaching”, but rather than teaching what Catholic doctrine consists of, they have, apart from their subtle attacks on Catholic doctrines, increasingly become occasions for popes to explain why “Catholic doctrine” is what it is; however, not that they really explain what Catholic doctrine is, they have, in the process, always explained exactly what it is not! The declarative aspect of the encyclical has simply been discarded. And many Catholics who are observing what is happening falsely believe that these popes are doing this merely in their overly optimistic hope that if we could just explain our teaching to the world—just work them through our thinking step by step—then maybe the world would accept the Church's message. Maybe if we simply “proposed” our rationale for belief humbly instead of declaring that we “had” the truth, the world would reciprocate and enter into a “fruitful dialogue” with Christianity that would mutually enrich everybody.
Yes, they are doing something like this, but it is also important not to forget easily that these popes, out of their own free will, have vehemently rejected some core doctrines of the Catholic Church. All of them held heretical opinions even before they ascended the papal throne (In fact, a careful study has shown that it was because of these heretical opinions that they were actually elected by the cardinals). For instance, at Vatican II, Archbishop Carol Wojtyla, the future John Paul II, commenting on missionary activity in the Church, said: “It is not the role of the Church to lecture unbelievers. We are engaged in a search along with our fellow men—let us avoid moralizing or the suggestion that we have a monopoly of truth.” As Pope he repeated this in his abominable encyclical Ut unum sint and spoke often of the possibility of the universal salvation of all men. Similarly, in his encyclical Redemptoris Missio, John Paul II stated that “salvation is accessible in mysterious ways–even to those who are not members of the Church or have not received the Gospel proclamation–insomuch as divine grace is granted to them by virtue of Christ's redeeming sacrifice.” This is a clear and unambiguous denial of the Catholic dogma that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church. As we read in the Athanasian Creed—a Solemn Definition:
“Whoever wishes to be saved must before all else adhere to the Catholic Faith. He must preserve this Faith whole and inviolate; otherwise he shall most certainly perish in eternity”.
Now back to the evil document. First, unlike the Popes’ encyclicals such as that of Pope Pius X cited above, Jorge Bergoglio’s “encyclical” is not addressed specifically to the Catholic Bishops. Instead, it is addressed to every person on the planet! This means that, unlike any previous encyclical, only a minority of its intended audience is Catholic! Francis’ “encyclical” starts thus:
OF THE HOLY FATHER
ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME
OF THE HOLY FATHER
ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME
LAUDATO SI’, mi’ Signore” – “Praise be to you, my Lord”. In the words of this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs”.
Including a brief introduction, the document comprises six chapters: 1. What Is Happening to Our Common Home 2. The Gospel of Creation; 3. The Human Roots of the Ecological Crisis; 4. Integral Ecology; 5. Lines of Approach and Action; 6. Ecological Education and Spirituality. The document concludes with two prayers, one that can be said by all who believe in God—Catholics and non-Catholics—as the all-powerful Creator and one that is meant to be said specifically by “Christians”—that is, Catholics and Protestants.
The first chapter of the document is devoted to a summary of the various environmental problems Francis 1 sees the world facing, and his summary is based on scientific studies rather than theological documents. When he does begin focusing in a sustained way on “Church teaching”, in the second chapter, he begins with a note explaining why a document addressed to so many nonbelievers would have a chapter specifically devoted to religious belief. In fact, in paragraph 62 he asks: “Why should this document, addressed to all people of good will, include a chapter dealing with the convictions of believers?” Again, and related to the former, unlike Catholic encyclicals, the “encyclical” does not simply propose views that all are expected to accept because of the pope’s religious authority. Instead, he invites the people of the world to a dialogue on the subject of environmentalism, writing: “In this encyclical, I would like to enter into dialogue with all people about our common home”.
Here Jorge Bergoglio, like his fellow Vatican II heretics such as John Paul II and Benedict XVI, is subtly denying the catholic nature of the Church. By posing the question: “Why should this document, addressed to all people of good will, include a chapter dealing with the convictions of believers?” he is falsely giving the impression that Catholicism is just like any other religion in the world and that our faith as Catholics—like those of non-Catholics—is just a matter of our personal convictions which may be true or false.
In paragraphs 4, 5 and 6, Francis 1 quotes John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul II and then Benedict XVI as popes who also spoke about climate change. Of course that has been a major characteristic of Vatican II popes. They quote their fellow heretics to back up their evil teachings—you can never see them quoting pre-Vatican II popes on any serious issue. According to him, John XXIII “addressed his message Pacem in Terris to the entire “Catholic world” and indeed “to all men and women of good will” (meaning non-Catholics as well).
Again, “In 1971, eight years after Pacem in Terris, Blessed Pope Paul VI referred to the ecological concern as “a tragic consequence” of unchecked human activity: “Due to an ill-considered exploitation of nature, humanity runs the risk of destroying it and becoming in turn a victim of this degradation”. He spoke in similar terms to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations about the potential for an “ecological catastrophe under the effective explosion of industrial civilization”, and stressed “the urgent need for a radical change in the conduct of humanity”, inasmuch as “the most extraordinary scientific advances, the most amazing technical abilities, the most astonishing economic growth, unless they are accompanied by authentic social and moral progress, will definitively turn against man”.
Again, “Saint John Paul II became increasingly concerned about this issue. In his first Encyclical he warned that human beings frequently seem “to see no other meaning in their natural environment than what serves for immediate use and consumption”. Subsequently, he would call for a global ecological conversion. At the same time, he noted that little effort had been made to “safeguard the moral conditions for an authentic human ecology”.
Then, “My predecessor Benedict XVI likewise proposed “eliminating the structural causes of the dysfunctions of the world economy and correcting models of growth which have proved incapable of ensuring respect for the environment”. He observed that the world cannot be analyzed by isolating only one of its aspects, since “the book of nature is one and indivisible”, and includes the environment, life, sexuality, the family, social relations, and so forth. It follows that “the deterioration of nature is closely connected to the culture which shapes human coexistence”. Pope Benedict asked us to recognize that the natural environment has been gravely damaged by our irresponsible behaviour.”
Francis 1 then tells us that “These statements of the Popes echo the reflections of numerous scientists, philosophers, theologians and civic groups, all of which have enriched the Church’s thinking on these questions. Outside the Catholic Church, other Churches and Christian communities—and other religions as well—have expressed deep concern and offered valuable reflections on issues which all of us find disturbing.” He then proceeds quickly to cite non-Catholics, particularly the schismatic “Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, with whom we share the hope of full ecclesial communion.”
Notice his belief that “Outside the Catholic Church”, there exist “other Churches and Christian communities—and other religions as well”.
The heretical notion that there are “churches” outside the Catholic Church originated from Vatican II. At Vatican II, as part of the Vatican-Moscow Agreement otherwise known as the Metz Pact, John XXIII of unfortunate memory, after burying the Third Secret of Fatima, invited two Russian Orthodox “ministers” (that is, two formal heretics and schismatics) to attend the Council, and these formal heretics and schismatics all contributed to formulate the doctrines of the Second Vatican Council. Since then, Modernist Priests, Bishops, Cardinals and Popes have simply polluted—and are still polluting—the minds of the faithful with the new doctrine that ecumenism is for both Catholics and their worst enemies, the Protestant heretics and the Schismatics. Vatican II’s heresies on ecumenism are mostly found in the document Unitatis Redintegratio. In no 1 of the document we read:
“The restoration of unity among all Christians is one of the principal concerns of the Second Vatican Synod.”
This assertion is simply anti-Catholic: Unity of all Christians does not need to be restored because all Christians are already united in the Catholic Church. There is no such thing as a non-Catholic Christian, but by “all Christians” the Council was of course referring to heretics, that is, the enemies of Catholicism who are outside the Catholic Church. Pope Pius IX, on November 21, 1873, wrote:
“Therefore the holy martyr Cyprian, writing about schism, denied to the pseudo-bishop Novatian even the title of bishop, on the grounds that he was cut off and separated from the Church of Christ. “Whoever he is”, he says, “and whatever sort he is, he is not a Christian who is not in the Church of Christ.””
Contrary to Francis’ view that there are churches outside the Catholic Church, St. Augustine, the greatest Catholic theologian after St. Paul, and Father of Western Church, writing in the fifth century of the Christian era when men were abandoning paganism to embrace the Catholic Faith, tells us that it is the Devil himself, and not God, who inspires non-Catholic “churches” . He writes:
“The devil, however, seeing that the temples of demons were being abandoned, and that the human race was hastening to take the name of the Mediator who sets men free, stirred up heretics to oppose Christian doctrine—though they bore the Christian name—as if they could be retained indiscriminately in the city of God without reproof, just as the city of confusion retained indifferently the philosophers who held diverse and contradictory opinions. Just so there are those in the church of Christ who have a taste for some unhealthy and perverse notions, and who if reproved—in the hope that they may acquire a taste for what is wholesome and right—obstinately resist and refuse to correct their pestilent and deadly dogmas and persist in defending them. These become heretics and, when they part company with the church, they are classed among the enemies who provide discipline for her. Even so, they undoubtedly benefit by their wickedness the genuine, catholic members of Christ, since God makes good use even of the wicked, and ‘makes all things cooperate for good for those who love Him’. In fact, all the enemies of the church, however blinded by error or depraved by wickedness, train the church in patient endurance if they are given the power of inflicting bodily harm, while if they oppose her only by their perverse notions they train her in wisdom. Moreover, they train her in benevolence, or even beneficence, so that love may be shown even to enemies, whether this takes the form of persuasive teaching or of stern discipline”. (De Civ. Dei, Bk. Xviii, 51).
The original Latin reads:
“Videns autem diabolus templa daemonum deseri et in nomen liberantis Mediatoris currere genus humanum, haereticos movit, qui sub vocabulo christiano doctrinae resisterent christianae, quasi possent indifferenter sine ulla correptione haberi in civitate Dei, sicut civitas confusionis indifferenter habuit philosophos inter se diversa et adversa sentientes. Qui ergo in Ecclesia Christi morbidum aliquid pravumque sapiunt, si correpti, ut sanum rectumque sapiant, resistunt contumaciter suaque pestifera et mortifera dogmata emendare nolunt, sed defensare persistunt, haeretici fiunt et foras exeuntes habentur in exercentibus inimicis. Etiam sic quippe veris illis catholicis membris Christi malo suo prosunt, dum Deus utitur et malis bene et diligentibus eum omnia cooperatur in bonum. Inimici enim omnes Ecclesiae, quolibet errore caecentur vel malitia depraventur, si accipiunt potestatem corporaliter affligendi, exercent eius patientiam; si tantummodo male sentiendo adversantur, exercent eius sapientiam; ut autem etiam inimici diligantur, exercent eius benevolentiam aut etiam beneficentiam, sive suadibili doctrina cum eis agatur sive terribili disciplina.”
Francis 1, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI hold the heretical view that Protestants are Christians. Again, St. Augustine contradicts them. He writes:
“For we must not imagine that there can be any time when this saying of the same teacher fails to be true: ‘All who want to live a devout life in Christ suffer persecution’. Because even when those outside do not rage and there seems to be, and really is, tranquillity, which brings great consolation especially to the weak, even so there are always some, inside indeed there are many, who by their unprincipled behaviour torment the feelings of those who live devout lives. For such people cause the name of ‘Christian’ and ‘Catholic’ to be defamed. And the dearer this name is to those who want to live a devout life in Christ, the more they grieve that evildoers within the church make that name less beloved than the hearts of the devout long for it to be. Besides this, when the heretics themselves are thought to have the Christian name and the sacraments, the scriptures, and the creed, they cause great grief in the hearts of the devout. This is because many who wish to be Christian are forced to hesitate by their dissentions and many slanderers find also among the heretics material for the defamation of the name of Christian, because these heretics too are called, in a manner of speaking, Christians. Owing to this kind of discreditable behaviour and this sort of human error, those who want to lead a devout life in Christ suffer persecutions, even though they endure no physical violence or bodily torment. For they suffer these persecutions not in their bodies but in their hearts. Hence the Psalmist says, ‘According to the multitude of sorrows in my heart’—not ‘in my body’ ” (Ibid).
The original Latin reads:
“Nam et id, quod ait idem doctor: Quicumque volunt in Christo pie vivere, persecutionem patiuntur , nullis putandum est deesse posse temporibus. Quia et cum ab eis, qui foris sunt, non saevientibus videtur esse tranquillitas et re vera est plurimumque consolationis affert, maxime infirmis: non tamen desunt, immo multi sunt intus, qui corda pie viventium suis perditis moribus cruciant; quoniam per eos blasphematur christianum et catholicum nomen ; quod quanto est carius eis, qui volunt pie vivere in Christo, tanto magis dolent, quod per malos intus positos fit, ut minus, quam piorum mentes desiderant, diligatur. Ipsi quoque haeretici, cum cogitantur habere nomen et sacramenta christiana et Scripturas et professionem, magnum dolorem faciunt in cordibus piorum; quia et multi volentes esse Christiani propter eorum dissensiones haesitare coguntur et multi maledici etiam in his inveniunt materiam blasphemandi Christianum nomen, quia et ipsi quoquo modo christiani appellantur. His atque huiusmodi pravis moribus et erroribus hominum persecutionem patiuntur, qui volunt in Christo pie vivere, etiam nullo infestante neque vexante corpus illorum. Patiuntur quippe hanc persecutionem non in corporibus, sed in cordibus. Unde illa vox est: Secundum multitudinem dolorum meorum in corde meo. Non enim ait: In corpore meo.”
Again, St. Augustine writes:
“The body of our head is the church, not the church which is in this particular place or that, but the church which extends through the entire circuit of the earth. Nor is it a church limited to this time or that time, but it is a church which reaches from Abel through the course of all the centuries to those who are going to be born and who believe in Christ at the end of the world; it is the entire people of the saints who form one city: this city is the body of Christ, and Christ Himself is its head. There are to be found the angels, who are our fellow citizens; but because we are on our way of labouring in our pilgrimage while they are already in the eternal city awaiting our advent: for this reason, letters have been sent to us from that heavenly city to accompany our pilgrimage: these letters are the scriptures, which exhorts us to the good life. What do I say, that letters have been sent to us? There is still more: the King Himself has descended and has been made for us our way in our pilgrimage, so that walking in Him, we may neither lose our way nor fall by the wayside. Such then is the whole Christ whom we know, whole and entire together with the church, He however who is our head alone having been born of the virgin, the Head of the church, the Mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus our Lord…” (Enarr in ps., 90, Serm., 2, 1; P.L. 37, 1159--quoted by Eugene Kevane in Augustine the Educator, pp 236-237).
The very term catholic is from the Greek καθολικός (catholikos), which simply means general or universal. The term was used by ecclesiastical writers since the second century to distinguish the Church at large from local communities or heretical and schismatic sects. The Church is called Catholic on the fourfold ground of its worldwide extension, its doctrinal completeness, its adaptation to the needs of men of every kind, and its moral and spiritual perfection. And why does the Church have these qualities? It is simply because She is divine, because She is “Corpus Christi”—the Body of Christ. “The body of our head is the Church”, Augustine writes, “not the Church which is in this particular place or that, but the Church which extends through the entire circuit of the earth...” In other words the Church is by far more than the buildings and the number of Catholics we see physically on this earth. She actually exists all over the world, and beyond that. Catholic religion is a religion revealed by God.
To deny the catholicity of the Church—as V 2 popes have done—is to subtly deny that Christ is God—who is everywhere—since the Church is the Body of Christ, a Body which is not confined to this one place, but which is both in this place and in every place throughout the world. Emphasising on the catholic nature of the church, late Jesuit priest, Father John Hardon, writes:
“...catholicity also means unity amidst diversity, on several counts. The Church has never been a respecter of persons. Poor and rich alike, the learned and the unlearned are equally welcome. All cultures and every stratum of the society belongs to the Church, and where this is not verified, the fault lies with those who have failed to combine “both the universality of the Church and the diversity of the world’s nations in their preaching of the gospel.” (The Catholic Catechism, London: Geoffrey Chapman, n. d, p. 218).
The world does not reject the Gospel because it has not been adequately explained. They reject it “because the light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the light: for their works were evil” (John 3:19). Vatican II popes have chosen to explain the “Church’s teachings” in terms of humanist phenomenology rather than having recourse to the Church's traditional pedagogy. By focusing so much on the explanation and presentation over the declaration, these heretical popes have unwittingly given the false impression that the validity of the Church’s teachings are bound up with the force of her argumentation—indeed, a sort of false intellectualism. “The Church” now feels shaky and inadequate simply saying, "Such is the voice of the Church; such is the teaching of our Faith"; “She” feels “she” must offer a humanistic-centred explanation for everything—an explanation that will “suit” the needs of “contemporary man”—with the effect that “her” message has become completely man-centred. “He taught as one who had authority”, says the Gospel according to St. Mathew (Matt. 7:29), but these heretical popes simply discard the supernatural force that stands behind the Church’s teaching and opts instead for an anthropomorphized message. For them, the Church no longer “speaks with authority” because—as John Paul II puts it—She “has no monopoly of truth”. The result is that “the Church’s” words lose their force. “Encyclicals” lose their strength as teaching documents and become instead opportunities for the heretical popes to foist their own theological or literary tastes on the Catholic people. The phenomenology of John Paul II, the Balthasarian-Hegelian-Teilhardism of Benedict XVI, and now the abominable “literary theology” of Francis 1! Each of them has opted not to use traditional pedagogy, which means every “pope” has to “try something new” in how they choose to teach! Hence people shrug at the latest “papal” document—a rambling, sprawling mess that lacks the force to move minds and hearts—and move on, exactly what the unholy Bergoglio wants!
In paragraph number 63 Francis 1 writes: “Respect must also be shown for the various cultural riches of different peoples, their art and poetry, their interior life and spirituality. If we are truly concerned to develop an ecology capable of remedying the damage we have done, no branch of the sciences and no form of wisdom can be left out, and that includes religion and the language particular to it.”
Here, again, Francis 1 speaks of the so-called “riches” and “wisdom” in non-Catholic “spirituality” and “religion”. He is clearly an apostate.
|Pope Pius XI|
Now it should be noted that the “respect” for falsehood and the inter-religious dialogue which V2 heretics promote today was unanimously condemned by all the popes before them, particularly popes who reigned after the French Revolution, especially popes of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who reigned when the novel idea of ecumenism as a meeting of Catholics and heretics was springing up. Pope Pius XI, who reigned in the early twentieth century, condemned the evil ecumenism of Vatican 2 heretical popes in his encyclical Mortalium Animos, January 6, 1928:
“…efforts are being made by some, in connection with the New Law promulgated by Christ Our Lord. Assured that there exist few men who are entirely devoid of the religious sense, they seem to ground on this belief a hope that all nations, while differing indeed in religious matters, may yet without great difficulty be brought to fraternal agreement on certain points of doctrine which will form a common basis of the spiritual life. With this object, congresses, meetings and addresses are arranged, attended by a large concourse of hearers, where all without distinction, unbelievers of every kind as well as Christians, even those who unhappily have rejected Christ and denied His divine nature or mission, are invited to join in the discussion. Now such efforts can meet with no kind of approval among Catholics. They presuppose the erroneous view that all religions are more or less good and praiseworthy, inasmuch as all give expression, under various forms, to that innate sense which leads men to God and to the obedient acknowledgement of His rule. Those who hold such a view are not only in error; they distort the true idea of religion, and thus reject it, falling gradually into naturalism and atheism. To favour this opinion, therefore, and to encourage such undertakings is tantamount to abandoning the religion revealed by God.”
In paragraph number 18 Francis 1 writes: “Although change is part of the working of complex systems, the speed with which human activity has developed contrasts with the naturally slow pace of biological evolution.” Here Francis 1 promotes the myth of evolution. He refers to “biological evolution” as if it is true.
Global warming is one of the themes in the document. Concerning the idea that the climate is getting warmer in general, Bergoglio writes:
“A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are currently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system. In recent decades this warming has been accompanied by a constant rise in the sea level and, it would appear, by an increase of extreme weather events, even if a scientifically determinable cause cannot be assigned to each particular phenomenon. Humanity is called to recognise the need for changes of lifestyle, production and consumption, in order to combat this warming or at least the human causes which produce or aggravate it [LS 23].”
Thus Francis clearly endorses the scientific error that the planet is warming due in large part to human activity. He ticks off a series of other challenges such as a loss of biodiversity and threats to safe water, and insists on a strong link between environmental problems and poverty. “Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last two hundred years,” he writes, insisting that humanity can no longer afford “delaying the important decisions and pretending that nothing will happen.” Francis 1 points to scientific studies—not religious sources—to back up the views he is proposing.
Although the “encyclical” appears to focus on climate change and environmental degradation, the larger focus is his indictment of capitalism and the presumed greed that it spawns, leading Francis 1 to call for a global government solution. In fact, as someone rightly observed, “the language in the encyclical looks like it came from the UN’s Agenda 21 and the Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth.”
Francis 1 is especially harsh in his criticism of capitalism as if it is the cause of greed, selfishness, and a lack of concern for our fellow man. That type of criticism is directly from the Socialism philosophy that holds that property be held in common and economic relationships be governed by political hierarchy. History, however, has demonstrated that Socialism, while intellectually appealing, fails in the real world. The tone and direction of Bergoglio’s condemnation suggests that he is enthralled by the writings of Thomas Malthus, and the doomsayer Paul Ehrlich who has been consistently wrong in his predictions and prescriptions for saving the planet.
Francis 1 calls for “a new global political authority tasked with “tackling … the reduction of pollution and the development of poor countries and regions.” And according to the Guardian, he seeks “changes in lifestyles and energy consumption to avert unprecedented destruction of the ecosystem before the end of the century”. This is the language of Greenpeace and Earth First who are extreme by any definition.
The call for global governance is reminiscent of President Jacques Chirac’s 2000 statement that “For the first time, humanity is instituting a genuine instrument (the Kyoto Treaty) of global governance, one that should find a place within the World Environmental Organisation which France and European Union would like to see established.” This is purely Satanic. As one keen observer puts it, “The notion that the world should be run by an organization modelled after the UN or the European Commission and European Union is chilling and ought to lead to the prompt dismissal of the Pope’s philosophy...”
At this point, it is interesting to note that one of the main individuals chosen by Francis 1 to present his new “encyclical” on the environment was the atheist Hans Schellnhuber. Schellnhuber has said that the world is overpopulated by at least 6 billion people. He is a promoter of world government and an earth constitution that would hold power over every government and nation. Indeed, my piece, “Can Catholics Participate in Modern Democratic Politics?” may help us to see more clearly what this man is actually doing here.
But Bergoglio does not just stop there. His analysis of environmental problems takes up only 28 out of the encyclical’s 184 pages. The overwhelming majority of “Laudato Si'” is, perhaps unsurprisingly, about theology. And while this material has been glossed over by the mainstream press, it is nothing less than a seismic shift in mainstream “Christian” thought about the human-nature relationship.
First, Francis reads scriptural passages in ways that, while not new, have thus far been confined to liberal theology. In Chapter 2, he writes:
“The creation accounts in the book of Genesis contain, in their own symbolic and narrative language, profound teachings about human existence and its historical reality. They suggest that human life is grounded in three fundamental and closely intertwined relationships: with God, with our neighbour and with the earth itself.”
Note the radically anti-fundamentalist biblical hermeneutic (“symbolic and narrative language”) and the equation of the relationship between humans and the earth with the relationships between humans and one another and between humans and God. This is outrageous! This is not merely a statement that environmental issues are important. This is a radical theological claim, that human life is centrally defined by the human-earth relationship. Francis teaches that how we relate to the earth is as important as how we relate to God!
When liberal religious environmentalists make such claims, they are accused of being “pagan.” But Francis is just getting started. In Chapter 3, he reads Genesis’ “controversial” injunction that humans should have dominion over the earth in precisely the terms of liberal religious environmentalism: “Our ‘dominion’ over the universe should be understood more properly in the sense of responsible stewardship”.
The language of “stewardship” is familiar to liberal theologians—but coming in a “papal encyclical”, it is stunning. Indeed, it may be read as a response to a half-century-old argument, most famously made by the historian Lynn White, that the biblical relationship of “dominion” is partly to blame for the environmental crisis. Francis is giving a direct refutation of the anthropocentric view that the earth exists only as resources for humans to use. He is directly refuting God Himself who said: “Let us make man to our image and likeness: and let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and the beasts, and the whole earth, and every creeping creature that moveth upon the earth.” (Gen. 1:26). Again, Francis is refuting God Himself who said to man after creating him: “Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all living creatures that move upon the earth.” (Gen. 1:28).
In another passage Francis 1 writes: “The Bible has no place for a tyrannical anthropocentrism unconcerned for other creatures.”
Again, he writes:
“Although it is true that we Christians have at times incorrectly interpreted the Scriptures, nowadays we must forcefully reject the notion that our being created in God’s image and given dominion over the earth justifies absolute domination over other creatures. The biblical texts are to be read in their context, with an appropriate hermeneutic, recognizing that they tell us to ’till and keep’ the garden of the world (cf. Gen 2:15). ‘Tilling’ refers to cultivating, ploughing or working, while ‘keeping’ means caring, protecting, overseeing and preserving. This implies a relationship of mutual responsibility between human beings and nature.”
Here, Francis explicitly states that “exploitative” readings of Genesis have “incorrectly interpreted” it. Nature is not purely an instrumental good; rather, humans are in a “relationship of mutual responsibility” with it.
What this means is spelled out in the following chapters. Francis devotes almost half the encyclical to a radical critique of the “dominant technocratic paradigm” and to proposing an “integral ecology” that brings together human, social, cultural, environmental, and economic concerns. Once again, such language would not be surprising coming from a student at a progressive Protestant seminary—but from the “bishop of Rome”, it is indeed stunning!
Then, at the end, “Pope” Francis’ overall spiritual attitude toward nature is perhaps the most radical part of the whole “encyclical.” He begins with his “namesake”, St. Francis of Assisi, who found spiritual communion not only in cathedrals, but also in forests. And in the end, he comes back to mysticism again, writing:
“The universe unfolds in God, who fills it completely. Hence, there is a mystical meaning to be found in a leaf, in a mountain trail, in a dewdrop, in a poor person’s face. The ideal is not only to pass from the exterior to the interior to discover the action of God in the soul, but also to discover God in all things.”
Mystical nature pantheism in a “papal” encyclical! And with a nod to liberation theology! And with a footnote to the Sufi mystic Ali al-Khawas, no less! In his footnote (159) Francis 1 writes:
“The spiritual writer Ali al-Khawas stresses from his own experience the need not to put too much distance between the creatures of the world and the interior experience of God. As he puts it: “Prejudice should not have us criticize those who seek ecstasy in music or poetry. There is a subtle mystery in each of the movements and sounds of this world. The initiate will capture what is being said when the wind blows, the trees sway, water flows, flies buzz, doors creak, birds sing, or in the sound of strings or flutes, the sighs of the sick, the groans of the afflicted...”
Ali-al-Khawas was a ninth century mystical Muslim poet. Here Francis 1 credits him for the concept of nature’s “mystical meaning,” noting how the poet stressed “the need not to put too much distance between the creatures of the world and the interior experience of God.”
Lastly, we see an intriguing detail to Laudato Si’ that has largely escaped the notice of many. It also comes in the footnotes, which in a papal text typically are almost entirely devoted to citations of other popes and official documents such as the Bible or the Church’s catechism. This time around, however, more than 10 percent of the footnotes—21 out of 172, to be precise—contain citations of documents from bishops’ conferences around the world. Francis quotes bishops from 15 nations, including South Africa, the Philippines, Bolivia, Germany, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand, not to mention both the United States and his own native Argentina.
Francis also cites two regional bodies of bishops – the Latin American Episcopal Conference (CELAM) and the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) – both of which represent regions of the world where the perceived consequences of “global warming” and “climate change” are most keenly felt.
“Whatever impact “Laudato Si' ” has in the political world remains to be seen”, writes Jay Michaelson, a columnist for The Daily Beast who has taught environmental ethics at Boston University Law School and other institutions. “But that the pope is here embracing a nature-based mysticism, a highly adumbrated anthropocentrism, and a radical “integral ecology” places the encyclical alongside the best of radical, progressive religious environmentalism— and far outside what even mainline Protestant denominations have affirmed heretofore…”
Many have praised Bergoglio’s evil document to the highest heavens simply because—they say—Laudato Si’ contains many elements of “Catholic teaching.” And what actually is this Catholic teaching? Because it says something against abortion! As one character who claims to be a Catholic teacher puts it, “Because this document involves more of a mix of the religious and the scientific than most Church documents, believers may need to think more carefully than usual about which propositions belong to which category, but one cannot simply dismiss what the pope says on matters of Church teaching. Indeed, believers should not adopt a hostile attitude toward this document. Even if they hold different views on some of the scientific matters the pope touches on, they should seek to find as much as possible in the document that is good and useful.”
Quite a wonderful instruction! How so many Catholics the world over have lost the faith without even realising it!
Our Lady of La Sallette prophesied in the nineteenth century: “Rome will lose the Faith and become the seat of the Antichrist. …The Church will be eclipsed, the world will be in consternation.” We are witnessing this prophecy now, but unfortunately, many—in fact millions—are not aware of what is happening.
Hopefully, Our Lady also said: “But there are Enoch and Elias, they will preach with the power of God, and men of good will will believe in God, and many souls will be comforted; they will make great progress by virtue of the Holy Ghost and will condemn the diabolical errors of the Antichrist.”