Looks like the Vatican is going green:
When a Vatican official suggested that Pope Francis was contemplating an encyclical on the environment a year ago, he signaled that climate change and environmental degradation were such pressing concerns that the pope wanted to address them in a teaching document.
No word has emerged on what the encyclical might say or when it would appear in 2015, but references by officials at the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace have pointed to a document that Catholics can apply in everyday life.
Catholics working on environmental issues and climate change in the U.S. are eagerly awaiting the encyclical and have spent much of the last year preparing for it.
“There’s never been an encyclical just on the environment. It’s clear something like this is needed to move, especially policymakers, but even the church,” said Dan Misleh, executive director of the Catholic Climate Covenant.
“I’ve always said we need to recover ancient traditions that we’ve always had but we just forgot. About how we’re supposed to care for creation. About how St. Francis said it’s all kin, we’re all connected together somehow. ‘Brother Sun, Sister Moon,'” he said.
Along with the U.S. bishops:
Joining other faith groups, the U.S. Catholic bishops are reiterating their support of federal rules limiting carbon produced by existing power plants.
In an open letter dated Wednesday to Gina McCarthy, administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the heads of the domestic and international committees of the U.S. bishops’ conference said they welcomed the EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan.
[Update: A clarification from the bishops’ conference stated the bishops have not endorsed the specific Clean Power Plan but rather support national carbon-cutting standards that EPA could create.]
“We support a national standard to reduce carbon pollution and recognize the important flexibility given to states in determining how best to meet these goals,” said Bishops Thomas Wenski and Richard Pates.
Wenski, archbishop of Miami, serves as chair of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. Pates, bishop of Des Moines, Iowa, heads up the Committee on International Justice and Peace.
Their statement was entered as oral testimony Wednesday by Cecilia Calvo, coordinator of the bishops’ environmental justice program, during an EPA hearing in Washington. EPA scheduled public hearings throughout the week in four locations across the country, with other hearings taking place in Atlanta, Denver and Pittsburgh. Commenting on the proposed rules remains open through Oct. 16; the Catholic Climate Covenant, which works with the bishops’ conference, has urged Catholics to weigh in on the proposals.
At least we don’t need to worry about spiritual figures dabbling in temporal affairs:
Author Peter McDonough argues that since the Catholic community as a whole is mildly conservative and fairly complacent, the chances of an end to a moderately authoritarian and insistently hierarchical church are slim. Moreover, the fact that most contemporary Catholics vote with their feet on most if not all of the ethical teaching of the church, both sexual and political, reduces still further any righteous indignation for change.
As a teaching body, moral guardian or strong voice in the public arena, the church is largely irrelevant, but as a network of communities where people gather for worship and fellowship, it continues to be prized. The church will insist on teaching broadly conservative and patently inadequate sexual ethics while holding to the all-male makeup of the clerical leadership. Few will pay attention to the former, and not enough people really care about the latter.
One of the more original aspects of the author’s argument is that he marginalized the effectiveness of both conservative and reformist pressure groups in today’s church. While many think of the church as an intensely polarized community, McDonough’s message is that these strong feelings only influence a minority, while the majority of Catholics just go to church and then get on with their lives without paying much attention to either left or right or, for that matter, the voice of ecclesial authority itself.
Of course, none of this applies to Jason and the Callers.
33 thoughts on “The Temporality of the Church”
Okay, this is where some 2K would do Rome a world of good. Who in the present Magisterium is remotely qualified to talk about Greenhouse emissions, climate change, or pollution? Any biologists? Anyone with a background in environmental issues? Anyone?
And the second question is this (pretty much answered above)—Does anyone really care when the pope says anything about issues not even remotely within his scope of expertise? Are people flocking to him for economic advice? He can’t even get his church to toe the line on sexual ethics and other issues that are more directly addressed in Scripture and tradition, why would any RC, let alone non-RC, care in the least about what he has to say on the environment?
And, to paraphrase the liberal Francis’ statement on homosexuality, if the CEO of a company known for pollution has a relationship with God, who is he to judge?
What else would Frank the Hippie Pope do?
Robert, that has to be the best line to ever come from the office of Pope.
Hashtag Sola Scriptura.
PS, Casey Chalk,
Channel more Machen like in your article, yo.
I never noticed the local Catholic churches here having a blessing of animals on their marquees. I’ve seen it on the ELCA churches and other flakes. Congrats, Jason, you’ve joined the trendy, un-biblical animal lunacy of (other) false churches.
And Machen writing an essay on God’s wondrous creations is not at all, or even remotely the same as having a special church service to bless animals. Nor are Calvin and Edwards’ appreciation similar to parading animals around in a church.
Matt, thx. That’s helpful.
The blessing of the animals in Catholic parishes is not a “church service” or a Mass, nor does the event happen inside the sanctuary – at least not in any instances of which I’m aware. So there’s no “parading animals around in a church.” It’s a separate event that usually happens outdoors and involves a simple prayer and blessing. best, casey
It’s a separate event that usually happens outdoors …
Yes, and avowed and proud lesbians should not receive communion. That is, if the priest is concerned with following the rubrics of the Church, versus his heart or his favorite progressive. Some are, some aren’t. And with an environmental encyclical loaded into 2015s chamber, just watch and wait…
Matt, but you know, praying to the mediatrix is just like asking your friend to pray for you.
Oh I know praying to the soon-to-be fourth person of the trinity is just like asking my friend to pray for me. Jimmy Akin, Tim Staples et al tell us all the time. I learn so much by listening to CA Live on my drive home. I learn just how false the RCC is.
But I thought every Catholic believes the same thing. That’s what they say. That’s why solo scriptura is un-biblical and why it doesn’t work; everyone has their own interpretation. You know, 30,000 denominations being the result. Oh Mother Angelica, please set me straight.
MAtt: I suspect we actually agree. There is more uniformity in the OPC than the Catholic Church, and solo scripture may be unbiblical but it works as well as Catholicism, if not better.
Joe: I would posit sola scriptura IS biblical and works because it is so and Roman Catholicism doesn’t work because it ISN’T biblical.
The spirituality of the church‘s contrast:
That’s wonderful that Dena Hunt can pick and choose which infallible topic she wants to accept. We did see 2000 yrs of church history when the smoke n mirrors bird unveiled Francis so let them pretend they have their coniunctionis, in papa.
I can tell you flat out the left is eagerly awaiting what the Pope has to say on carbon emissions. This comes down to a question of view. On the right of the political spectrum there is a belief that there is some sort of scientific modeling debate that needs to take place. On the left there is a belief that while there may be some scientific and engineering questions we don’t yet know the answers to, we as a specific know far more than enough to take effective political action now. That the problem is the energy extraction industry having engaged in an effective campaign of propaganda and disinformation not a problem of lack of scientific knowledge.
Pope Francis can effectually call this behavior of lying propaganda on the part of Exxon, BP, Gazprom, Shell, Petrobras Brasileiro, Chevron… He can say that right now when we have a structural surplus in energy and labor is an excellent time to in a serious way engage in the massive expenses involved in a planet wide conversion towards greener energy production and this window isn’t likely to remain open.
If you think about the major Catholics in Congress this could have impact. Senator Ayotte comes from a state that could be amenable to this sort of investment but she’s been hesitant. Senator Casey’s key swing base comes from a coal producing region but lives in a state which is pro-environmentalism. Senator Heitkamp is one who might be influenced by the pope to take a brave stand…. Similarly in the house. And similarly globally especially in South America.
The pope leading the world into “let’s not miss this opportunity of labor and energy surplus to fix this problem” is vastly more important for liberals than more discussion about who can put their penis in which holes. So while I get that conservatives could care less, liberals are thrilled he is taking this on.
cd-h, but what about all those lefties going to hell? Doesn’t Francis care about their souls? Does he care more about “flourishing” that leads to death?
I suspect that Francis believes that other sins are vastly more important even for avoiding hell. As I’ve mentioned before on homosexuality “who am I to judge” on the morality of priests driving expensive cars, he has no problem judging. He fundamentally disagrees with conservatives on the relative importance of various sins. I think Francis would believe the sins of Pluto to which middle aged men are tempted a more serious threat to spiritual welfare than the sins of Venus to which younger men are tempted. He might very well believe that hundreds of millions of conservatives destroying the planet because they don’t want to pay 20-100% aggregate energy costs, are in much greater spiritual jeopardy than the hundreds of millions of liberals planning on getting laid this weekend with someone they aren’t married to. Or at the very least that the liberals are aware of the teachings of the church with respect to their sins while the conservatives may be in denial.
Anyway… that’s a slight shift from my answer to Robert which was about liberals being pumped about this encyclical.
I get that lefty RCs might get excited, even the ones in Congress, but I wonder how much the average left-leaning RC in the pew cares. They’ve already decided, so for them it’ll be more like—the pope finally gets it, I imagine. I’m not sure what impact this is going to have on others, however. You might get the hyper-papalists such as at CTC to go greener (if, indeed, they aren’t already), but I don’t imagine it swaying other conservatives at all.
In any case, given the state of the Roman Communion, I don’t know how much what the pope says really matters to the average RC in the pew. I mean, they like the rockstar nature of this pope in particular, that Francis is making it “cool” to be RC again, but do they really take their direction from him in any unquestioning manner (if they ever did). Seems to me the answer is no. They pick and choose which doctrines to follow based on some other standard. For some it is there own preferences. For some it might be traditional pre-V2 Romanism. Etc.
Judging what is taught by the church according to a different standard than the church itself. I don’t know, sounds fairly Protestant to me.
On a side note, I’m not really interested in hearing about climate change from those who are not experts in the issue (i.e., the pope), or from those with a vested interest on either side. The pro-carbon reduction voices such as Gore, Greenpeace, etc. maintain their living and existence based on the debate. The anti-carbon reduction voices do much the same thing. I only want to hear from those who are as impartial as possible when it comes to an issue like this.
But the trend seems to be growing. At least that’s how some conservatives see it:
That’s a big deal. If you can shift 10% of congress you shift the actual law / policy on this issue.
I think it might. Prior to mid 2000s there was a consensus on the science and a disagreement on the best policy. (example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qi6n_-wB154 ) The gains the oil companies / conservative groups made in terms of convincing their people that there was much to debate scientifically was a huge step backwards on the issue.
Think about issues like gay marriage. When people like Dick Cheney and Steve Schmidt came out in favor it discredited the idea that this was nothing but a liberal policy. Conservative Catholics will be torn and thus might fairly evaluate the evidence / arguments.
You mean groups like the UN, EPA and NASA? They are all on the Gore side as far as what’s longer term. They disagree with Gore in terms of time frames and likely cost of adaption vs. energy usage reductions but on the core scientific issues there is very little room between Gore and the neutral bodies. Gore and Greenpeace don’t have the same position so I don’t want to defend Greenpeace.
No of course not but I don’t think he’s aiming for that. Francis is a Catholic not a CtCer. What Francis has done is shifted the bar from their mostly rejecting the newer teaching of the magisterium in an unquestioning manner to being opened minded. Francis has won the ability to get thoughtful engagement. So for example Francis is not redistributing power locally like many of the liberal bishops wanted but rather is concentrating power in the college of cardinals. The leftwing Catholics in the pews are supporting him against their local liberal bishops, because he’s won their trust. His message of geographic and regional diversity within the central bureaucracy rather than localization is winning out. And as a result he’s able to continue the work of John Paul II and Benedict XVI faster and more easily because European and North America Bishops have 0 ability to push back. This is really key he’s got liberals in the pews backing him in putting 3rd world conservatives into the college.
Or for example the Cuba policy. Catholicism is only 60% where the state schools still official preach atheism (24% of the population). Francis and the arch bishops want a more Catholic curriculum. They may very well get what they want, so you may have the USA supporting a non-Protestant state church’s advance….
I think those are real accomplishments, it matters.
Political action on global warming has already been taken: http://ivn.us/2012/04/18/the-number-one-worst-polluter-on-earth-is-the-u-s-federal-government/
Cdh, glad your back
Homer the heretic.
You mean groups like the UN, EPA and NASA?
I don’t think any of those are disinterested parties. Maybe of the three, NASA is most objective.
That’s a big deal. If you can shift 10% of congress you shift the actual law / policy on this issue.
I guess my point is that that the lefties in Congress are already convinced (and they’re now a decided minority anyway, at least for the next 2 years). And I don’t think that there are enough RCs in this country at least who will care enough about what the pope says to do anything like pressure politicians to change their minds. Call me a cynic, I guess.
All I think Francis is really accomplishing is to make it cool to be RCC again in the eyes of liberal RCs and Rolling Stone. Between factors such as the Enlightenment, the Protestant influence on culture, the democratization of information,etc., I just don’t see where the pope has all that much influence on the average faith of the average RC, at least in the West. This is one of the problems with the CtC apologetic. Now, to the papacy’s credit, I think that Francis at least recognizes this and is trying to do something about it, but I think he’s fighting an uphill battle given the rampant individualism in our culture.
All churches have to deal with this to some degree or another. Protestant elders have to deal with congregations who don’t really invest them with any degree of authority. RC bishops have to deal with congregations who don’t give a rip what they say.
” but references by officials at the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace have pointed to a document that Catholics can apply in everyday life.”
Is the document going to include a little packet of apple tree seeds stapled to the upper left-hand corner?
When my religion gets this trivial there’s no way I’m even bothering to attend services any more.
If this is true:
Why won’t he stop talking?
Michael Sean Winters corrects Robbie George (and neither has the charism of apostolic succession — go figure):
Robbie George responds to Winters and all the more provides support for popes talking less and leading worship more.
Can you appeal to a professor to explain papal authority?
Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of papal authority?
Imagine a minister having a chance to address the nation and not presenting the gospel of Jesus Christ:
The image of this post is from the episode Homer the Heretic (emphasis mine):