What's in the Pope's barn-storming environmental message?

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None of this should be surprising. Francis is no hippie, he’s just holding up things the Church has always taught. Some of them make Liberals happy - some make Conservatives happy. I suspect American value systems aren’t the most important thing to him.


I don’t have formal religion. I wasn’t raised that way, I probably wasn’t born with the type of brain where a formal religion can find a home in the first place, and whatever neuronal connections might have been devoted to that have long since been pruned off and repurposed for other things. But today, just for today, I’m a Catholic. The Pope gets it, and this gives me hope.

Now maybe he can take another look at that birth control thing.


I feel we’re going to get a taste of what pre-JFK anti-catholicism was like.


I think the Pope and the Roman church should revisit their view of birth control, but as an issue of bodily autonomy, not as an issue of population control, and definitely not as an issue of eugenics and the percieved irresponsibility of poor and/or disabled people having children.


You’ve got several high profile conservative politicians in America, I think we will see a rise in American exceptional ism among the far right Catholics. As the Catholic Church inevitably starts moving towards the centre on social issues - they will allow priests marry or have no priests, they will allow women also (as their congregation wants it on both counts) they will allow gay priests because: Catholics etc. etc. the bigoted far right will allow itself to see itself as defenders of purity. Maybe they will ally with African homophobes and try to take over the church from within, but I doubt it.

Religious people are always schisming on the basis that they really know what God means or what the true church is. Christianity has been like that since Paul decided that his idea of what Jesus meant was more true than anyone who had actually met him.


A mere “like” is inadequate for me to express my agreement with your point!


I think they already do. (These guys only came to mind because they showed up where I went to college, around 24 years ago)

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Yeah, they are a great inspiration and source of money for firinge lunatics in Ireland… You can be socially conservative and a Catholic and yet not be far right. Indeed the ruling party in Ireland cleaves that way - the far right wing are socially liberal, the conservative catholic wing are not far right… I just was wondering whether this cleavage was so advanced in the U.S.that they might semi officially leave the Catholic organisation. Altogether in the near enough future. I mean its international, like the UN, majority third world membership… But still dominated by Old World jaded Europeans, decadent, social democratic. The Catholic Church no longer really places a huge emphasis on institutional decadent luxury and most of their workers are pretty committed to poverty as a lifestyle choice. And that philosophical stance ha a better future for them than chastity I think…

If the Catholic Church is to offer a relevant moral voice it must be based on Jesus view of rich scoundrels rather than hectoring lecturing about sexuality which is completely out of line with their congregation in Europe at least.

I agree with that. If this is what changes Catholic doctrine on contraception, though, I’ll go with it.

It should be noted that those bold subheadings are not part of the original text, they were added by WIRED (so the Pope didn’t just use the word “screwing” in an encyclical).

It should also be noted that the subheading about transgender people heads a paragraph that does not mention transgender people at all, and, if anything, reads as a criticism of post-gender thinking, and an affirmation of the type of biodeterminism that is hostile to trans identity. I honestly have no idea where the fuck WIRED pulled their reading from.


It’s hard to take this church seriously when they tell us what science to believe and what we should still struggle with.

The key teaching of the church that I don’t hear him refute- that humans are unique among all the animals, and have been given a title of ownership over their domain (by the creator himself!)- This sets us up to think that while animals might die and rot in the ground, we die and have afterlives that are more important than our mortal lives. The laws of ecology might apply to those dumb beasts, but not to superior beings like ourselves!

The Church’s stance on heliocentrism took centuries to reverse, in the face of empirical evidence. I don’t expect them to make much of a difference in the time it takes the ice caps to melt.

And on that note:


There are a lot of times the Roman church could stand up for people’s reproductive rights, even before revising any doctrine.

What does he think he is, some kind’a scientist or something?

Oh, wait a second when Pope Francis / Jorge Mario Bergoglio was a young man, he graduated from technical school as a Chemical Technician.


I don’t think the Catholic church really did subscribe to heliocentrism as is frequently believed. And I would have thought their stance on this was moral rather than scientific. They are, as has been their stance on evolution for decades, getting out of the way of science to comment on what they think is their domain - the ethics of destroying the earth and killing the poor. That they think women’s bodies and other peoples sex lives are their domain is different from their stance on science. Its part of why we should pay no attention to their stances on ethics even if we happen to agree with a part.

The pope is still anti-homosexual marriage and still protects all the paedophiles that are rife through his churches that he commands.

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Why? Shouldn’t we work together with people on the things we agree on while acknowledging that we have differences we may oppose each other on?

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You are right there of course. I meant though that he shouldn’t be cited as a source of moral authority. Unless you go along with the other stuff they go for.

Bad news on the birth control front. Despite what to me is an obvious contraceptive-shaped hole in the picture he’s painted for us, this is the closest thing to a mention I could find.

Instead of resolving the problems of the poor and thinking of how the world can be different, some can only propose a reduction in the birth rate. At times, developing countries face forms of international pressure which make economic assistance contingent on certain policies of “reproductive health”. Yet “while it is true that an unequal distribution of the population and of available resources creates obstacles to development and a sustainable use of the environment, it must nonetheless be recognized that demographic growth is fully compatible with an integral and shared development”. To blame population growth instead of extreme and selective consumerism on the part of some, is one way of refusing to face the issues. It is an attempt to legitimize the present model of distribution, where a minority believes that it has the right to consume in a way which can never be universalized ...
etc., etc., etc.

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