Monday, January 05, 2015

An encyclical on climate change? Novelist & convert Dena Hunt is not amused.

Convert and novelist Dena Hunt expresses her profound disquiet over Pope Francis's upcoming encyclical on climate change, in "I Am Concerned" (Saint Austin Review, December 31, 2014):
The Pope of the Catholic Church is not infallible. The papacy is. I understand this distinction. Spelled out, it goes like this: When the Holy Father speaks on faith and morals, he is speaking with the authority of Jesus Christ. That’s the parameter of his infallible authority. When he speaks on faith and morals, I listen. I obey. When the pope speaks on politics, scientific theory, or any other subject, I listen, but I am free to disagree, to disregard, and to choose to listen to those persons who actually do have authority in these areas. The pope does not.

I regret that our current Holy Father speaks so strongly on topics about which no one expects him to know any more than anyone else. As far as his popular image is concerned, I don’t really care what color shoes he wears, what sort of car he goes about in, or where he chooses to set up housekeeping. I’m not given to judging such gossip-like details. Far from being impressed, frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.

I regret he got involved in clandestine political machinations with President Obama, and not because I agree or disagree with either man’s opinions on the subject of American foreign policy, but I regret even more that he’s now chosen to write an encyclical about climate change. I won’t read it. I prefer to read opinions from those who are more qualified in the areas about which they speak. And I also regret he was not clear, right out there, up front, overt and specific, about the faith-and-morals teaching of the Church on issues like divorce and homosexual marriage.

St. John Paul the Great lived and operated under total political suppression. What made his life as a cardinal in communist Poland so extraordinary was his focus on his responsibility as a religious leader of his people. Eventually, that steadfast devotion to his duty helped to bring about the downfall of that suppression. He was never unclear or vague about faith and morals—quite the contrary—and he never touted his opinions on matters outside the faith.

Nothing is more seductive than flattery and applause, especially from a fickle and sensation-hungry press, and nothing is more fatal to our souls than vanity. Time spent alone on our knees, as Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI are known to have done, can clear up a lot of confusion about what God’s will is, about what our responsibility is, even for the ordinary layperson. St. John Paul wrote every word of his encyclicals in the presence of Blessed Sacrament. But those encyclicals were about faith and morals. I suppose “encyclicals” on other subjects can be written anywhere, provided one wears shoes of a politically correct color.


Son of Ya'Kov said...

Some Protestant converts should take their cues from more rational Protestant converts.

They should also learn their Catholic history. Like maybe what happened in the last 7 years or so?

If Pope Francis is a "radical" environmentalist, what was Pope Benedict XVI?

QUOTE"In 1990 John Paul II had spoken of an “ecological crisis” and, in highlighting its primarily ethical character, pointed to the “urgent moral need for a new solidarity”. His appeal is all the more pressing today, in the face of signs of a growing crisis which it would be irresponsible not to take seriously. Can we remain indifferent before the problems associated with such realities as climate change, desertification, the deterioration and loss of productivity in vast agricultural areas, the pollution of rivers and aquifers, the loss of biodiversity, the increase of natural catastrophes and the deforestation of equatorial and tropical regions? Can we disregard the growing phenomenon of “environmental refugees”, people who are forced by the degradation of their natural habitat to forsake it – and often their possessions as well – in order to face the dangers and uncertainties of forced displacement? Can we remain impassive in the face of actual and potential conflicts involving access to natural resources? All these are issues with a profound impact on the exercise of human rights, such as the right to life, food, health and development.-Pope Benedict XVI

Happy New Year.

Anonymous said...

Francis is reported to spent 2 hours in prayer early every morning.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

It is possible to write an encyclical on the environment that morally binds all christians if the content is about what is and is not morally permissible in that area for such things have been done in the area of economics despite the objections of american catholic defenders of capitalism.

Son of Ya'Kov said...

On a personal note.

I see no logic in wee-weeing one's self over a document that hasn't even been written yet?

Also all the Kiveching over wither or not the Pope will recognize "Global Warming/Climate Change/etc" (like his two predecessors did) reminds me of the Kiveching Young Earth Creationist Catholics and ID enthusists do over past Papal pronouncements on Evolution.

It is much ado about nothing. You can except "Climate Change" or not just as you can accept evolution or not.

People will always use the Pope for their own political agenda left or right.

Nothing you can do about it.

So relax.

Son of Ya'Kov said...

Wow! I actually agree with MJY for once!

Who knew?

Ralph Roister-Doister said...

This is a blog. Topics are put out, individuals comment if they wish (hopefully without carpetbombing the blog with useless verbiage), discussions sometimes develop. That is the purpose of a blog.

If you think that people who express opinions with which you disagree are "wee-weeing themselves" for doing what one is supposed to do on a blog, perhaps you ought to go somewhere else and do something else, for you are clearly out of your depth here.

Son of Ya'Kov said...


You want to dispute what I said then do so. I don't mind. We could have a good discussion.

If you want to make this about me and attack me personally. Two things about that.

First it makes you boring.

Second it contributes to "carpetbombing the blog with useless verbiage" & thus make you self-defeating.

So why don't we both agree to not personally attack each other & other posters and maybe it will be pleasant for both of us?

What do you say?

Son of Ya'Kov said...


>If you think that people who express opinions with which you disagree are "wee-weeing themselves" for doing what one is supposed to do on a blog,

I am responding to Dena Hunt's disquiet.

I have no beef with you. If you want to defend her disquiet then get on with it.

I would like to hear what you have to say.