Louie Verrecchio
The single most important lesson from Laudato Si
By Louie Verrecchio
June 21, 2015

In the opening paragraphs of Laudato Si we read:

Both [environmental and social damage] are ultimately due to the same evil: the notion that there are no indisputable truths to guide our lives, and hence human freedom is limitless.

Then, about midway through the text, the following rhetorical questions are posed:

But if these issues are courageously faced, we are led inexorably to ask other pointed questions: What is the purpose of our life in this world? Why are we here? What is the goal of our work and all our efforts? What need does the earth have of us?

Had the task of expounding upon these brief but potentially important excerpts been left to the hand of any of the pre-conciliar popes of the last century or more, there can be no doubt whatsoever that its contents would have been overflowing with exhortations to turn to Jesus Christ, pointing very clearly to Him as the Light of the world Who alone is Truth incarnate, and to the Holy Catholic Church, the solitary Ark of Salvation established by Him for our salvation.

That this is the case, in spite of the bitter experiences of the last half century, is really nothing extraordinary; rather, it is precisely what one should rightly expect from even the simplest of pastors, and much more from the Vicar of Christ.

Jorge Bergoglio, however, is no ordinary pope, and Laudato Si is no ordinary encyclical.

In fact, the latter can hardly even be considered a genuine contribution to the papal magisterium of the Holy Catholic Church.

Those who have read even a handful of the encyclicals of the pre-conciliar popes cannot help but be taken aback by the fact the "humble" Pope Francis actually takes himself so seriously as to imagine that Laudato Si should be considered as one among them.

I have little doubt that, within most of our lifetimes, Laudato Si will be recognized by even moderately serious Catholics as having no value whatsoever other than to remind the faithful just how much havoc one disastrous pontificate can wreak on the Church and on the world.

That said, it does pose a danger in that we can well expect it to be leveraged by the enemies of Christ in furtherance of their agendas.

As such, it is right that much "ink" will be spilled, including here in this space, discussing the key points of Laudato Si.

At this, and without any further ado, let's just cut to the chase:

The number one most important lesson to be learned from the document's 40,000+ words is the indisputable reality that the Catholic Church in our day – more precisely, the men who are leading her and duly running her into the ground, the Bishop of Rome chief among them – has little concern for the mission that was given to the Church by Christ the King.

Are there nuggets of Catholic treasure to be found scattered throughout the "encyclical's" voluminous text?

Certainly, but one can say the same of the preaching that is offered at the praise and worship services of the heretics, but only a fool would seek to nourish his Catholic faith in such an environment.

This being the case, while other Catholic commentators are busy deceiving themselves and others, perhaps even unknowingly, by cataloging the oh-so-rare jewels contained in this latest pile of rubbish from Rome, as if doing so is of any more service to God's people than giving them a glass of poison with which to wash down their vitamins, I'm going to focus on the far more important aspects of the text – namely, its dangers.

For starters, let it be said that the document is, just as expected, dreadfully long.

Evangelii Gaudium was longer still, but in the case of Laudato Si it's not because it contains a wide array of thoughts and ideas; rather, it's mainly because it repeats the same thoughts over, and over, and over again.

In reading it, one may be tempted to think that they are being treated to the ramblings of an elderly man who is quickly losing his mind to dementia.

I, however, tend to think that it's more accurate to imagine that we are being treated to a tactic that is deliberately intended to overwhelm the poor reader, with the idea in mind that the repetition of certain legitimate points will somehow lend credibility to those of a more dubious nature, ultimately making the whole a lot more palatable.

Whatever the cause or motive for its verbosity may be, Laudato Si could easily be pared down to half its current length, and still pose a serious danger to the faithful and to those who are seeking the truth.

It has already been well publicized that Pope Francis has adopted as his own much of the alarmist rhetoric of the enviro-revolutionary enemies of the Church.

Consider, for example, this very limited offering of citations:

Human beings...degrade the integrity of the earth by causing changes in its climate....

The melting in the polar ice caps and in high altitude plains can lead to the dangerous release of methane gas....

If present trends continue, this century may well witness extraordinary climate change and an unprecedented destruction of ecosystems....

We can see signs that things are now reaching a breaking point....

The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.

Some Catholic media characters of questionable credibility are attempting to paint poor Francis as the well-meaning victim of unreliable, perhaps even evil, advisers who have misled him on such points.

Granted, it is rather obvious that large portions of Laudato Si were indeed ghost written by the agents of environmental activism, the same who have successfully managed to hoodwink countless millions of dimwitted souls the world over.

That said, if Jorge Bergoglio the individual allows himself to be among them, that's one thing, but let's be very clear: he is entirely responsible for the way in which he leverages the unparalleled power of the papacy.

There simply is no excuse for using an instrument such as a papal encyclical to promote the kinds of nonsense found in Laudato Si.

It truly is nothing less than an abuse of the Petrine Office, to say nothing of the pope's utter unwillingness to "gather" with Christ, as is his duty. On the contrary, Pope Francis is a notorious scatterer, and Laudato Si is, like Evangelii Gaudium, but a tool of his condemnable trade.

He's also, as the following makes known, magnificently hypocritical.

Many professionals, opinion makers, communications media and centres of power, being located in affluent urban areas, are far removed from the poor, with little direct contact with their problems. They live and reason from the comfortable position of a high level of development and a quality of life well beyond the reach of the majority of the world's population....

A simple example [of harmful habits of consumption] is the increasing use and power of air-conditioning. The markets, which immediately benefit from sales, stimulate ever greater demand. An outsider looking at our world would be amazed at such behaviour, which at times appears self-destructive.

Let's be honest; in spite of walking around in beat up shoes, being driven about in modest sedans, wearing cassocks with tattered sleeves, Pope Francis lives about as far removed from the impoverished people of the world than anyone on the planet.

In fact, he lives rather like a king and as well he should: he's the Vicar of Christ who is King indeed.

Jorge Bergoglio probably spends more time in air conditioned rooms than the average middle-class American. He has taken no less that nine international trips via jumbo jet over the last twenty-eight months, even though he can (if only he were willing) fulfill the duties of his office perfectly well without ever leaving Rome. His "humility" is such that the Holy See now has to maintain two papal living quarters, and his occupancy of Casa Santa Marta has undoubtedly created a need to spend extra money and energy to house those who would have otherwise stayed there.

If all of this isn't enough to set off your hubris alarm, Francis even goes so far as to say:

Here I would state once more that the Church does not presume to settle scientific questions or to replace politics.

The irony of such a statement appearing in this novel-length enviro-manifesto boggles the mind!

So let's recognize much of Francis' hollow words for what they truly are: patent hypocrisy unworthy of any man, much less the pope, and an embarrassment for those of us who, wanting nothing more than to be Catholic, are willingly governed by the man.

Among the kudos being given to Francis for his misguided efforts in Laudato Si concern the stance that he takes against population control, specifically as it relates to abortion, an evil rightly associated with the environmental movement.

Overlooked in the process, however, is the "on-the-other-hand" that he offered immediately thereafter:

Still, attention needs to be paid to imbalances in population density, on both national and global levels, since a rise in consumption would lead to complex regional situations, as a result of the interplay between problems linked to environmental pollution, transport, waste treatment, loss of resources and quality of life.

Pope Francis doesn't offer any concrete solutions to such "imbalances," so it's unclear what he has in mind.

Even so, one cannot help but notice that curiously missing from Laudato Si is any mention of the evils of contraception and sterilization, both of which are fundamental planks in the enviro-revolutionary platform, large portions of which Pope Francis foolishly chose to lend the prestige of the papal seal.

Perhaps most transparently shameful of all is the pope's unwillingness to present immutable truth without qualifiers that have the effect of reducing the voice of Christ that comes to us through His Church to the level of mere Christian "opinion."

The document is littered with phrases like "for Christians...for believers...according to the Bible...Christian thought sees...in Christian understanding..." etc...

At one point Pope Francis even asks:

Why should this document, addressed to all people of good will, include a chapter dealing with the convictions of believers?

Rhetorical though the question may have been, I couldn't help but say aloud as I read this, Uh...because it comes from the pope, the visible head of the Catholic Church that alone is in full possession of, and is obligated to teach, everything whatsoever that Jesus Christ commanded!

Pope Francis would seem to have a different sense for the Church's place in this world.

For him, far from being the Mystical Body of Christ wherein man encounters, and enters into communion with, his Creator, the Church is just another community of individuals searching for truth.

Pope Francis tells us:

In union with all creatures, we journey through this land seeking God....

All indications are that Pope Francis simply doesn't believe that the Holy Catholic Church alone has the fullness of Divine Revelation and the right, and indeed the duty, to pass judgment on the personal and social obligations of humankind.

No, that conviction would be far too triumphalistic for the man whose desire for Laudato Si is no loftier than "to enter into dialogue with all people about our common home," an aspiration better met with another letter to the editor of La Repubblica, Eugenio Scalfari, than a make-pretend papal encyclical.

So intent is Pope Francis on avoiding any appearance of possessing the authority to speak in the name of Almighty God (setting aside for the present moment the fact that this authority doesn't pertain to much of Laudato Si anyway), he actually claims as recourse for his calls to action, get this, the demands of the youth!

Young people demand change. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building a better future without thinking of the environmental crisis and the sufferings of the excluded.

If the Church, and therefore the pope, is not called to lead mankind on the way to eternal life as she speaks with the unique authority granted to her by Christ, what exactly is her role?

Citing his predecessor, Benedict the Abdicator, otherwise known as the "Green Pope," Francis states:

This is what makes for the excitement and drama of human history, in which freedom, growth, salvation and love can blossom, or lead towards decadence and mutual destruction. The work of the Church seeks not only to remind everyone of the duty to care for nature, but at the same time "she must above all protect mankind from self-destruction" (cf Caritas in Veritate),

Don't let the reference to "salvation" fool you into thinking that Pope Francis is in the least bit serious about the real mission of the Catholic Church.

That he is not is made clear when he states:

Many people in these [overcrowded] conditions are able to weave bonds of belonging and togetherness which convert overcrowding into an experience of community in which the walls of the ego are torn down and the barriers of selfishness overcome. This experience of a communitarian salvation often generates creative ideas for the improvement of a building or a neighbourhood.

Pay very close attention to Jorge Bergoglio's sense for salvation: it is an "experience" that is facilitated by the "community" as people "weave bonds" among themselves.

How is it, one wonders, that the pope himself can seem to dismiss with such apparent ease the need of entrance into the life of Christ and His Holy Catholic Church as the solitary way of salvation?

He tells us near the conclusion of Laudato Si:

At the end, we will find ourselves face to face with the infinite beauty of God (cf. 1 Cor 13:12), and be able to read with admiration and happiness the mystery of the universe, which with us will share in unending plenitude.

Here, Pope Francis is misappropriating Sacred Scripture in order to lend the appearance of Catholic thought to that which is ultimately heretical – namely, the false notion that all persons without qualification will one day enjoy the beatific vision.

There is more that could be said of this mockery of papal magisterium known as Laudato Si, but at this it should be clear enough that all roads therein lead back to the aforementioned single most important lesson it has to offer:

The Rome of today has lost the Faith in such considerable measure that even the local Bishop – he who exercises universal authority over the Church – has neither the desire nor the capacity for engaging in the mission that was given to her by Christ the King.

© Louie Verrecchio


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