Thursday, June 18, 2015

Sound, Fury, and "Laudato Si' "

The Pope's 'environmental encyclical' was published today. I figure I'll read "Laudato Si' " before opining about what it says. The official English translation ( runs to well over 31,000 words, so that will take some time.

What I've seen of the encyclical at a very quick glance is hardly surprising.

Pope Francis says that greed is a bad idea, and we shouldn't do it.

He also says that we live on Earth, and that taking care of the place makes sense.

So far, I don't have a problem with what I've seen.

I gather that some folks who saw, or heard about, an unofficial translation of a leaked rough draft of the document went ballistic: conservatives because it was liberal; liberals because it was conservative; the usual stuff. I gave my position back in 2008:

Dominion and Responsibility

I don't know how many of the Victorian upper crust actually said they were 'lords of creation,' who could do what they liked with the rest of humanity, and the planet.

That, to me, does not make sense. Not even from the viewpoint of enlightened self-interest. As a Christian and a Catholic, I certainly can't embrace an 'it's all mine' attitude.

I think we have "dominion" over this world, like Genesis 1:26 says. But, like I said, I'm a Catholic. I see humanity's "dominion" as the sort of authority held by a steward or shop foreman.

That authority comes with responsibilities. Big responsibilities. Making reasoned use of the world's resources is part of our job. So is making sure that future generations have what they'll need. (Catechism, 339, 952, 2402-2405, 2456)

This world is God's gift to humanity — for all of us, including folks who haven't been born yet. Private property, personal ownership of part of the world, is okay: provided the owner acquired and uses it ethically. (Catechism, 2402-2405)

And that's all I have time for today.

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What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.