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:
- "Conservative? Liberal? Democrat? Republican? No, I'm Catholic"
(November 3, 2008)
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.
- "Climate Change, Deccan Traps: Still Learning"
(May 8, 2015)
- "Climate Change, Science, and the Vatican"
(May 1, 2015)
- "Setting Earth's Thermostat"
(February 20, 2015)
- "Moderation and a Pythagorean Dribble Glass"
(January 25, 2015)
- "Environmentalism: Using the Brains God Gave Us"
(June 15, 2014)