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EcoLinks 06.25.15

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Conservative Catholics Try to Domesticate Laudato Si
Patricia Miller, Religion Dispatches

Meanwhile, the response from the US leadership of the church to Francis’ urgent plea for action has been noticeably muted. Mark Silk reports that at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ eagerly anticipated presser on the encyclical last week, Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl and other leaders seemed to go out of their way to tone down Francis’ message….

Pope Francis’s Poverty And Environment Ideas Will Worsen Both
Kathleen Hartnett White, The Federalist

As a lifelong Catholic with graduate degrees in religious studies and a long stint as the head of an environmental agency second in size only to the Environmental Protection Agency, I am deeply troubled by Pope Francis’ encyclical “Praise to You, Lord (Laudato, Si’): On Care of Our Common Home.” Long anticipated for revelation of the pope’s support for a global climate treaty, the encyclical is, and is not, focused on global warming.

Where Did Pope Francis’s Extravagant Rant Come From?
Maureen Mullarkey, The Federalist

Subversion of Christianity by the spirit of the age has been a hazard down the centuries. The significance of “Laudato Si” lies beyond its stated concern for the climate. Discount obfuscating religious language. The encyclical lays ground to legitimize global government and makes the church an instrument of propaganda—a herald for the upcoming United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference in Paris.

The pope’s climate change message is really about rethinking what it means to be human
Stephen P. White, Vox

What makes this encyclical controversial is its reading of contested questions of science, economics, and politics. What makes it radical — in the sense of going to the root — is the pope’s reading of the profound human crisis that he sees underlying our modern world. Abuse of our environment isn’t the only problem facing humanity. In fact, Pope Francis sees the ecological crisis as a symptom of a deeper crisis — a human crisis. These two problems are related and interdependent. And the solution is not simply to eliminate fossil fuels or rethink carbon credits. The pope is calling on the world to rediscover what it means to be human — and as a result, to reject the cult of economic growth and material accumulation


A Roundtable On ‘Laudato Si’

The Federalist

Neither the pope nor the teaching authority he exercises is required to comment on every imaginable subject discussed in the public square, whether it is air-conditioning’s environmental impact, contemporary threats to plankton, the effect of synthetic agrotoxins on birds, or how dams affect animal migration (and, yes, all four are discussed in “Laudato Si”). The same goes for Catholic bishops. They’re under no obligation as bishops to articulate an opinion—let alone formal teachings—on every conceivable public policy issue.

Francis’ climate change message based on science
Patricia T. Bradt, The Morning Call

It behooves the U.S., as a world leader, to act rapidly to reduce our production of heat-trapping (greenhouse) gases, such as carbon dioxide, from fossil fuel combustion. Waiting should not be an option.

Pope’s encyclical on climate change may have changed some minds
YouGov

However, while Catholics’ views of climate change have shifted some in the wake of the encyclical, many Catholics do not characterize climate change as a moral issue, which may mean that for many there is no obligation to follow what it says. In fact, the Pope has not indicated explicitly that he is speaking ex cathedra within his encyclical, Laudate si’.

Pope Francis’ blunt talk on climate change is much needed: editorial
Cleveland.com

The encyclical, “Praised Be,” or “Laudato Si,” will be read and parsed for years to come: Pope Francis makes a strong moral argument that reducing carbon dioxide emissions isn’t just for polar bears but also must be done for the poor, who are particularly vulnerable to floods, droughts and the loss of plants and wildlife.

Coal-state lawmakers attack climate rule no matter what pope says
Sean Cockerham, Kentucky.com

Pope Francis’ call for urgent action to combat climate change isn’t having much influence on members of Congress from the coal state of Kentucky, who are working this week to block the centerpiece of the president’s agenda to limit the greenhouse gases that are warming the planet.

Coal Association response to Pope Francis’ Encyclical
Bill Raney, Logan Banner

I agree with the Pope that mankind has a duty to act as good stewards of this world God has entrusted to our keeping. And, I feel many aspects of today’s modern America indicate we have, as best as we can with human frailty, been good stewards. I would point to the fact that the modern industrial economy has created the greatest standards of living the world has ever known.

‘Popes speak infallibly only on faith and morals’
Bob McInerney, The Morning Call

Regarding the hubbub concerning Pope Francis’ recent encyclical about climate change: Father George W. Rutler of St. Michael’s Church in New York City said it best, when he wrote, “The first pope, from his fishing days, had enough hydrometeorology to know that he could not walk on water. Then the eternal Logos told him to do it, and he did, until he mixed up the sciences of heaven and Earth and began to sink. As Vicars of that Logos, popes speak infallibly only on faith and morals.”

The Pope deserves our attention on climate change
The Decatur Daily

The Catholic Church hasn’t always been on the right side of science, but in his encyclical Pope Francis endorses clearly, emphatically and eloquently what most scientists have been telling us for a couple of decades: climate change is real, man-made and fraught with imminent danger for everyone.

Obama should read the Pope’s words on abortion, not just ‘climate change’: Mike Huckabee
Ben Johnson, LifeSiteNews

“In that same encyclical, he also talked about his longstanding and continued commitment to the sanctity of life,” Huckabee said. “I’ve not heard many people, particularly in journalistic circles, speak to the science of life and its origin.”

History will tell if Pope Francis on wrong side of climate change issue (Letter)
Joseph E. Kincaid, MLive

Will a future pope have to apologize to the world for the indiscretions of Pope Francis?

Bruce Edward Walker has more than 30 years’ writing and editing experience in a variety of publishing areas, including reference books, newspapers, magazines, media relations and corporate speeches. Much of this material involved research on water rights, land use, alternative-technology vehicles and other environmental issues, but Walker has also written extensively on nonscientific subjects, having produced six titles in Wiley Publishing’s CliffsNotes series, including study guides for "Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland" and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest." He has also authored more than 100 critical biographies of authors and musicians for Gale Research's Contemporary Literary Criticism and Contemporary Musicians reference-book series. Most recently, he was managing editor of The Heartland Institute's InfoTech & Telecom News. Prior to that, he was manager of communications for the Mackinac Center's Property Rights Network. He also served from 2006-2007 as editor of Michigan Science, a quarterly Mackinac Center publication. Walker has served as an adjunct professor of literature and academic writing at University of Detroit Mercy. For the past three years, he has authored a weekly column for the mid-Michigan Morning Sun newspaper. Walker holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Michigan State University. He is the father of two daughters and currently lives in Midland, Mich., with his wife Katherine.

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