As the Pope’s address to the US Congress drew to a close, France 24 Television turned to Kishore Jayabalan, Director of Istituto Acton in Rome, for a reaction to Francis’ message. You can view his analysis below.
Acton Institute President Rev. Robert A. Sirico was interviewed recently for a story on WHYY FM in Philadelphia discussing the Pope’s upcoming trip to the city, and focusing on the impact of his encyclical Laudato Si’ within the Catholic Church. Sirico points out that while the Pope is correct to urge Christians to be responsible stewards of God’s creation, the inclusion of specific policy proposals on climate may prove to be unwise in the long run.
You can listen to the full interview via the audio player below.
Pope Francis and the Republican Presidential Hopefuls: A Widening Divide
Stephen Seufert, The Huffington Post
During the first Republican presidential debate, candidates repeatedly mentioned the path towards economic growth is through tax cuts, deregulation, and smaller government. With regards to tax cuts bringing on economic growth to the middle class and poor — commonly called trickle down economics — Pope Francis has unequivocally rejected such a theory.
Our Sunday Visitor Promotes Laudato Si’
Mark Silk, Religion News Service
On the other hand, the pope will have more American Catholics paying attention to him than God when he shows up in New York, Washington, and Philadelphia next month. To say nothing of everyone else in the country. And you can be sure he’ll be pitching Laudato Si’.
In Response: Cherry-picking data won’t make climate change go away
David Gerhart, Duluth News Tribune
A lengthy commentary critical of Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change was published in the News Tribune on Aug. 8 as half of a “Pro/Con” feature (“Should we heed the pope’s warning about climate change? No: It misreads science and will doom billions to poverty”).
US Ambassador to the Holy See Talks about Pope Francis’ Visit to the United States
Gerard O’Connell, Vatican Insider
Q: Francis is the first pope ever to address Congress. How do you read this? A: I think it’s terrific. Speaker Boehner is a Catholic and he said I’m going to invite him. And Francis, a pope of surprises, said I’m going to do it!
How Can Engineers Heed Pope Francis’ Challenge on Climate Change?
Engineering Deans of Catholic Colleges and Universities, U.S. News & World Report
In a time of great unrest, uncertainty and disagreement over the reality of climate change, the encyclical forces all peoples and institutions, particularly Catholic ones, to examine if they are doing enough to address one of the gravest issues of our time. The encyclical presents us with a challenge and an opportunity as we consider the role of engineering education in an interdependent world.
How Recycling Factors into the Vatican’s Climate Change Plan
Michele Nestor, Waste360
For starters, Francis stepped up to the mound and zipped a curve ball across the plate as the industrialized nations stood like Casey at the bat. His windup coupled the forces of industrialization, globalization and capitalism. With a little help from a holy rosin bag, he got poverty and climate change to cling tightly to those issues, just as if they were the laces sewn into the ball.
Pope declares Sept. 1 a ‘World Day of Prayer’ for the environment
Rosie Scammell, Crux
The Vatican on Monday announced a World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, the latest move by Pope Francis to push environmental issues up the global agenda.
For Frederick D’Souza, executive director of Caritas India, spoke to AsiaNews about Pope Francis’ Laudato si’ encyclical two months after its publication.
Reading the news around the Catholic world you would think that prelates and priests and lay faithful alike are going absolutely loony about climate change. Since Laudato si’ it seems as if those who read selectively have been rushing lemming-like to the ever warming sea. Running screaming waving their front legs… which lemmings can’t really do and still run. But I digress.
Diocesan social action directors take time to focus on ‘Laudato Si’’
Ed Langlois, National Catholic Reporter
“To be at odds with creation is to be at odds with God,” Dominican Sr. Kathleen McManus, associate professor of systematic theology at the University of Portland, said in a presentation to the institute’s 275 participants. “And it’s to be at odds with our neighbor and with our deepest selves.” Sponsored by the Roundtable Association of Catholic Diocesan Social Action Directors, the institute convened at the University of Portland July 19-23, focusing on the message of Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, “Laudato Si’, on Care for Our Common Home.”
Apocalyptic and Utopian: On Pope Francis’ Bolivian Manifesto
James V. Schall, S.J., The Catholic World Reporter
The Holy Father is certainly against abortion, euthanasia, and population control. What seems unclear to many is how advisers who hold these practices necessary in view of theories of ecology are at all helpful to what the Pope is really after. We all should be on the side of growth and virtue, not death and control.
Pope Francis’s Plan to Impoverish New York . . .and the Gotham mayor who embraces it
Oren Cass, City Journal
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s performance Tuesday at a Vatican climate-change conference called to mind the college sophomore who arrives late to a seminar, clearly hasn’t done the reading, but monopolizes the discussion nonetheless.
Wait—what? Pope Francis, feminist? In what sense is Francis—a man who presides over one of the most deeply patriarchal institutions in human history, which bans women from positions of authority and restricts them to subservient roles; who preaches a doctrine of “separate spheres” for women that reads like a musty Victorian-era relic; and whose unwavering support of Catholic doctrine on abortion and birth control is responsible for the death and suffering of countless women across the globe—a feminist? To label Francis a “feminist” is downright Orwellian. It twists the meaning of the word beyond all recognition.
Archbishop Blase Cupich joined US Environmental Protection Agency officials Friday to mark the Church’s stewardship initiative, an answer to Pope Francis’ entreaty to preserve the earth. Archdiocese officials plan to benchmark each of the 2,700 buildings — churches, schools, offices and multiple-family housing. They will track energy consumption and consider each building’s structure using the EPA’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager to rank them from 1 to 100.
Pope Francis made a sweeping speech on Thursday during his Latin American tour criticizing the global economic order and asking for forgiveness from indigenous peoples for crimes committed by the Church in the past…. Here are key excerpts from the official English version and translations by Reuters of parts he improvised:
Local interfaith leaders discuss Pope Francis’ encyclical
Arlene Edmonds, The Philadelphia Tribune
The recent session sharing of ideas on how each would individually consume less energy, recycle and nurture the planet. Some mentioned the need to amplify the climate change issue even amid congregations where members were skeptical or too immersed in their day to day problems to consider it. One member suggested that one could ask them to share a simple way they could save energy rather than extend an open invitation to join a time-consuming organization or movement.
Pope Francis apologises for Catholic crimes against indigenous peoples during the colonisation of the Americas
Zachary Davies Boren, The Independent
The affectionate response Francis received was in stark contrast to the furore his predecessor Benedict XVI sparked when he visited the continent in 2007. He said the indigenous people of Latin America had been “silently longing” to become Christians before they were forcefully converted and displaced.
Heading to the beach — with the pope’s encyclical
Effie Caldarola, CatholicPhilly.com
So, as I use clean, hot water in the shower, my thoughts go to all of the people worldwide who suffer poor water quality and shortages. And those most impacted, the pope points out, are the poor. But even those of us who live in areas where spring rains have been plentiful worry about depletion of our precious aquifers. Poor public policy and overuse strain our water supply everywhere. Water, of course, is just one of many areas the pope touches on.
Bishop reflects on the pope’s encyclical
Bishop Edward Weisenburger, Catholic Diocese of Salina
The encyclical is thus a teaching document, not a set of secular policy proposals. Certainly the dialogue with science is essential. Indeed, the scientific consensus on the link between human activity and a negative impact on the environment is strong — clearly as strong as the consensus on the link between cigarettes and cancer. I find it sobering to note, too, that the U.S. military and business community agree that climate change is happening and they’re preparing for it. To ignore the science would be reckless.
“Laudato si, mi’ Signore!” Both the title and first line of the most recent papal encyclical come from St. Francis’ canticle which looks at nature as a great gift, but you all know that. Every news source worth its salt made that clear before the encyclical was released (either time); yet, we as Christians are called to be salt of the Earth. This entails more than a brief glance at the word on the street about the ecological pronouncement. What is at stake here is the central call of humanity: to till and keep the gifted garden (Genesis 2:15). The first human was placed in this role of cultivation of the earth even before being told to not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. There was a promise to act and a law to keep. The Bible is divided into two halves: law in the Old Testament and promise in the New Testament. The call to be salt of the earth is about the Christian life fulfilling that promise. Note that the law followed the promise in the order of our creation. Core to human being was first the love of the life of the world–the greatest commandment as Christ said. So, then why is the reactionary focus of the encyclical even before it was released surrounded upon the policy, the law, that it would inspire and not the call to promise?
Surely within the encyclical there is language that leads to law being created. What Pope Francis has seen in the world directly articulates the life he leads–one unaccepting of a “globalization of indifference” for any child of God’s in need. (more…)
While at Acton University not too long ago, Buenos Aires journalist Adrián Bono sat down with Rev. Robert Sirico to discuss Laudato Si’. Bono recently wrote about his interview with Acton’s president and co-founder at Infobae. “Muchos no saben que la encíclica depende de la hermenéutica,” Sirico argued, “que significa cómo puede interpretada. No es un documento infalible.” Simply put, Laudato Si’ is not a binding document for Catholics, but many don’t understand that. He continues on that thought:
Merece respeto, pero no necesariamente significa que los creyentes deben seguirla. En lo que respecta a sus enseñanzas de la doctrina, los católicos tienen la obligación fiel de seguirla, pero en lo que hace a sus declaraciones empíricas, esas se le dejan a la comunidad científica para que sean debatidas. La ciencia es un proceso abierto de debate y descubrimiento…A veces el Papa es imprudente al hablar de conjeturas científicas y análisis económico.”
Mark Tooley, President of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, reacts to the recent encyclical from an evangelical perspective:
The climate change issue is portrayed by the activists as being a moral issue and they put themselves forward as defenders of the oppressed and the poor around the world. But, in fact, it is the poor, especially the extreme poor, who are the most arguably in need of increased access to what, at this point, only fossil fuels can provide.
See his full statement in the video below: