Benedict on Creation

Benedict on Creation November 6, 2015

Christopher Dodson of the North Dakota Catholic Conference writes:

After reading some of the attacks on Pope Francis for “straying” into the subject of climate change that his predecessor supposedly would not have touched, I recalled that I had once compiled a list of speeches and addresses about climate change made Pope Benedict and members of the curia during his pontificate.

A couple years ago the National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly published an article I wrote regarding Catholic teaching, food, and the environment.  An earlier draft of that article included the list in a footnote.  It did not make the final draft.  Alas, the original draft was still on my computer!

I thought you would be interested.

Benedict XVI, “Address Of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to the Members of the Diplomatic Corps for the Traditional Exchange Of New Year Greetings,” (January 11, 2010);

Benedict XVI, “Message of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI For The Celebration of the World Day Of Peace: If You Want To Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation,” January 1, 2010;

Benedict XVI, “Urbi et Orbi Message of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI,” Easter 2009;

Benedict XVI, “Message to U.N. Summit on Climate Change,” (September 22, 2009);

Benedict XVI, “Message Of His Holiness Benedict XVI to Mr Jacques Diouf, Director General of FAO on The Occasion Of World Food Day 2010,” (October 15, 2010);

Cardinal Peter Turkson, “Address on Day of Reflection, Dialogue and Prayer for Peace and Justice in the World,” (October 27, 2011);

Pontifical Academy of Sciences, “Report on the Fate of Mountain Glaciers in the Anthropocene,” (May 11, 2011);

The Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers, “Message for World Tourism Day 2010,” (June 29, 2010).

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  • Elmwood

    faith and morals only. we can ignore climate change teaching because the church has zero authority on such matters.

    • Raymond

      what part of protecting the environment does not concern morals?

      • Elmwood

        I’m repeating what the cafeteria catholics say. but they would say that the science is debatable (which it isn’t)

        • Alma Peregrina

          I can see where you’re going with this, but science should be always debatable.

          • Elmwood

            you can debate it, but that will only make you look stupid. does anyone take seriously geocentrism or flat earth theory? CO2 as a greenhouse gas is not debatable, only the degree and effects of a warming world is at this point. there will always be uncertainty and increased theory development with time.

            • Alma Peregrina

              I’ll take the chance of people looking stupid (they’ll find other ways to look stupid anyway) than not to allow scientific debate over everything, including theories that sound “stupid”.

              Just stick them with the scientific evidence you have. That’s what science is all about.

              • Elmwood

                fine, just respect the “science” behind people who argue the unborn aren’t people because they are so small. after all the science is debateable and the church has no competancy in science.

                in both cases, the science isnt debateable. they are using the fact that science develops from hypothesis to theory to law to conviently ignore catholic teaching where it doesnt fit thier political ideology.

                • Alma Peregrina

                  “Unborn babies aren’t people” isn’t a scientific debate, it’s a philosophical one. I think you meant “unborn babies aren’t human beings”.

                  Also, I never said we should “respect” the “science” of people who go against science. I said we should debate it.

                  And yes, I’ve debated lots of pro-choicers on this and stuck them with the scientific evidence. It’s funny to see them squirm out of the science, it just shows who they really are.

                  • Elmwood

                    it’s scientific because we use our physical sences to identify that an embryo from the moment of conception is a human life although in an undeveloped state.

                    • Alma Peregrina

                      Yes, you’re right. I think I am not making myself clear… “human life” is a scientific concept. “Person” is a philosophical one. Maybe I was being pedantic, granted.

                    • Hezekiah Garrett

                      Not pedantic, just underlining separate concepts anyone lecturing their unwashed brethren on SCIENZE! should already be pretty clear on.

      • jaybird1951

        There is a consensus among Catholics on protecting the environment. No issue there. Climate change/AGW is on the other hand, a disputed theory that is at its core a political issue. The Holy Father should not have taken sides on that. It could very well rebound on him and the Church. The last time church leadership sided with “settled science” was in the Galileo affair.

        • Dave G.

          I think you’re wrong. I have it on good authority that the scientists who love God are in complete agreement about AGW/Climate Change. It’s only the bad scientists who are part of a vast oil industry conspiracy who disagree. And if history teaches us anything, it’s that we should never ignore the majority view when the distinctions between sides are so clear. 🙂

        • Elmwood

          its not disputed by climate science, only the degree and whether we should/can do anything about it. the church is clear that we should. galileo is a poor analogy because science said the earth revolved around the sun but superstion said otherwise. it’s superstious to call AGW a hoax, not scientific.

          the church is avoiding the galileo mistake by respecting the proper role of science.

          • Alma Peregrina

            “galileo is a poor analogy because science said the earth revolved around the sun but superstion said otherwise.”

            This is a common misconception. There was nothing superstitious about the ptolemaic geocentric theory, it was a firmly established theory, believed by the core of scholars of the day, to which Galileo’s theory didn’t give completely satisfactory answers.

            Mike Flynn has made a very good series about the subject named “The Great Ptolemaic Smackdown”. You should read it.

            PS: I’m on your side on the AGW debate, so don’t misunderstand what I wrote.

          • Hezekiah Garrett

            Science said no such thing at that time, and superstition had nothing to do with the issue in the first place. It isn’t surprising that you’d get basic facts wrong and misrepresent any position contrary to your own.

          • Sue Korlan

            No, science said the earth stood still because if it moved we would see some movement with respect to the more distant stars (parallax) which wasn’t observable until the mid 19th century.

  • ivan_the_mad

    Francis’ election evinced a pathetic parallel; i.e., preconceived notions are projected onto the papacy and no one bothers to read or hear the actual teachings. No particular error has a monopoly on faithlessness to the papal office or ignorance thereof (although certain errors, recently renewed, confuse faithlessness for faithfulness).

    The really diabolical thing is fooling oneself into believing that species of human activity are outside of faith and morals.