First off, I haven’t read any translation of the leaked draft of the upcoming encyclical. Doesn’t make sense to. Like most rational, level-headed, non-crisis monger Catholics (and non-Catholics, too), I’m waiting for the publication of the real deal. Then I’ll read it, and then, if I feel it’s necessary, I’ll write about it. And while some equally rational, level-headed, non-crisis Catholics (and non-Catholics, too) have read the leaked draft, it’s the ideologues who seem to be getting most of the attention. Ah well, let them. Crazies gonna cray, right?
Despite the fact the encyclical is still a couple days from publication, I’ve compiled a list of 10 things that won’t be in it. Absotively posilutely won’t be in there. In no particular order:
10) “An Inconvenient Truth” will not be required viewing for RCIA classes.
9) Vasectomies and tubal ligations will not be declared the 8th Sacraments.
8) Indulgences will not be granted if you install solar panels on your house.
7) Anthropomorphic climate change skeptics will not be ex-communicated latae sententiae.
6) Al Gore will not be declared a Doctor of the Church.
5) Abstinence will not be encouraged as a means of reducing carbon dioxide emissions due to eliminated heavy breathing.
4) Capitalism will not be declared a sin which cries out to heaven for justice.
3) Mary, Mother of God will not be defined as “Mediatrix of All Greenhouse Gases”.
2) Incense will not be replaced with the eco-friendly “E-Thurifer” (due to air pollution concerns).
1) All parishes will not be required to have windmills installed on their property for sustainability.
Bottom line? The encyclical will be Catholic, and will espouse and expand on Catholic teaching. Faithful Catholics needn’t get their biodegradable knickers in a twist over Laudato Si. Those who are…well, they have an agenda to push. Will there be some things in the encyclical that might make us a bit uncomfortable? Sure, I fully expect it – because being a Catholic sometimes makes you a bit uncomfortable. Comes with the territory. Let the Right and the Left yammer about it – ignore them. Online at least – read the thing and be able to discuss it cogently and coherently with flesh and blood folks, like family members and coworkers.
A couple fellow Patheos bloggers have written about the upcoming encyclical – Mark Shea provides reasoned speculations, and Artur Rosman has an interview with Catholic climate change expert Anthony Annett. Check them out, and they both ultimately come to the same conclusion:
Laudato Si will be Catholic. Not Left. Not Right. Not applauding any narrow world view. Not appealing to any particular political bent. We’re called to be stewards of creation, to recognize our role and place within creation, and how we, made in the image and likeness of God, have grave responsibilities towards creation, which includes our neighbor. Is that a simplification? Perhaps. Let’s see what the Holy Father really has to say, and then try our best to follow through.
The crazies are gonna cray. You and me, let’s keep our heads, and just be Catholic about it.
Photo credit: Catholic Church (England and Wales) /Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
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