My latest article for CRUX rounds up opinions about the Pope’s encyclical. Some say –“Meh. Disregard it.”
Others say, “It is almost infallible! Everyone must submit!”
My own attitude to Laudato Si’ is one of critical enthusiasm. I think the pope could have used a good editor. The encyclical is verbose and often vague. I share William Oddie’s concerns about the pope’s choice of advisors and his enthusiasm for an agenda that has been highly politicized. I worry that some passages are unduly sentimental and think the sections on possible solutions go into far too much detail. I question whether a papal encyclical is the proper channel for those proposals.
On the other hand, I very much appreciate the pope’s critique of the greed and relativism that cause pollution and environmental disaster. I like his prophetic stance against individualism and the unthinking domination of mankind over creation. He is right to challenge our assumptions that all technoscientific advances are inherently good. His insistence that we cannot care for the environment while slaughtering the unborn, trafficking in human beings, neglecting the disabled and immigrants is brilliant, and his emphasis on the connectedness of all creation and his lyrical mysticism is inspiring and attractive.