Bertone Drops Hints on New Encyclical

Bertone Drops Hints on New Encyclical May 29, 2008

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone claims it will be called Caritas in Veritate, and that it intends not to repeat the obvious truths of Catholic social teaching, but instead focus on some contemporary issues– “I am thinking of globalization and other problems, like the food crisis and climate change.” Of course, this will not make some American Catholics happy. Those like Rick Santorum who not only opposes efforts to combat combat global warming, but actually argues that opposition to such measures is itself a moral issue. What incredible topsy-turvy logic, and how offensive.


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  • Mark DeFrancisis

    Why even bother about Rick?

    We in Pittsburgh (and the rest of the state) heartily laughed this”third most powerful GOP legislator” out of office in 2006. He lost handily in nearly every demographic ( including and particulary badly with Catholics). Between his insistence that we actually found stockpiles and stockpiles of WMD; his Islamo-fascist hysteria; his vanguard status on our bombing Iran; and his equation of homosexuality with bestiality, Keystoners long ago stopped taking him seriously.

  • Blackadder

    Perhaps we should wait and see what the encyclical actually says before we start condemning people for not abiding by it.

  • Most of the measures proposed to combat supposed anthropogenic climate change hurt the poor. I think he’s got a valid point, even if one disagrees with him. The tone of every one of your posts is what I find offensive. I wish you saw the church as something other than a caucus.

    And who knows what the content of the encyclical will really be? Didn’t B16 utter some cautious words some months ago about global warming hysterics?

    What worries me most about this issue is that the proposed solutions to global warming involve a lot of abortion and contraception, since babies who grow into adults will have large carbon footprints. Click here to “meet the women who won’t have babies because they’re not eco-friendly“:

    “Having children is selfish. It’s all about maintaining your genetic line at the expense of the planet,” says Toni, 35 [who aborted her child and got herself sterilized]. “Every person who is born uses more food, more water, more land, more fossil fuels, more trees and produces more rubbish, more pollution, more greenhouse gases, and adds to the problem of over-population.”

    Do you care? Are you able to relate the issues? Are you not able to exercise little bit of a hermeneutic of suspicion here? But no, Santorum’s the idiot. Nice.

  • No, Blackadder, like most liberals MM thinks he can read minds and hearts and predict the future. *sigh*

  • I’ve been waiting for this encyclical since Benedict became Pope. I know it will be good.

  • Just like Benedict’s Apostolic Visit… people already anticipating whose knuckles will be implicitly rapped by Caritas in Veritate (or whatever the final title is).

  • Policraticus

    Didn’t B16 utter some cautious words some months ago about global warming hysterics?

    Yes, just he uttered some cautious words about dimissing global warming for ideological reasons. Climate change has been a big concern for both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. Perhaps it is helpful to be reminded of the actual feelings of Benedict XVI on the matter.

  • Morning’s Minion

    Irenaeus,

    (1) Please do not throw secular American political terms (“liberal”) that have no meaning other than a catch-all put-down in my direction, please.

    (2) Your analysis of the effects on the poor is plain wrong. Check the Stern review which is the best economic analysis of the economic costs of acting and not acting to curb climate change (produced by the UK Treasury): http://www.patheos.com/blogs/voxnova/2007/05/21/the-economic-costs-of-global-warming/.

    Bottom line: By not acting, climate chnage will eat up 5 percent of GDP a year, risiing to 20 percent in a pessimistic scenario. In contrast, the costs associated with reducing greenhouse gas emmissions are in the order of 1 percent of GDP. Stern also showed that the poorest countries will suffer “earliest and most” from inaction.

  • TeutonicTim

    Well said BlackAdder. I can easily see this going the same way as when people got disappointed that the Pope didn’t denounce America on his visit here.

    MM – Still throwing out the same old stats, eh? Last I checked, there still isn’t “consensus” that there is even warming going on. Even the U.N. revised their temperatures for the past decade…

  • TeutonicTim

    Policraticus – If you actually read what he said, it’s more of a general statement respect the environment and that man should do what it can to protect the world.

    I’ll say it again, wanton pollution and destruction of the environment are different than saying there is man-made catastrophic global “climate change” (“global warming” is so passe)

  • Policraticus

    Policraticus – If you actually read what he said, it’s more of a general statement respect the environment and that man should do what it can to protect the world.

    I put the post together, so, yes, I have “read what he said.” Climate change is brought up frequently by Pope Benedict XVI as I indicate.

    I’ll say it again, wanton pollution and destruction of the environment are different than saying there is man-made catastrophic global “climate change” (”global warming” is so passe)

    Of course they’re different…it’s a cause and effect relationship.

  • Gerald Augustinus

    I wouldn’t be surprised that there’s global warming – all throughout history there’s been warming and cooling. The ‘the sky is falling’ attitude is just silly though. It’s important to keep air and water clean, to recycle (we have twice as much recycling as regular trash) and so forth, but the doomsday scenarios are laughable – and they change all the time.

    I’d like to add: ALL HAIL APPLE! I just got my new Mac Pro 8-core tower. Insane. AND Energy Star certified 😛 Pbbbbbbht Windows. Get a Mac if you don’t have one.

  • Liberal and conservative do mean things, given a context and one’s understanding of the context. Liberal and conservative also can rightly be used within religious/theological contexts (such as in “Liberal Protestantism,” which is a descriptive, not a pejorative term in common use). Even if they were purely political terms, this post is about a papal encyclical that will have political implications, and you happened to criticize an (irrelevant) politician. So let’s not split politics and religion/theology.

    I do appreciate the link re: global warming and poverty, but that’s not how I see it, necessarily.

    I’d also be interested in anything you might have to say about environmentalism creating a culture in which abortion and contraception are seen as good means to a good end – the reduction of population and thus carbon.

  • Morning’s Minion

    Gerald,

    Let’s get this right. Over the last million years of so, the earth has fallen into a pattern of climate change every 100,000 years– with an ice age followed by a warming period. We are about 10,000 years into the last of these warming periods. During the warming period, the temperature rises by 2-5 degrees. For the temperature to rise again by this amount so shortly into a warming cycle is clear evidence something else is at play. We are talking about the warmest period of the earth in 12 million years, or maybe even in 50 million years (the “climate change” that killed the dinosaurs).

    And if you want to see the impact of temperatures rising this quickly, just look at what happened at the end of the last Ice Age- by 10,000 years ago, the sea rose 400 feet, and in 5,600 BC the Mediterranean rose so high that it created the Bosphorus strait. Just ask Noah about that one!

  • Morning’s Minion

    Irenaeus,

    What the merits and de-merits of “liberal” and “conservative” on politics, they have no role in Catholicism. As Pope Benedict wrote, we cannot simply be conservative in its original meaning, given that Christ is not a “Conservator” but a “Salvator” with its dynamic implications. And of course, what passes for “liberal” and “conservative” tend to both derive from Enlightenment-era notions of individual freedom and social contracts, and so haev limited use in the Catholic context.

    To your other point: you seem to be making a version of the “Ceaucescu Banks Abortion” argument that I saw frequently among the pro-abortion advocates when I was in college (sounds a bit dated now!). You are basically supposed to think that if you oppose abortion, then you are in the same camp as Ceaucescu. You are basically saying that some people support reducing carbon emissions in ways that wouild not be supported by the Church– such as population control. I have no doubt you are correct. But so what? We must be bound to seek the truth and act justly, no matter what other groups say and do. And this is a deep moral issue.

  • TeutonicTim

    Of course they’re different…it’s a cause and effect relationship.

    Maybe…

    MM – I think you’re forgetting specific documented phenomenons like the Medieval optimum and the little ice age. Not to mention the fact that the 30’s were warmer than the past two decades, and that was still in the early portion of the industrial age.

  • Policraticus

    I wouldn’t be surprised that there’s global warming – all throughout history there’s been warming and cooling. The ‘the sky is falling’ attitude is just silly though.

    This is the precise problem with conversations on climate change. Reductionistic thinking reduces it to matter of either/or: either natural, harmless warming and cooling across history or doomsday, sky is climate change. Pope Benedict XVI’s words bring me great solace, for he speaks out against this reductionist rhetoric and restores credibility to both science and environmental concern. One need not be concerned over the human impact on climate change AND espouse an apocalyptic worldview.

  • I can easily see this going the same way as when people got disappointed that the Pope didn’t denounce America on his visit here.

    Strawman. Who the hell thought Benedict would “denounce America”??? The war, si. America, no.

  • TeutonicTim

    One need not be concerned over the human impact on climate change AND espouse an apocalyptic worldview.

    Sure you do. Trying to reduce or recede the “change” implies that it has severely negative consequences to not doing it, especially at the costs involved to the people of the world ( especially those in undeveloped countries)

  • TeutonicTim

    Strawman. Who the hell thought Benedict would “denounce America”??? The war, si. America, no.

    Didn’t do either, so what’s your point?

  • Didn’t do either, so what’s your point?

    That you have a habit of purposefully misrepresenting your opponents.

  • TeutonicTim

    Opponents? And here I thought we were all Christians, simply discussing issues.

  • The threat of global warming does not seem to me to be over-hyped; if anything we are still underestimating it, despite Katrina, melting polar ice etc.

    If Benedict is joining the skeptics, he must take responsibility for the evil effects his words may have (just as those condom-burning bishops must take responsibility if their tactic increases rather than decreases AIDS infections).

  • “The 1930s were warmer than the past two decades”? But were not some of recent years the hottest on record? What do you mean?

  • “There is an important difference between the earlier warming and today. Since 1980, with the exception of Antarctica, THE ENTIRE GLOBE WARMED. This was not true in the 1930s and 1940s. If regional warming is due to an atmospheric oscillation, it is likely that there will be other regions of cooling. If there are not regions of cooling, then it is more likely that the warming trend is due to global warming. Thus, the 1930s and 1940s warming in the Arctic is thought to be FUNDAMENTALLY DIFFERENT from the warming of the past 20 years. Furthermore, the past 20 consecutive years have all been above normal in temperature, whereas during the 1930s and 1940s there were a few cooler than average years interspersed with the very warm years. A detailed breakdown by month and region of the 100-year history of Arctic temperatures was performed by Overland et al. (2004). They found no evidence of a natural 50-year warming and cooling cycle in Arctic temperatures, and concluded that THE WARMING SINCE 1980 WAS UNIQUE. However, they stopped short of blaming the recent warming on human-emitted greenhouse gases (anthropogenic forcing). The ACIA, though, concluded that humans were likely to blame for the recent Arctic warming.”

  • TeutonicTim

    Seriously – Katrina?

    I like how you left out the medieval optimum and little ice age. Also, how in the world does one capture “global” temperature? Oops, I forgot that there’s “consensus”.

    Even NASA got caught posting incorrect temperature reports, that once again proved that the 1930’s contain most of the hottest years on record:

    1934, 1998, 1921, 2006, 1931, 1999, 1953, 1990, 1938, 1939

    So much for the idea that the science is without error…

  • digbydolben

    What I don’t understand about the statements of Iraneus and several others here is why prolific sexual reproduction (in that relatively new Catholic cult of the “family”), globalist-capitalist “development” and the frenzied cultivation of the “free market” have suddenly become objects of such inestimable value as to be considered part of Catholic religious culture.

    Isn’t this the same Church that invented MONASTICISM? The same one that historically valued chastity and celibacy over the connubial state? The same one that, with Francis of Assisi consecrated “Holy Poverty”? The same one that promoted fasting and abstinence as the most appropriate way of doing penance? The same one that created Lent as a means of connecting sacramental reality to the reality of SCARCITY in the natural environment? The same one that proclaimed man’s responsibility for STEWARDSHIP over a fallen and wounded and materially impoverished world?

    Your heresy is called “Americanism,” Iraneus, and your spurious “Catholicism” is closer to the dubious Christianity of the heretic-Founders of America’s ersatz republic than it is to Francis of Assisi’s.

  • “Of course, this will not make some American Catholics happy.”

    Ready…FIRE!…Aim…

  • Valuing celibacy over the married state is no surprise when sex is viewed as ‘icky’ and a necessary evil. A healthy view of sex – and pleasure – wasn’t exactly a hallmark of Catholicism. Life isn’t ‘nasty, brutish and short’ anymore round here, so the ‘vale of tears’ approach to the world is rather outdated. Digby, you must be fun at parties 😛

    Remember Belloc:
    Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine,
    There’s always laughter and good red wine.
    At least I’ve always found it so.
    Benedicamus Domino!

  • digbydolben

    Gerald Augustinus: I don’t go to many parties, so I don’t know if I’m “fun” at them. And Francis of Assisi seems to me to have been much happier than you, your intellectual confreres OR Belloc. Chesterton, though, IS another story…

  • Let’s get this right. Over the last million years of so, the earth has fallen into a pattern of climate change every 100,000 years– with an ice age followed by a warming period. We are about 10,000 years into the last of these warming periods. During the warming period, the temperature rises by 2-5 degrees. For the temperature to rise again by this amount so shortly into a warming cycle is clear evidence something else is at play. We are talking about the warmest period of the earth in 12 million years, or maybe even in 50 million years (the “climate change” that killed the dinosaurs).

    Let’s get a couple other things right:

    -The dinosuars died out 65 million years ago, and the extinction is pretty universally agreed to have been the result of a major asteroid impact in what is now the Yucatan Peninsula — nto climate change. (We’re overdue for a massive asteroid impact, given historical trends, but that’s overdue in a statistical sense, so take it for what you will.)

    -Given that we’re only 10,000 years into the current interglacial period, and we still have lots of glaciers, it’s possible that we simply haven’t finished warming yet.

    -Within the last few million years, during which the continents have been in pretty much their modern positions, we have had periods in which the earth was warm enough that there were no glaciers at all — we’re not there yet by a long shot.

    -While many suggested moves towards reducing CO2 emmisions could perhaps be achieved at the cost of 1% of GDP, if you’re right about the scale of the problem (that it could cause 5% to 20% to mitigate the effects once they take place) then those 1% actions wouldn’t be nearly enough to stop or even much slow the trend.

    -The reason why population control and environmentalism are so often tied is that in the US and Europe, per capita CO2 production has leveled or dropped over the last decade or two. The problem is that the population here is still rising (unlike Europe) and so our total emmissions are going up. Without population control we’d have to take measures that would bring per capita CO2 production down below what China currently has, if not lower. And so most of the claims that greenhouse gasses would be relatively easy to address are centered around serious attempts at reducing population growth, and eventually shrinking the world population.

  • bkillian

    The ‘vale of tears’ perspective of the world will never be outdated. What is outdated is the claim that the Catholic view of sex and pleasure is unhealthy. In fact, it’s looking very healthy and realistic to a lot more people today living in the fallout of the sexual revolution.

  • scriblerus

    “Please do not throw secular American political terms (”liberal”) that have no meaning other than a catch-all put-down in my direction, please.”

    We will only do this when you stop slinging the term “Calvinist” around so ignorantly. I actually excerpted some of your posts for a test for a Reformation class that I teach and, after having the students read Luther, Calvin and other reformers, asked them to critique the posts.

    As one of the students commented after she took the test, “nobody is that stupid, are they?”

  • Scriblerus

    Then were you being fair to the discussion of Calvinism and its influence in America, because, as you know (or should know if you are teaching students about the Reformation), Calvinism extends beyond Calvin? And since you are the one who is telling the students what to think, well, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The extention of Calvinism into the secular world and its influence on American culture and how most Americans think has been verified in many mediums (McGrath does a good job of it, if you want a good source).

  • digbydolben

    From one teacher to another:

    The student is trying to ingratiate herself with you, Professor Scriblerus. It’s a common enough trick, although it only seems to work on particularly vain instructors.