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Klein writes: "When I was first asked to speak at a Vatican press conference on Pope Francis's recently published climate-change encyclical, 'Laudato Si,' I was convinced that the invitation would soon be rescinded. Now the press conference and, after it, a two-day symposium to explore the encyclical is just two days away. This is actually happening."

Pope Francis. (photo: Riccardo De Luca/AP)
Pope Francis. (photo: Riccardo De Luca/AP)


A Radical Vatican?

By Naomi Klein, The New Yorker

11 July 15

 

hen I was first asked to speak at a Vatican press conference on Pope Francis’s recently published climate-change encyclical, “Laudato Si’,” I was convinced that the invitation would soon be rescinded. Now the press conference and, after it, a two-day symposium to explore the encyclical is just two days away. This is actually happening.

As usual ahead of stressful trips, I displace all of my anxiety onto wardrobe. The forecast for Rome in the first week of July is punishingly hot, up to ninety-five degrees Fahrenheit. Women visiting the Vatican are supposed to dress modestly, no exposed legs or upper arms. Long, loose cottons are the obvious choice, the only problem being that I have a deep-seated sartorial aversion to anything with the whiff of hippie.

Surely the Vatican press room has air-conditioning. Then again, “Laudato Si’ ” makes a point of singling it out as one of many “harmful habits of consumption which, rather than decreasing, appear to be growing all the more.” Will the powers that be make a point of ditching the climate control just for this press conference? Or will they keep it on and embrace contradiction, as I am doing by supporting the Pope’s bold writings on how responding to the climate crisis requires deep changes to our growth-driven economic model—while disagreeing with him about a whole lot else?

To remind myself why this is worth all the trouble, I reread a few passages from the encyclical. In addition to laying out the reality of climate change, it spends considerable time exploring how the culture of late capitalism makes it uniquely difficult to address, or even focus upon, this civilizational challenge. “Nature is filled with words of love,” Francis writes, “but how can we listen to them amid constant noise, interminable and nerve-wracking distractions, or the cult of appearances?”

I glance shamefully around at the strewn contents of my closet. (Look: some of us don’t get to wear the same white getup everywhere…)

July 1st—The F-Word

Four of us are scheduled to speak at the Vatican press conference, including one of the chairs of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. All except me are Catholic. In his introduction, Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Holy See press office, describes me as a “secular Jewish feminist”—a term I used in my prepared remarks but never expected him to repeat. Everything else Father Lombardi says is in Italian, but these three words are spoken slowly and in English, as if to emphasize their foreignness.

The first question directed my way is from Rosie Scammell, with the Religion News Service: “I was wondering how you would respond to Catholics who are concerned by your involvement here, and other people who don’t agree with certain Catholic teachings?”

This is a reference to the fact that some traditionalists have been griping about all the heathens, including United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and a roster of climate scientists, who were spotted inside these ancient walls in the run-up to the encyclical’s publication. The fear is that discussion of planetary overburden will lead to a weakening of the Church’s position on birth control and abortion. As the editor of a popular Italian Catholic Web site put it recently, “The road the church is heading down is precisely this: To quietly approve population control while talking about something else.”

I respond that I am not here to broker a merger between the secular climate movement and the Vatican. However, if Pope Francis is correct that responding to climate change requires fundamental changes to our economic model—and I think he is correct—then it will take an extraordinarily broad-based movement to demand those changes, one capable of navigating political disagreements.

After the press conference, a journalist from the U.S. tells me that she has “been covering the Vatican for twenty years, and I never thought I would hear the word ‘feminist’ from that stage.”

The air-conditioning, for the record, was left on.

The British and Dutch ambassadors to the Holy See host a dinner for the conference’s organizers and speakers. Over wine and grilled salmon, discussion turns to the political ramifications of the Pope’s trip to the United States this September. One of the guests most preoccupied with this subject is from an influential American Catholic organization. “The Holy Father isn’t making it easy for us by going to Cuba first,” he says.

I ask him how spreading the message of “Laudato Si’ ” is going back home. “The timing was bad,” he says. “It came out around the same time as the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage, and that kind of sucked all the oxygen out of the room.” That’s certainly true. Many U.S. bishops welcomed the encyclical—but not with anything like the Catholic firepower expended to denounce the Supreme Court decision a week later.

The contrast is a vivid reminder of just how far Pope Francis has to go in realizing his vision of a Church that spends less time condemning people over abortion, contraception, and who they marry, and more time fighting for the trampled victims of a highly unequal and unjust economic system. When climate justice had to fight for airtime with denunciations of gay marriage, it didn’t stand a chance.

On the way back to the hotel, looking up at the illuminated columns and dome of St. Peter’s Basilica, it strikes me that this battle of wills may be the real reason such eclectic outsiders are being invited inside this cloistered world. We’re here because many powerful Church insiders simply cannot be counted upon to champion Francis’s transformative climate message—and some would clearly be happy to see it buried alongside the many other secrets entombed in this walled enclave.

Before bed, I spend a little more time with “Laudato Si’ ” and something jumps out at me. In the opening paragraph, Pope Francis writes that “our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us.” He quotes Saint Francis of Assisi’s “Canticle of the Creatures,” which states, “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with colored flowers and herbs.”

Several paragraphs down, the encyclical notes that Saint Francis had “communed with all creation, even preaching to the flowers, inviting them ‘to praise the Lord, just as if they were endowed with reason.’ ” According to Saint Bonaventure, the encyclical says, the thirteenth-century friar “would call creatures, no matter how small, by the name of ‘brother’ or ‘sister.’ ”

Later in the text, pointing to various biblical directives to care for animals that provide food and labor, Pope Francis comes to the conclusion that “the Bible has no place for a tyrannical anthropocentrism unconcerned for other creatures.”

Challenging anthropocentrism is ho-hum stuff for ecologists, but it’s something else for the pinnacle of the Catholic Church. You don’t get much more human-centered than the persistent Judeo-Christian interpretation that God created the entire world specifically to serve Adam’s every need. As for the idea that we are part of a family with all other living beings, with the earth as our life-giving mother, that too is familiar to eco-ears. But from the Church? Replacing a maternal Earth with a Father God, and draining the natural world of its sacred power, were what stamping out paganism and animism were all about.

By asserting that nature has a value in and of itself, Francis is overturning centuries of theological interpretation that regarded the natural world with outright hostility—as a misery to be transcended and an “allurement” to be resisted. Of course, there have been parts of Christianity that stressed that nature was something valuable to steward and protect—some even celebrated it—but mostly as a set of resources to sustain humans.

Francis is not the first Pope to express deep environmental concern—John Paul II and Benedict XVI did as well. But those Popes didn’t tend to call the earth our “sister, mother” or assert that chipmunks and trout are our siblings.

July 2nd—Back from the Wilderness

In St. Peter’s Square, the souvenir shops are selling Pope Francis mugs, calendars, aprons—and stacks and stacks of bound copies of “Laudato Si’,” available in multiple languages. Window banners advertise its presence. At a glance, it looks like just another piece of papal schlock, not a document that could transform Church doctrine.

This morning is the opening of “People and Planet First: The Imperative to Change Course,” a two-day gathering to shape an action plan around “Laudato Si,’” organized by the International Alliance of Catholic Development Organisations and the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Speakers include Mary Robinson, the former President of Ireland and a current United Nations Special Envoy on Climate Change, as well as Enele Sopoaga, the Prime Minister of Tuvalu, an island nation whose existence is under threat from rising seas.

After an opening prayer led by a soft-spoken bishop from Bangladesh, Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson—a major force behind the encyclical—delivers the first keynote. At sixty-six, his temples are grey, but his round cheeks are still youthful. Many speculate that this could be the man to succeed the seventy-eight-year-old Francis, becoming the first African pope.

Most of Turkson’s talk is devoted to citing earlier Papal encyclicals as precedents for “Laudato Si’.” His message is clear: this is not about one Pope; it’s part of a Catholic tradition of seeing the earth as a sacrament and recognizing a “covenant” (not a mere connection) between human beings and nature.

At the same time, the Cardinal points out that “the word ‘stewardship’ only appears twice” in the encyclical. The word “care,” on the other hand, appears dozens of times. This is no accident, we are told. While stewardship speaks to a relationship based on duty, “when one cares for something it is something one does with passion and love.”

This passion for the natural world is part of what has come to be called “the Francis factor,” and clearly flows from a shift in geographic power within the Catholic Church. Francis is from Argentina, and Turkson from Ghana. One of the most vivid passages in the encyclical—“Who turned the wonderworld of the seas into underwater cemeteries bereft of color and life?”—is a quotation from a statement of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

This reflects the reality that, in large parts of the global south, the more anti-nature elements of Christian doctrine never entirely took hold. Particularly in Latin America, with its large indigenous populations, Catholicism wasn’t able to fully displace cosmologies that centered on a living and sacred Earth, and the result was often a Church that fused Christian and indigenous world views. With “Laudato Si’,” that fusion has finally reached the highest echelons of the Church.

Yet Turkson seems to gently warn the crowd here not to get carried away. Some African cultures “deified” nature, he says, but that is not the same as “care.” The earth may be a mother, but God is still the boss. Animals may be our relatives, but humans are not animals. Still, once an official Papal teaching challenges something as central as human dominion over the earth, is it really possible to control what will happen next?

This point is made forcefully by the Irish Catholic priest and theologian Seán McDonagh, who was part of the drafting process for the encyclical. His voice booming from the audience, he urges us not to hide from the fact that the love of nature embedded in the encyclical represents a profound and radical shift from traditional Catholicism. “We are moving to a new theology,” he declares.

To prove it, he translates a Latin prayer that was once commonly recited after communion during the season of advent. “Teach us to despise the things of the earth and to love the things of heaven.” Overcoming centuries of loathing the corporeal world is no small task, and, McDonagh argues, it serves little purpose to downplay the work ahead.

It’s thrilling to witness such radical theological challenges being batted around inside the curved wooden walls of an auditorium named after St. Augustine, the theologian whose skepticism of things bodily and material so profoundly shaped the Church. But I would imagine that for the conspicuously silent men in black robes in the front row, who study and teach in this building, it is also a little terrifying.

This evening’s dinner is much more informal: a sidewalk trattoria with a handful of Franciscans from Brazil and the U.S., as well as McDonagh, who is treated by the others as an honorary member of the order.

My dinner companions have been some of biggest troublemakers within the Church for years, the ones taking Christ’s proto-socialist teachings seriously. Patrick Carolan, the Washington, D.C.-based executive director of the Franciscan Action Network, is one of them. Smiling broadly, he tells me that, at the end of his life, Vladimir Lenin supposedly said that what the Russian Revolution had really needed was not more Bolsheviks but ten St. Francises of Assisi.

Now, all of a sudden, these outsiders share many of their views with the most powerful Catholic in the world, the leader of a flock of 1.2 billion people. Not only did this Pope surprise everyone by calling himself Francis, as no Pope ever had before him, but he appears to be determined to revive the most radical Franciscan teachings. Moema de Miranda, a powerful Brazilian social leader, who was wearing a wooden Franciscan cross, says that it feels “as if we are finally being heard.”

For McDonagh, the changes at the Vatican are even more striking. “The last time I had a Papal audience was 1963,” he tells me over spaghetti vongole. “I let three Popes go by.” And yet here he is, back in Rome, having helped draft the most talked-about encyclical anyone can remember.

McDonagh points out that it’s not just Latin Americans who figured out how to reconcile a Christian God with a mystical Earth. The Irish Celtic tradition also managed to maintain a sense of “divine in the natural world. Water sources had a divinity about them. Trees had a divinity to them.” But, in much of the rest of the Catholic world, all of this was wiped out. “We are presenting things as if there is continuity, but there wasn’t continuity. That theology was functionally lost.” (It’s a sleight of hand that many conservatives are noticing. “Pope Francis, The Earth Is Not My Sister,” reads a recent headline in The Federalist, a right-wing Web magazine.)

As for McDonagh, he is thrilled with the encyclical, although he wishes it had gone even further in challenging the idea that the earth was created as a gift to humans. How could that be so, when we know it was here billions of years before we arrived?

I ask how the Bible could survive this many fundamental challenges—doesn’t it all fall apart at some point? He shrugs, telling me that scripture is ever evolving, and should be interpreted in historical context. If Genesis needs a prequel, that’s not such a big deal. Indeed, I get the distinct sense that he’d be happy to be part of the drafting committee.

July 3rd—Church, Evangelize Thyself

I wake up thinking about stamina. Why did Franciscans like Patrick Carolan and Moema de Miranda stick it out for so long in an institution that didn’t reflect many of their deepest beliefs and values—only to live to see a sudden shift that many here can only explain with allusions to the supernatural? Carolan shared with me that he had been abused by a priest at age twelve. He is enraged by the cover-ups, and yet he did not let it drive him permanently from his faith. What kept them there?

I put this to Miranda when I see her at the end of Mary Robinson’s lecture. (Robinson had gently criticized the encyclical for failing to adequately emphasize the role of women and girls in human development.)

Miranda corrects me, saying that she is not actually one of those who stuck it out for much of their lifetimes. “I was an atheist for years and years, a Communist, a Maoist. Until I was thirty-three. And then I was converted.” She described it as a moment of pure realization: “Wow, God exists. And everything changed.”

I asked her what precipitated this, and she hesitates, and laughs a little. She tells me she had been going through a very difficult period in her life, when she came across a group of women “who had something different, even in their suffering. And they started talking about the presence of God in their lives in such a way that made me listen. And then it was, suddenly, God just is there. In one moment, it was something impossible for me to think. In the other moment, it was there.”

Conversion—I had forgotten about that. And yet it may be the key to understanding the power and potential of “Laudato Si’.” Pope Francis devotes an entire chapter of the encyclical to the need for an “ecological conversion” among Christians, “whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them. Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience.”

An evangelism of ecology, I realize, is what I have been witnessing take shape during the past three days in Rome—in the talk of “spreading the good news of the encyclical,” of “taking the Church on the road,” of a “people’s pilgrimage” for the planet, in Miranda laying out plans to spread the encyclical in Brazil through radio ads, online videos, and pamphlets for use in parish study groups.

A millennia-old engine designed to proselytize and convert non-Christians is now preparing to direct its missionary zeal inward, challenging and changing foundational beliefs about humanity’s place in the world among the already faithful. In the closing session, Father McDonagh proposes “a three-year synod on the encyclical,” to educate Church members about this new theology of interconnection and “integral ecology.”

Many have puzzled over how “Laudato Si’ ” can simultaneously be so sweepingly critical of the present and yet so hopeful about the future. The Church’s faith in the power of ideas—and its fearsome capacity to spread information globally—goes a long way toward explaining this tension. People of faith, particularly missionary faiths, believe deeply in something that a lot of secular people aren’t so sure about: that all human beings are capable of profound change. They remain convinced that the right combination of argument, emotion and experience can lead to life-altering transformations. That, after all, is the essence of conversion.

The most powerful example of this capacity for change may well be Pope Francis’s Vatican. And it is a model not for the Church alone. Because if one of the oldest and most tradition-bound institutions in the world can change its teachings and practices as radically, and as rapidly, as Francis is attempting, then surely all kinds of newer and more elastic institutions can change as well.

And if that happens—if transformation is as contagious as it seems to be here—well, we might just stand a chance of tackling climate change.

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+59 # REDPILLED 2015-07-11 09:23
Let's hope Ms. Klein can influence this Pope to realize that the Catholic Church must also update its medieval stance on birth control and women's rights to face the realities of overpopulation (7 billion and climbing) in the 21st century.

Accelerating climate change is exacerbated by overpopulation as we exceed earth's carrying capacity.
 
 
+15 # Inspired Citizen 2015-07-11 11:35
We reference both Klein and the Pope in our petition to Sen. Warren and the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

https://www.change.org/p/senator-warren-and-the-progressive-caucus-endorse-senator-sanders-for-president
 
 
-45 # Krackonis 2015-07-11 14:47
According to those that study the sun, it seems to be going into a cooling period. How will that affect the Global Warming?

Why do people want to kill off other people? The world is fine and can handle billions of humans. There is plenty of space in my country, please feel free to leave your tiny little worlds and explore the rest of the planet. Lots of room..

I think someone is trying to make you feel that some people deserve to die. I believe this is a Rich people based plan.
 
 
+11 # tclose 2015-07-13 09:52
You are delusional, Krackonis. While the world can support some billions of humans, it cannot support 7.2 billion, soon to be 9 billion, at the present consumption rate of each human. Get better educated on ecology and global warming before making any further comments.
 
 
+17 # candida 2015-07-11 21:39
Quoting REDPILLED:
Let's hope Ms. Klein can influence this Pope to realize that the Catholic Church must also update its medieval stance on birth control and women's rights to face the realities of overpopulation (7 billion and climbing) in the 21st century.

Accelerating climate change is exacerbated by overpopulation as we exceed earth's carrying capacity.


Let me hear three Hail Mary's and an Amen for that!!!
 
 
+2 # pros54 2015-07-12 13:30
Did you read the article " The fear is that discussion of planetary overburden will lead to a weakening of the Church’s position on birth control and abortion. As the editor of a popular Italian Catholic Web site put it recently, “The road the church is heading down is precisely this: To quietly approve population control while talking about something else.”

I respond that I am not here to broker a merger between the secular climate movement and the Vatican. However, if Pope Francis is correct that responding to climate change requires fundamental changes to our economic model—and I think he is correct—then it will take an extraordinarily broad-based movement to demand those changes, one capable of navigating political disagreements."

Or you never heard the saying, Many ways lead to Rome? "Accelerating climate change is exacerbated by overpopulation as we exceed earth's carrying capacity."

I know many people criticize those at the forefront of good ideas just because...
 
 
+42 # wrknight 2015-07-11 09:47
It's comforting to discover there is still some intelligent life on earth.
 
 
+27 # wrknight 2015-07-11 10:09
"She (Miranda) tells me she had been going through a very difficult period in her life, when she came across a group of women 'who had something different, even in their suffering. And they started talking about the presence of God in their lives in such a way that made me listen. And then it was, suddenly, God just is there. In one moment, it was something impossible for me to think. In the other moment, it was there.'”

It doesn't have to be a belief in the biblical God, but it has to be a belief in something greater than self. Something mightier than the ego.

"Many have puzzled over how “Laudato Si’ ” can simultaneously be so sweepingly critical of the present and yet so hopeful about the future."

It is possible to change the path down which we are headed. We CAN do it.
 
 
+12 # Dongi 2015-07-11 10:12
Some of the most profound thinkers on the planet and deeply connected to nature, animals and humans are the shamans of our time. They can be found in practically every country and in America they exist among the reds as well as the whites. Medicine men and women their powers of healing are legendary. They can affect weather as well as discarnates. Perhaps, the Catholics should try cooperating with these gifted souls instead of fighting them. This shaman stands ready to cooperate.
 
 
+3 # RY25L 2015-07-11 11:10
I looked it up but still don't understand what a discarnate thingy is or what it means in your sentence above. Can you educate at least me in regards to what you are trying to state here. Thanks.

The shaman stands ready to cooperate?? What the??
 
 
-5 # Dongi 2015-07-11 14:48
A discarnate is someone who has died but whose spirit remains stuck on this side, the side of the living. This happens often enough when a person passes on without preparation or expectation. He/she becomes a ghost and may remain in a certain place for years. Unless a shaman happens by and with his energy assists the discarnate to leave this dimension for another. One of the problems is that the discarnate doesn't even know he is dead. Another is that if young children are around, the discarnate may enter their body causing major, if not mortal situations..

Haunted houses, barns, rivers, battlefields, holocaust sites may be places where discarnates gather. As a matter of fact, the Monroe Institute in Faber, VA runs a course, called Lifelines, where the objective is to locate discarnates and move them to the other side. So shamans are not the only ones involved in dealing with discarnates. Robert Monroe has a couple of books; maybe you should read them. "Far Journeys" and "Ultimate Journey"

I am not a woman but a man. My relationships with native americans are excellent. They treat me with profound respect.
As I do them.
 
 
-5 # humanmancalvin 2015-07-11 11:49
Okey-Dokey.
Discarnates: without a physical body; incorporeal.
So the Holy Ghost of the Catholics & the creatures with no body are closely related it seems in your Shamanships opinion. (?)
Both belief systems are borne of superstitious origins, therefore are conjecture relying on zero factual evidence. It is certainly your right to believe whatever it is you so choose to just as it is the popa's. I am quite sure that folks at the Vatican in Roma are hunting for your phone number as I type this reply as you are obviously ready & willing to heal the world alongside the good Catholic salvationists. . By the way Dongi, "the Reds" has nothing but racist roots as in Bounty offered for any Redskin Scalp, see Mayor for reimbursement. This is basically why I decided to poke you with this fairly meaningless screed.
 
 
+9 # Radscal 2015-07-11 12:52
I’m fully invested in a naturalistic, materialist world-view. Science, the epistemological method founded on that world-view, has been shown to be the most successful method to attain knowledge of that world. Along the way, science has shown much of what people have believed to be superstitious nonsense.

But I do understand that science is not the only way to gain understanding and that not all real things can be quantified scientifically.

Love is real, but can it be a subject of controlled experimental measurement?

Something like love can be chemically recreated, but even that at best provides an explanation of the mechanism by which love is felt, and not of the glorious feeling.

We can explain quite precisely what makes rainbows. But does that make them less beautiful, or negate the feeling of awe they can engender?

Have we not all felt something we describe as “spirit” in the power of shared-group activities? I have seen “the spirit move through” a field filled with Grateful Dead fans on one day, and I’ve seen “the spirit move through” that same field packed with 49ers fans on another day.

Evolution has bequeathed upon us a rich palette of Discarnate experiences.
 
 
-6 # Philothustra 2015-07-11 13:14
Just who is this "Dongi the Shaman" bird anyway? A discarnate medicine woman like Dr. Quinn of the old television series? Her powers of healing were indeed legendary!
 
 
+6 # Dongi 2015-07-11 15:02
Not a woman but a man, a senior citizen whose life is filled with wonder.
 
 
+4 # Dongi 2015-07-11 15:00
The Holy Ghost or the Spiritus Sanctus is the third person of the Holy Trinity and therefore God along with the Father and the Son. Shamans do not deal with this being at all; He is way too powerful.

As to zero factual evidence if there was a discarnate in your living room, I suspect that you would have a different opinion.

You poked me with this meaningless screed because you don't believe in shamanism whether practiced by me or a native american or native anything. If you had an incurable disease and it was cured, I suspect you would sing a different tune.
 
 
+16 # Boots12 2015-07-11 12:27
Last fall I attended a conference in Fairbanks Alaska on the theology of climate change. It was sponsored by the Presbyterian Church, the Russian Orthodox church, the Evangelical Lutheran church with Inuit leaders and the University of Alaska. We learned a great deal through our interactions with all of the participants, but particularly from the native American speakers.
 
 
+6 # Dongi 2015-07-11 15:10
Quite a mix of leaders. How appropriate that in these dangerous times Christian groups and native leaders meet to deal with the problems of our world, the only one that we have. Shamans are core healers; how fitting they be involved in the attempts to restore our planet to health.
 
 
-23 # sjporter 2015-07-11 10:27
Best comment out of Fox's Greg Gutfeld take on Pope Francis as, in Gutfeld's words, 'the Most Dangerous Person on the Planet: "...led Fox's Gutfeld to suggest Pope Francis "doesn’t want to be your grandfather’s pope" during a June 16 episode of "The Five" after a draft of the encyclical leaked to the public. "He wants to be a modern pope," Gutfeld lamented. "All he needs is dreadlocks and a dog with a bandana and he could be on Occupy Wall Street."
 
 
-12 # BKnowswhitt2 2015-07-11 12:46
you disregard one of them Fox News like Francis false prophet of Truth ..
 
 
+23 # kalpal 2015-07-11 14:36
All anyone needs to work for Fox is to ignorant, arrogant and vicious.

Fox, it's what Ailes America
 
 
+6 # Vardoz 2015-07-11 10:38
I hope so because humanity can use all the help it can get.
 
 
+19 # danireland46 2015-07-11 10:53
Pope Francis is a Jesuit, the order that permits its priests to honor intelligence by using it, unlike most orders that insist on old-school compliance.
I like what he's doing, but agree with redpilled that his stance on birth control and free will for women must change. With the population exploding it won't be long before birth control will be demanded, not condemned. Best wishes Frank!
 
 
-13 # Rojelio 2015-07-11 12:07
Hogwash! And where was he when women were being tossed out of airplanes in Argentina?
 
 
-13 # Philothustra 2015-07-11 13:06
For that matter, I think it was Doug Kershaw the Ragin' Cajun who first saw that chipmunks and other critters were our "siblings" and blood kin, when he notes that "he's even got a lady mink,
a muskrat's cousin."
If the Pope leaves that air conditioning on, its not going to make the "constant noise and endless distractions" of Rome and any quieter!
If you get my drift.
 
 
+2 # kalpal 2015-07-11 14:41
He should have been waiting below to catch them as they fell?
 
 
+9 # Radscal 2015-07-11 18:38
For those who don't know to what Rojelio refers, when the Pope was still Jorge Bergoglio, he was not on the front lines in opposition to the brutal dictatorship.

There are some who go so far as to accuse him of being complicit in the "disappearances " and other heinous acts.

But most believe that he did much to help the people, but not so overtly as many activists in the "Liberation Theology" movement (some of whom were captured and tortured to death).

This article presents his actions in a more favorable light.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/mar/19/pope-francis-argentina-1970s
 
 
-3 # pros54 2015-07-12 13:35
He was nowhere because he was not one of those tossed out of airplanes?

Very smart question, not.
 
 
-34 # BKnowswhitt2 2015-07-11 12:14
These are two analogic characters in the making Pope Francis and Naomi Klein. Let me clarify I respect all those who worship a real God and are well intended in that manner. This guy followed Benedict who was 'Gods Pit Bull' so the PR game selection of this guy makes me suspicious. Do you know that you must kiss the Pope's Ring when you become a Cardinal or Bishop in person and swear that you will serve him - The Pope and not necessarily Christ? .. I smell false religion and along with the spokesperson of the false 'science' of climate change here 'in bed' together on this one ..
 
 
-38 # Philothustra 2015-07-11 13:10
Naomi has clearly been seduced and even mesmerized by the splendor of the Papal See and the wine and salmon dinners. Will we see her convert from her godless Judeo-Marxism-F eminism to some new creed, perhaps Anti-Anthropoce ntrism with a dash of Muskrat Love tossed in?
Kiss the Ring!
 
 
+1 # kalpal 2015-07-11 14:43
What is a real god? How can you tell the difference in a cocktail party attended by a real one and a presumably fake one?
 
 
+3 # Dongi 2015-07-11 17:04
He's the one who turns the water into wine -- top shelf.
 
 
-4 # kalpal 2015-07-11 14:44
Does a real god speak only Hebrew and Aramaic or has Latin been added?

What language did Abraham speak? How about Noah?
 
 
+4 # Dongi 2015-07-11 17:06
He/She speaks one language and everyone understands it. Abraham and Noah understood Him/Her too.
 
 
+5 # Radscal 2015-07-11 18:40
Well, I think the whole Christianity thing is silly superstition. But the anti-Catholicis m bigotry you evidence is a long tradition in the United States.
 
 
-3 # pros54 2015-07-12 13:39
You are the Catholic faith confessor?

And man made climate change is false science in your mind or just angling to see if fox News will offer you a spot? Most likely not luck for you in that regard as all the spots are gone to those able to spout more rubbish than you.
 
 
+18 # Activista 2015-07-11 12:40
We need a change and the intellectual Naomi Klein is our example -
Not only a pope, but president Obama can also use Naomi mind.
 
 
+6 # Dongi 2015-07-11 17:07
Obama can also use her integrity and courage.
 
 
+8 # ruthefriend 2015-07-11 13:25
Forget the nay sayers, its a great step in the right direction, not perfect...but, Naomi, what did you wear after all?
 
 
+4 # RobertMStahl 2015-07-11 13:59
Nice. Very well said. All Life is political, thus, the Life Sciences are paramount, like this statement is alive at the end. Consider the teachings of the late Gregory Bateson who said that intelligence was an ecological intent in actuality, not the reverse. Consider more, still, but, consider it.
 
 
-4 # PABLO DIABLO 2015-07-11 14:21
Why am I reminded of George W. Bush getting Ted Kennedy to sign on to NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND in order to make it look good? Be careful Naomi. Talk is cheap.
 
 
-7 # kalpal 2015-07-11 14:40
I am always amused by a religion that worships a dead Jew yet feels anxious and uncomfortable in the presence of live Jews.

Don't forget that it was Romans who executed Jesus and it was Christians who lied about it having been Jews.
 
 
+5 # Walter J Smith 2015-07-11 18:39
Don't forget it was the Jews who handed that Prophet over to the Romans.
 
 
+10 # Tazio 2015-07-11 20:57
They were ALL Jews.

He whom you call the Prophet, the Apostles, all the followers were Jews. You had to be Jewish to join their cult. It wasn't until decades later that Saul (later called "Pauli" meaning "Shorty"), himself a recent convert, was able to sign up scores of converts up north by telling them they no longer had to be Jewish, or get circumcised, or have a Jewish mother, etc. This greatly distressed James the brother of Jesus and the other leaders of the early "church" because they still hadn't realized they needed to separate from their parent religion.

Christians believe that their salvation is based on Jesus' death on the cross. If he hadn't been turned in to the Roman Feds, Jesus would have had to appoint someone (Judas) to help Him commit "Suicide by Centurion".

Or, as Joseph Campbell said, "Judas was the midwife of your salvation."
 
 
+5 # Radscal 2015-07-11 18:48
Don't forget that all the traits ascribed to Jesus had already been found in other god-man figures before.

There can be no doubt that Christianity co-opted beliefs and traditions from those cultures it overran as it spread across the globe.

I see no reason to doubt that particular habit began with the very founding of that religion.
 
 
+3 # fcvnyc 2015-07-11 15:17
Though I agree with most of its argument—having been engaged for several decades in religion and ecology—I would have like to see more concrete proposals in the global monetary, financial, economic and commercial systems. Since the global financial catastrophe of fall 2008 I, using my background in divinity, international affairs and the sociology of international development, have been engaged in finding a pathway to a global governance system that does not enrich the few, impoverish the many and imperil people, species and planet. In my 2012 book “The Tierra Solution: Resolving the climate crisis through monetary transformation” (www.timun.net) I proposed the transformation of the international monetary system by basing it on the monetary carbon standard of a specific tonnage of CO2e per person. Such carbon-based international monetary system would combat the looming climate catastrophe and advance low-carbon, climate resilient development. Tackling the international monetary system which happens to be the glue of the monetary, financial, economic and commercial systems is a challenge of the first order that I would like readers of the encyclical consider among the various other proposals of structural transformation. The Vatican would become a radical actor if it were to take Tierra international monetary system and other similar structural proposals seriously.
 
 
+6 # Walter J Smith 2015-07-11 18:37
No wonder the Catholic Church remains so interminably retrograde: "One of the guests most preoccupied with this subject is from an influential American Catholic organization. “The Holy Father isn’t making it easy for us by going to Cuba first,” he says.

I ask him how spreading the message of “Laudato Si’ ” is going back home. “The timing was bad,” he says. “It came out around the same time as the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage, and that kind of sucked all the oxygen out of the room.”

What a pack of cowardly whiners! They obviously do not have the courage Jesus embodied. Helps me remember why I found the church so loathsome.

Those slow witted priests have the slow-witted Federalist rag pushers with them: “Pope Francis, The Earth Is Not My Sister,” reads a recent headline in The Federalist, a right-wing Web magazine." Let us bid them farewell from creation, from evolution. The absence of their epigenetics will help saving ourselves and the planet.

And, yes, we can welcome Gaia as our guide. We need not surrender to authoritarian clerics. We need only recover our faith in Gaia and in ourselves as creative beings. Surrender to and cultivate this faith through our work on behalf of the healthy planet.
 
 
+4 # FDRva 2015-07-11 22:06
And if the Goldman Sachs exec Gaia acolytes profit handsomely, no worries, eh?
 
 
-2 # FDRva 2015-07-11 21:53
The trouble here is that many less-than-saint ly Wall Street & City of London financial types are 'Greens.'

They have a lot riding on the speculative 'carbon futures' markets, etc. associated with 'climate change.'

To say nothing about the death toll that the Wall Street/ Green 'austerity agenda would impose in the Third World. (Which many 'progressives' callously label 'over-populated ,' rather than the more accurate--under-developed.)

Pope Francis is an interesting figure--but Jesuits do have a long history of playing both sides of the street.

I would like to think he is the progressive he has seemed.

But this apparent endorsement of Wall Street's "Green" cash-cow makes me wonder.

We shall see.
 
 
+5 # bingers 2015-07-11 23:55
Everyone needs to read "A Canticle for Leibowitz" and pray for a time machine.
 

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