June 18, 2015

"The Last Time Conservatives Dismissed a Major Encyclical, It Ended Terribly for Them."

Jeet Heer in The New Republic writes about the Pope's new global-warming encyclical. The "last time" encyclical was the 1961 "Mater et Magistra" (Mother and Teacher), which embraced government welfare programs.
In an angry editorial, National Review described Mater et Magistra as a “venture in triviality.” The magazine also published a joking note saying “Going the rounds in Catholic conservative circles, ‘Mater Si, Magistra no.’” (The joke was first made by Garry Wills, who was playing off a slogan of the Cuban Revolution: “Cuba si, Yanqui no.”)

61 comments:

Brando said...

Everyone seems to take from religion what they want to and ignore what they don't, so why is this a problem? If I'm a practising Catholic and the Church comes out with a new ruling that says we have to deep fry babies every Sunday, I can choose to ignore it and go on with the rest of my Catholicism (and whether that makes me a "real" Catholic or not, I wouldn't care) or I could abandon the religion and pick another one. It's not as though anyone is going to say "I really hate that we have to fry babies on a weekly basis now!"

Fritz said...

The church's record on science is spotty, at best.

tim in vermont said...

Last time the Catholic Church weighed in on matters of scientific inquiry, it ended badly for them. I guess we have a Mexican standoff.

Gahrie said...

The "last time" encyclical was the 1961 "Mater et Magistra" (Mother and Teacher), which embraced government welfare programs.

You mean the programs that have destroyed the family, induced dependency and failed to end poverty?

Seems like the Republicans were right last time, even though they paid a political price extracted by the Democrats and their media allies. The same thing with Climate Change.

Brando said...

"The church's record on science is spotty, at best."

Yeah--the guys who only recently walked back their persecution of Galileo are now piping in about science?

Hey, Churchy! Keep your church out of my science and I'll keep my science out of your church!

Henry said...

I read the whole article and haven't found the terrible end. Is Jeet Heer one of Lemony Snicket's pseudonyms?

The headline is flailing nonsense. It can be slightly clarified when you realize that by "Conservatives" Mr. Heer means "Conservative Catholics who are also Conservative Republicans who once hoped to define a Republican Catholic vanguard and ended up being swamped by hordes of Republican protestants."

Mr. Heer does his best to locate a few Roman Catholic Republicans at sea among the evangelicals, but his attempt to parallelism falls flat because of the very history he describes in his article. Protestants don't care what the Pope says, except to cherry-pick arguments-from-authority.

Fabi said...

More like mater et nutricem.

Skyler said...

This is the problem with hierarchical organizations. With a good leader they are quite powerful, but good leaders are rare. Combined with a belief in magical beings that have omnipotent power and require obedience, and you have a system prone to be abused.

But people sincerely believe in their magic, just as they sincerely believe in other lies, such as proven global warming hoaxes. We will never get these believers to see reason. I don't care if they are ignorant except that they are powerful and affect my enjoyment of life by enacting ruinous laws. This pope is dangerous because he enables more charlatans to wield power. Such is the human condition. We are doomed to live under the rule of nonsense masquerading as the rule of law.

Paul said...

The perceived scientific record of the Catholic Church is, of course, a myth. In the Dark and Middle ages, the only place that education and scientific discovery were being practiced was the Church, The Big Bang...one of the primary scientist to put forth this theory was a Catholic priest, Mendel...the father of genetics, a Catholic monk. Galileo wasn't persecuted for his scientific acumen, it was because he pissed off the Pope, his heliocentric view was only used as a justification for his persecution. Catholics have always been called to be stewards of "God's Creation"...the problem arises if this progressive pope starts calling for political solutions to a nonexistent problem as opposed to reinforcing an existing mandate....

Paul said...

Oh...and Skyler...you're an idiot...

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

it ended terribly for them

How will I ever recover?

MikeR said...

If the Pope writes a new encyclical that opposes abortion, will it be a great big mistake for Democrats to ignore it? Probably happened already, no?
Everything depends on what's popular. Lots of Americans were in favor of helping poor people. Hardly any Americans are in favor of doing anything serious about global warming.

bbkingfish said...

Just the latest salvo in the War on Christianity.

Katrina said...

"The church's record on science is spotty, at best"

Actually, no, it is not. Google "Catholic clergy scientists" and you will discover there is a long and distinguished list of people who fit into that category, from Roger Bacon, St. Albert the Great and Robert Grosseteste in the 13th century to Gregor Mendel, Fr. Roger Boscovich (who was honored by Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg, since Boscovich's work anticipated the aims of 20th century atomic physics) to Fr. Stanley Jaki in our own day. The Jesuits, particularly Fr. J.B. Macelwane, made significant contributions to the science of seismology. J.L. Heilbron of UC Berkeley wrote that "The Roman Catholic Church gave more financial aid and social support to the study of astronomy for over 6 centuries than another, and, probably, all other institutions."

But hey, carry on. Galileo!

tim maguire said...

Brando, you can skip the "if I'm a Catholic" part, you're obviously not a Catholic and don't know enough about Catholicism to say what you would do if you were.

Once again we have a reminder that our recent popes were smart enough, but perhaps not caring enough. Our current pope is caring enough, but perhaps not smart enough.

Rumpletweezer said...

I'm really trying not to conclude that the Pope is an asshole, but this makes it difficult. How a sentient human being can be this wrong about something leads me to despair. Why are the richest nations also the cleanest nations? How about we spread some prosperity instead of just raiding the bank accounts of folks who have money?

tim in vermont said...

Yeah. Galileo. Tortured until he confessed that the Sun did revolve around the Earth. Just as the data is so often tortured to confess that it is warmer today than it was a thousand years ago, or that the models are correct if you just take the data and put it to the rack.

I would be far more impressed by a correct model prediction than any ravings of the man in the funny hat. Fifteen years ago I noted that AGW theory predicted a cooling stratosphere, for the logical reason that if you trap heat below it to warm the Earth, the stratosphere must cool. This is not my prediction, but those of scientists at the time. It is fifteen years later and the stratosphere has not cooled since the very beginning of the satellite era. And even then it is impossible to disambiguate that cooling from then recent volcanic activity, which would warm the stratosphere, causing cooling as the dust settled, as it were.

So I am thinking that the pope is probably wrong on this one.

Gahrie said...

How about we spread some prosperity instead of just raiding the bank accounts of folks who have money?

The problem is, the political and economical Left believe that wealth is a zero sum game, in order to get it, you have to take it from someone else.

The idea that you can create and increase wealth just does not compute to them.

Cato Renasci said...

And look how well the welfare state spawned in part by that encyclical has worked out....

Anonymous said...

What a stroke of luck for liberal Catholics that Buckley and Bozell gave them permission to ignore all that abortion stuff! They might still be waiting if not for that.

damikesc said...

Everything depends on what's popular. Lots of Americans were in favor of helping poor people. Hardly any Americans are in favor of doing anything serious about global warming.

Also, ironically, doing something about global warming is going to, inevitably, fuck over the poor royally.

Making energy more expensive hurts the poor.
Minimizing growth hurts the poor.
Using less effective pesticides and fertilizers reduces food yields --- which hurts the poor.

For a Pope who professes to care for the poor, his proposal is going to devastate them in a way that is cruel.

damikesc said...

The idea that you can create and increase wealth just does not compute to them.


Don't a lot of leftists make their fortunes taking from others?

Gahrie said...

Don't a lot of leftists make their fortunes taking from others?

Yes..that's the point, they take wealth instead of creating it, and think that is the way it is supposed to be.

Big Mike said...

Pope Paul V on the wrongness of heliocentrism, Pope Francis on the correctness of AGW. Down through the ages there's an undisputable link.

traditionalguy said...

I admire the Bishop of Rome pulling off his mask and going full Pontifex Maximus and being a key player instituting the Roman Empire redux.

That is indeed a Worldwide ( Catholic) religion with a terrible power over the minds of men. But it is not close to the religion The Spirit of Truth established by Jesus's direct revelation to Paul and friends described in the scriptures Paul wrote. That Christianity did very well until it was coopted by Roman Priesthood under direct orders of Caesar Constantine.

But the Jesuit Marxist from Argentina claiming the mantle of Francis is a great performer in the role of High Priest of the World reading the propaganda the UN has written for him to read. That's the UN dedicated to killing off most humans defiling the planet for fun and profit.

gerry said...

1. Read the encyclical itself when it is available to you.

2. Until then, ignore whatever low-information commenters say, meaning, of course, the MSM.

3. Do not reveal your ignorance.

Fernandinande said...

Spem non consentiente papa.

SGT Ted said...

So, when are the libs and progs going to listen and demand obeisance the Pope about Gay Marriage and abortion? What about separation of church and state?

The call to compliance with the Popes AGW bullshit just exposes the hypocrisy and political bullshit of the left for what it is; a Will to Power.

gerry said...

Stupefying ignorance, by the way, is readily available for study in this thread:

But the Jesuit Marxist from Argentina claiming the mantle of Francis is a great performer in the role of High Priest of the World reading the propaganda the UN has written for him to read. That's the UN dedicated to killing off most humans defiling the planet for fun and profit.

From the actual document:

On overpopulation

“Instead of resolving the problems of the poor and thinking of how the world can be different, some can only propose a reduction in the birth rate. At times, developing countries face forms of international pressure which make economic assistance contingent on certain policies of ‘reproductive health’…. To blame population growth instead of extreme and selective consumerism on the part of some, is one way of refusing to face the issues” (#50).


On transgender issues

“Learning to accept our body, to care for it and to respect its fullest meaning, is an essential element of any genuine human ecology. Also, valuing one’s own body in its femininity or masculinity is necessary if I am going to be able to recognize myself in an encounter with someone who is different. In this way we can joyfully accept the specific gifts of another man or woman, the work of God the Creator, and find mutual enrichment. It is not a healthy attitude which would seek ‘to cancel out sexual difference because it no longer knows how to confront it’” (#120).


On abortion

“Since everything is interrelated, concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion. How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings, however troublesome or inconvenient they may be, if we fail to protect a human embryo, even when its presence is uncomfortable and creates difficulties? ‘If personal and social sensitivity towards the acceptance of the new life is lost, then other forms of acceptance that are valuable for society also wither away’” (#120).

These excerpts don't sound like UN dictates parroted by the Pope.

Sebastian said...

Wojtyla was a formidable person. Ratzinger was a formidable thinker. Bertoglio is formidable fool.

Hagar said...

Government actions by definition are among the things that are Caesar's.

Chuck said...

Professor Althouse:

How many times does that guy use the terms "neo-conservative" and "neo-con"? What exactly is a "neo" conservative and how does it differ from conservative? When he talks about "neo" conservatives from two generations ago, and what "neo" conservatives have been doing for the last 30 years, how "neo" is it, really?

Whenever I read "neo-con", a swtich in my brain says, "Aha; a captive of the MSNBC echo chamber. I can stop paying attention."

traditionalguy said...

Gerry...when asking victims to swallow a poison pill it is advisable to put it into a plate of good food. Then claim complete surprise when the murder victim dies after eating a plate of good food. Claiming the death was unexpected consequences is a tactic exculpatory of bad intent.

What don't you understand about that? Are you afraid to admit this the Pope has become an enemy agent?

And why does an honest pope like Ratzinger suddenly resign. Popes never resign for no reason.

Renee said...

US Bishops discussed at length about Climate Change in 2001.
http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/environment/global-climate-change-a-plea-for-dialogue-prudence-and-the-common-good.cfm

gerry said...

tg, you wrote "But the Jesuit Marxist from Argentina claiming the mantle of Francis is a great performer in the role of High Priest of the World reading the propaganda the UN has written for him to read."

The pope addressed abortion, a very large part of UN policy, condemning it as immoral and even illogical. How can that be promoting UN propaganda?


And why does an honest pope like Ratzinger suddenly resign. Popes never resign for no reason.

From his resignation document: (full text)
***********************************
Dear Brothers,

I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering.
**********************************

He was 86 years of age and tired. Do you believe there was a secret conspiracy, that Ratzinger was blackmailed into retirement?

Renee said...

@traditionalguy


"And why does an honest pope like Ratzinger suddenly resign. Popes never resign for no reason."


He was old. Too old for our sh!t. Pope Benedict is 88. Too old to travel & deal with the media/public.

Pope Francis will probably do the same.

n.n said...

Was the "Flat Earth" consensus presented as an encyclical?

That said, pursuing "good" works while rejecting intrinsic value on principle is a revelation of ulterior motives including leverage.

Hand over your dignity and liberty or the baby gets aborted, right? The Pope seems to disagree with progressive liberalism's proposed wicked solution, even if he may agree that there is a "wicked problem".

n.n said...

The Pope recognized the Carbon Credit trading scheme as a [get-rich-quick] ploy.

Larry J said...

Since human caused climate change is more a religious than scientific matter, it's reasonable for the Pope to comment on it. However, since the First Amendment prohibits establishing a national religion, we should tread lightly when adapting its tenets as law and policy. The Earth's climate has changed constantly throughout geologic time, dating to long before humans even existed. No one disputes that. The fact that the climate is still changing today isn't in dispute, either. What is in dispute is the direction of the change (hotter or colder), the causes of the change (natural or human-caused), and what we should do about it. The Cult of Human-Caused Climate Change insists that not only are humans causing climate change, that we must turn over vast amounts of power and money to international agencies to regulate economic development and enrich the appropriate politicians and political cronies while impoverishing everyone else, all in the name of fairness or something.

Fuck them.

n.n said...

gerry:

These excerpts don't sound like UN dictates parroted by the Pope.

Not at all. The Pope clearly differs from popular proposals of wicked solution(s) to so-called "wicked problems". He also, notably, recognizes that behaviors are, with cause, classified for normalization, tolerance, and rejection, based on natural and moral principles.

n.n said...

Larry J:

To be fair, the Vatican employs scientists. The Pope's position may derive from his advisers' recommendation. This is no different than the process followed by other heads of state, including our own president. The only concern about religion, or moral philosophy specifically, should be to the extent that it usurps science and politics to justify means and priority, not an outcome, where the latter can be judged on its own merits.

tim in vermont said...

Stupefying ignorance, by the way, is readily available for study in this thread:

Sorry, but lack of a detailed knowledge of the ravings of, well basically a witch doctor with a good tailor is not "ignorance" in any meaningful sense of the term.

The Cracker Emcee said...

I actually laughed out loud at this. The notion of liberals suddenly using a Pope as an authority is the height of absurdity. Just when I thought I couldn't take them less seriously.

Rusty said...

tim in vermont said...
Yeah. Galileo. Tortured until he confessed that the Sun did revolve around the Earth. Just as the data is so often tortured to confess that it is warmer today than it was a thousand years ago,


And a thousand miles away Copernicus was, like, hey you guys! The earth goes around the sun!
Big ole papal facepalm.

Hagar said...

Galileo was not tortured; I do not remember if he was even threatened with torture, but he was put under house arrest and prohibited from publishing.
The pope at the time knew quite well that the earth revolved around the sun, but Galileo had made the mistake of getting involved with the pope's primary political enemy, and needed to be taught a lesson.

tim in vermont said...

the Roman Inquisition tried Galileo in 1633 and found him "gravely suspect of heresy", sentencing him to indefinite imprisonment. Galileo was kept under house arrest until his death

Oh, that is so much better.

Big Mike said...

Just as the data is so often tortured to confess that it is warmer today than it was a thousand years ago

Actually 1000 years ago was during the Medieval Warm Period, when Greenland was warm enough so that Viking colonies could survive there for centuries using nothing more than normal Medieval farming technology. No fishing (no fish bones have been found by archaeologists in their middens), no boats (even during the Medieval Warm Period there were no trees on Greenland), no special cold-adapted varieties of wheat. I've yet to hear of a climate alarmists willing to try to do that today.

Anglelyne said...

tim in vermont: Oh, that is so much better.

Yes, it sucked and rightly remains an embarrassment to the Catholic Church, but the point is that the usual cartoon version of Galileo's trial - lonely speaker of truth surrounded by hooting obscurantist monkeys - suffers from a great dose of "presentism". (There were also famous (highly intelligent, learned) Protestant critics of heliocentrism, who also called for its suppression as heresy, but for some reason they never seem to get the hooting monkeys treatment.)

Rusty: And a thousand miles away Copernicus was, like, hey you guys! The earth goes around the sun!
Big ole papal facepalm.


A thousand miles away, Copernicus had been dead for 90 years, and ever since his death his work had been widely read and debated all over Europe, by lay and religious alike. The notion that the pope or any of the other heavy-hitting political operators in the Church hierarchy were reacting with scandalized face-palming to De revolutionibus is silly presentism.

tim in vermont said...

but for some reason they never seem to get the hooting monkeys treatment.

They will if they weigh in on scientific issues today. I am perfectly happy to leave Galileo in the past when the Catholic Church keeps its nose out of issues of science.

Rhythm and Balls said...

I am perfectly happy to leave Galileo in the past when the Catholic Church keeps its nose out of issues of science.

Back then they did so in a very different way - allying themselves against science, rather than with it.

Rhythm and Balls said...

I would be far more impressed by a correct model prediction than any ravings of the man in the funny hat.

The earth's systems must be distilled into forms simple enough to fit a computer model and give us PERFECT answers, rather than merely predictable and workable answers! We can accept nothing less!!!

HO-GAN!

Moneyrunner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Moneyrunner said...

The Pope and global warming.

The Pope has pronounced global warming to be man-made and a bad thing. The reaction is interesting.

Who exactly is the Pope going to convince?

The people most vociferous cheering the Pope on are non-religious humanists who have no use for religion.

In place of Christianity they worship themselves and have a childlike faith in “science.”

Academics for whom religious people are a distant tribe suitable for anthropological study.

Catholics who use birth control?

Protestants who make up half of America’s Christians and who broke from Rome about 500 years ago?

At one time the Pope had political powers because the Christian world was Catholic and the Church could keep consign you immortal soul to Hell. Today the concept of Hell is so passé that it’s rarely even brought up in any church. Christ is the almighty patsy.

The Catholic Church has spiritual power when it speaks to spiritual matters. Issues like freedom to worship God in officially atheist domains. That’s what gave John Paul II the moral authority to help bring down Communism in Easter Europe.

But when it enters into secular territory, even as it tries to couch its views in moral terms, the disguise is flimsy and it loses its moral authority. Calls for charity are universally admired and the public, especially the American public remains incredibly charitable. Truly religious people have always railed against the rampant consumerism that is so much a part of modern, and need we say, Liberal culture. A culture where money, goods, envy and the desire to divide the spoils is the real – but unadmitted - core of the issue of income disparity.

Liberals are happy to have found a Pope who agrees that fossil fuel is evil. They have also found themselves championing men who claim to be women and Caucasians who claim to be Black. They are also the champions of women of easy virtue who change their minds about sexual encounters and claim to have been raped. I’m really rather glad they are not on my side. As for me, I hope this Pope does not do too much damage to his brand of Christianity.

Big Mike said...

Galileo is said to have muttered "Eppur si muove" (and yet it still moves) after being forced to recant the heliocentric model of the solar system in the time of Pope Paul V.

And I would say to Pope Francis, that, actually, it's starting to get colder.

The problem is that the computer models which underlie anthropogenic global warming have not matched the observations of the real world, which is the anvil on which even the most clever-seeming theories must stand up to the heat or be shattered. They are, quite plainly, too simple and their mathematics not well founded. This is most clearly seen in Michael Mann's "hockey stick," which was thoroughly mathematically debunked almost immediately after it appeared. The only way for the "handle" part of the stick to be flat is to ignore the Medieval Warm Period, which we know occurred base on historical sources, not to mention the "Little Ice Age," which is also a historical fact. The hockey stick and other AGW models have been invalidated by reality; the theory is bogus. That this Pope is unaware of the need for science to predict reality is a mark against him.

wildswan said...

Though a Catholic, I don't feel at all that I have to accept global warming because the Pope does; he thinks that science has shown that it is happening and that morality shows that if it is happening as described then it would be due to the same selfish attitude that allows abortion and population control. Yes, but global warming isn't happening although abortion and population control are happening. The pope calls for a restoration of family life in place of population control - you won't hear that that is in the encyclical from the liberal pack.

Just remember what you know - the MSM lies.

The totality of what the encyclical says is that the problems we face have no technological solution and require a moral regeneration starting with a vision of our place in Creation which would lead to opposition to abortion, a restoration of family life, an end to gender denial and a less selfish, more modest life style which in turn would allow the other problems to be solved. Less air conditioning is mentioned.



wildswan said...

A teacher or a pastor starts where the student or the convert is. I suppose that the Pope thinks that if he starts with global warming as destruction of created nature, then godless people can be led on to see that abortion also is destruction of a created nature and then they will go on to see how it is rooted a lack of understanding of our place in Creation.

But they won't read the whole thing, only what bits the media allows them. And I'm not sure in what sense the Pope is being pastor to his present flock when he is naive about how the media works and what a Catholic has to deal with. I suppose he is not from a completely secularized culture and doesn't understand yet what that means whereas John Paul II and Benedict XVI did. And even they didn't bother to try to understand American Catholics. John Paul II thought there was no gay clerical scandal in the American Catholic church - a great saint can lead the Church and still be factually wrong on some issue.

Unknown said...

---rather than merely predictable and workable answers!

And yet, the actual predictions have all been wrong!


****For example, in 2007, the BBC reported that the Arctic would be "ice-free" by the summer of 2013. Here's exactly how that fear mongering was published by the BBC:

Those images, shown below, reveal over one million square miles of new ice being formed in just the last year.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/041981_global_warming_computer_models_cooling.html#ixzz3dUHcsdKe

****http://www.cfact.org/2013/07/02/climate-models-fail-to-match-real-world-temperatures/

****New Records for Lack of Tornadoes

New data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show the past 12 months set a record for the fewest tornadoes in recorded history.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2013/05/08/sorry-global-warmists-but-extreme-weather-events-are-becoming-less-extreme/

Anglelyne said...

tim in vermont: I am perfectly happy to leave Galileo in the past when the Catholic Church keeps its nose out of issues of science.

There's no reason to leave Galileo in the past. His trial is pertinent. Just try to get a more accurate view of past events, not the comic book abridgment.

One thing that commenting reinforces everyday is that most people don't really pay the slightest attention to what they're responding to, they just recognize and process keywords and respond according to their pre-loaded script. E.g., tim, you appear to have scanned the term "presentism" and mistranslated it into something like "let's not pay attention to something that happened centuries ago". Damned if I can think of any other explanation for your response, which isn't pertinent to anything I was talking about.

Jason said...

Indeed. About a decade before the Galileo episode, Johannes Kepler, a Protestant, was running into a lot of trouble from Protestants for publishing his heliocentric ideas. For succor and support and to find allies against his protestant detractors in this dangerous time, he turned to the Jesuits, who had a substantial community of astronomers among them by that time.

Drago said...

R&B's: "The earth's systems must be distilled into forms simple enough to fit a computer model and give us PERFECT answers, rather than merely predictable and workable answers!"

LOL

Yes, let's all now pretend that the data fed into those "models" was not massaged, manipulated, "smoothed" (a less sophisticated soul might use the term: purposely altered), etc.

Not to worry, R&B. When called to disclose their data, as in the East Anglia CRU case, the global warming alarmists can simply pull another "dog ate my homework" excuse out for your eager and ready consumption.

SGT Ted said...

The models cannot predict past, known weather when the known, measured data is fed into the computers. This shows that the models are useless, as they don't even give us predictable and workable answers, nevermind anything approaching perfect.

Is R&B a troll aping an lefty AGW Kool-Aid drinker?