Pope Francis’ leaked encyclical: the good and the bad
Catholic , Climate Change , Pope Francis
June 17, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) — Officially speaking, the original Italian version of Laudato Si’, which had been placed between covers, sent to the Vatican publishing house for printing in different languages, and was rolling off the presses sometime last week does not exist. Nor, any longer, do the press credentials of the renowned Vaticanist Sandro Magister. In a stunning disciplinary action by the Vatican Press Office, they were revoked after he leaked a copy of the ill-fated “draft” to the press (there not yet being any embargo in effect).
Whatever the reason for the unprecedented reported destruction of a papal encyclical in the process of being printed, the document I have read for purposes of summarizing it for LifeSiteNews today is essentially a matter of purely historical interest that may or may not be substantially superseded by the corrected final version. Only a line-by-line comparison will tell. Meanwhile, however, the document before me is as unprecedented in content as the manner in which it was recalled and expunged.
It is impossible to provide an adequate synthetic description of Laudato Si (LS) because it is effectively a composite of multiple documents between the same covers, running to book length. In its six chapters, LS attempts to combine numerous disparate elements under the theme of an “ecological crisis”:
An assessment of alleged environmental problems around the world which descends to an astonishing level of detail regarding technical and scientific matters never before discussed in a papal encyclical, producing a veritable environmentalist essay (Chapter 1).
“Judeo-Christian” Biblical exegesis concerning the unity of creation, stewardship of the Earth and the value and interconnectedness of all created things (Chapter 2).
Condemnations of globalism, technocracy and modern anthropocentrism (Chapter 3).
The presentation of “an integral ecology” embracing all facets of life and society and producing a more just distribution of wealth and resources along with protection of the environment to remedy “planetary inequity” (Chapter 4).
Proposed lines of action for environmental protection and the remediation of “inequality,” including global, national and local regulation by authorities able to impose sanctions for non-compliance (Chapter 5);
An outline of “ecological education and spirituality” aimed at “ecological conversion.” (Chapter 6).
In terms of the details there is good news and—as widely feared—a great deal of bad news.
First the bad news: in LS Francis has committed himself to the “climate change” narrative and its related dubious science. There is simply no question of this. In Chapter 1, and thematically throughout its 184 pages of main text, LS accepts as established fact that human activity is primarily responsible for, among other things:
a rise in atmospheric greenhouse gasses;
the melting of the polar ice caps, glaciers and other masses of ice;
the release of methane gas from decomposing matter uncovered by the melting of ice packs;
a rise in ocean levels;
an increase in ocean acidity;
the decline of the barrier reefs and their life forms;
a threat to the existence of plankton;
species extinction and the destruction of biodiversity, including not only mammals, but fungi, algae, worms, insects, reptiles, “innumerable varieties of microorganisms” and mangrove trees (Cf. ¶¶ 20-50).
As Francis opines (¶ 24-25): “If the current tendency continues, this century could bear witness to unheard of climate changes and unprecedented destruction of ecosystems, with grave consequences for all of us. … Climate changes are a global problem with grave environmental, social, economic, distributive and political