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“What disturbs people is not the Pope’s authority but his seeming unawareness of opposing evidence”

Will the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops call Fr. Schall on the carpet and demand that he not speak this way? After all, the USCCB works actively and without any apparent sense of shame to silence and discredit those who tell the truth about the jihad threat and the root causes of Muslim persecution of Christians, and who know that the Pope is wrong about the Qur’an opposing violence. The U.S. Catholic bishops are the worthy sons and heirs of those who convicted Galileo of heresy.

“On Pope Francis and Church Integrity,” by Rev. James V. Schall, S.J., Crisis, September 10, 2015 (thanks to Ming):

…The oft-discussed issues of earth warming and whether the Qur’an advocates violence are open to diverse interpretations. Pope Francis maintains that earth warming is a dangerous fact, but insists the Qur’an does not advocate violence and war. Experts can be found who panic about earth warming; we can find Muslim scholars who cannot find violence in the Qur’an. So, we might say that the Pope’s positions are backed by scholarly opinions. The only trouble with this approach is that other scholars in both areas find evidence that the opposite views are more persuasive and valid. What disturbs people is not the Pope’s authority for his views but his seeming unawareness of opposing evidence.

In this light, several writers point to what they call the “Galileo” problem as the potential danger the Church can find itself in by backing what are in effect opinions about some facts. This “Galileo problem” was the result of the Church committing to a theory that proved to be dubious. At the time—400 years ago—the arguments against Galileo could and did make sense to many. To be in error on a matter of scientific opinion is, of course, not exactly heresy. It happens every day. Indeed, it is the nature of scientific method of testing and retesting. Likewise, to be wrong (or right) about earth warming is not a matter of faith.

But if the Church takes a position in the matters of, say, evolution, science, or economics that turns out, on further investigation, to be wrong or doubtful, it will seem untrustworthy also in areas over which it does claim competence. However tempting or popular to comment on, there are some things on which the Church should just avoid taking a stand. Let it be discussed freely until there really is an issue of faith involved and reasons to think so….

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Whoop-de-doo! Pope Francis is going to take 2 refugee families to live at the Vatican

vaticanThe Vatican is 109 acres and he himself invited the migrants to Europe in 2013 when he took his pope mobile (it must have been transported at great expense!) to the sandy beach of the Italian island of Lampedusa and admonished the Italian people to be more welcoming while saying mass for the migrants arriving illegally from Libya and other parts of the Muslim world.  He helped bring about this crisis!

So now, he is ‘welcoming’ two whole families to set an example for the peons of Europe!  I am speechless!

Let’s at least hope he shelters persecuted Christians!  Will he choose by lottery?  Will they be screened for security? (Do you remember back in April a terror plot was foiled when 18 terrorists posed as ‘refugees’ and planned to attack the Vatican.)

Hey, maybe we can spread a rumor and direct some of the masses of marching migrants to his gates in Rome.  It would be a kind of reenactment.

And, will the Pope call on US Bishops to set an example?  

See some of the homes of U.S. Bishops, here.  How many families will they each invite to live in their mansions?

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The Pope’s Misplaced Focus

Pope John Francis’ upcoming visit to the U.S. is generating quite a bit of excitement here, especially among his Catholic faithful.  But for me and many others, his visit is generating consternation, not excitement.

Usually, most people tend to have great respect and affection for the Pope.  He is usually viewed by the public as a beacon of moral guidance, even for those who are non-Catholics.  This is definitely a view I once had of previous Popes.

But I must admit that my respect for this current Pope, John Francis is somewhat diminished.

I am totally confused by his constant advocating for policies that goes against the Catholic Church’s own teachings.  On the issue of homosexuality his position is, “Who are we to judge?”  Though church doctrine is very clear on this issue.

He is a fanatical supporter of open borders; in his view people have an inherent right to enter illegally into any country they choose as long as the ends justify the means.

He rabidly promotes theories in support of global warming, despite the fact that he is one of the biggest contributors to it.  When the Pope travels, he normally charters an Alitalia A320 jet.  It is estimated that the pope travels about 100,000 miles per year.  So this means based on the type of plane the Pope flies, he emits 20 pounds of CO2 for every mile of flight which is 2,000,000 pounds a year.

Every denomination has their own precepts that their members must abide by.  Likewise, nations have laws that their citizens or visitors must abide by.

Poverty or wanting a better life is not sufficient reason for people to break our laws to enter into our country.  The Pope expects Catholics to abide by the rules of Catholicism; so why should America expect anything less from those who seek entry into our country?

So, by the Pope’s standard I, as a Baptist, should still be able to participate in all things Catholic; even though I don’t adhere to Catholicism.

The Pope, in many ways, is operating just like Obama is in the U.S.  They both are picking and choosing which rules and laws they want to abide by.

Forgive me for not being able to get beyond the fact that the Pope has spent very little time dealing with the child abuse that has taken place in his church; but yet he seems to have plenty of time to meet with illegals, homosexuals and promote global warming

Am I the only one who finds it offensive that the Pope will be meeting with some of those in the U.S. illegally, but will not be meeting with families that have had family members killed, raped, or maimed by illegals?

Am I the only one who finds it offensive that the Pope will not be meeting with any of the victims of sexual abuse from within the Catholic Church?

Am I the only one who finds it offensive that the Pope constantly talks about income inequality and the need for employers to pay their employees more money; but he has never discussed what is the obligation of employees to their employers (more productivity and more efficiency, etc.)?

The Pope should not be aligned to a political agenda, but rather what is right or wrong.

America has no moral obligation to allow those who enter our country illegally to stay in our country no more so than the Pope allowing someone who refuses to abide by the rules of Catholicism should be allowed to say they are a member of the Catholic Church.

Furthermore, the Bible is very clear, a man’s first responsibility is for the well being of his family, not his neighbor’s family.

The Pope seems to be on a global tour to promote an entitlement agenda as opposed to being a beacon for right and wrong.  Even if you are poor and downtrodden, you still are responsible for being responsible.

Many of the illegals coming to the U.S. are having children that they can’t afford to provide for.  How many speeches has the Pope given on individual responsibility?

How many speeches has the Pope given on the need to fire and prosecute every priest that has molested or covered up sexual abuse of kids in the Catholic Church?

How many speeches has the Pope given about what are an employee’s obligations to his employer?

I really believe the Pope’s heart is in the right place, but the issues he is focusing on should be subservient to the more critical issues listed above.

I definitely think the church can and should play a constructive role in our society, especially to those who are in need.  In many respects, I think the faith community is better equipped to deal with a lot of the social ills of our society than our government is.

But the Pope cannot shine the light on my darkness until he is first willing to shine the light on his on darkness.  Until then, the Pope’s moral compass is pointing in the wrong direction.

Bishop Slaughtered for Refusing to Convert to Islam to be Beatified

Nowadays Bishop Flavien-Michel Malké’s feckless successors among the U.S. Catholic bishops bow and scrape before the children and heirs of those who killed him, silencing those who speak out about the Muslim persecution of Christians and consigning today’s new martyrs to their fate, sacrificing them on the altar of their fruitless, delusional and self-defeating quest for “dialogue” with Muslims.

How many Christians has that “dialogue” prevented from being persecuted or martyred? Why, absolutely none, of course. But the comfortable suburban Church continues on its comfortable suburban way, secure in its illusions and delusions.

One day, however, the truth it has so assiduously endeavored to ignore, deny and suppress will dawn upon it with undeniable and terrifying reality, and maybe some of those bishops will realize how ill they served their people by enforcing and reinforcing their ignorance and complacency.

“Syriac Bishop Will Be Beatified on the 100th Anniversary of His Martyrdom (832),” National Catholic Register, August 11, 2015:

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey — On Saturday, Pope Francis approved a decree recognizing the martyrdom of Flavien-Michel Malké, a Syriac Catholic bishop who was killed in 1915, amid the Ottoman Empire’s genocide against its Christian minorities.

The decision was made during an Aug. 8 meeting between Pope Francis and Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

Bishop Malké will be beatified Aug. 29, the 100th anniversary of his martyrdom, during a liturgy celebrated by Ignatius Youssef III Younan, the Syriac patriarch of Antioch, at the convent of Our Lady of Deliverance in Lebanon. It is expected that thousands of Syrians and Iraqis displaced by the Islamic State will attend the beatification.

“In these painful times experienced by Christians, especially the Syriac communities in Iraq and Syria, the news of the beatification of one of their martyrs, will surely bring encouragement and consolation to face today’s trials of appalling dimension,” read an Aug. 9 statement of the Syriac Patriarchate of Antioch.

“Blessed Martyr Michael, intercede for us, and protect especially the Christians in the Orient and all the world in these hard and painful days.”

Malké was born in 1858 in the village of Kalaat Mara, a village of the Ottoman Empire in what is now Turkey, to a Syriac Orthodox family. He joined a monastery of that Church and was ordained a deacon, but then converted to the Syriac Catholic Church. (Both the Syriac Orthodox and Syriac Catholics use the West-Syrian rite.)

After his conversion, he was ordained a priest in Aleppo in 1883. He was a member of the Fraternity of St. Ephrem and served parishes in southeastern Turkey, near his home.

Ottoman persecution of Christians began in earnest with the Hamidian massacres of 1894-1897. Malké’s church and home were sacked and burned in 1895, and many of his parishioners were murdered, including his mother. In total, the massacres killed between 80,000 and 300,000 Christians.

He was selected to become a bishop in the 1890s, serving as a chorbishop and helping in the rebuilding of Christian villages. In 1913, he was consecrated bishop and appointed head of the Syriac Diocese of Gazireh (modern-day Cizre, 150 miles southeast of Diyarbakir).

A second round of persecution of Christians in the Ottoman Empire began in April 1915. Known as the Armenian Genocide, it targeted the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Christian minorities in the empire. The Assyrian genocide (the portion of the mass killings directed against Syriac and Chaldean Christians) is also known as the Seyfo Massacre, from the Syriac word for sword.

Some 1.5 million Christians were killed, and millions more were displaced during the genocide.

During the summer when the genocide broke out, Bishop Malké was in the Idil district, near Gazireh. In June 1915, hearing the Ottoman forces were preparing to massacre Gazireh’s people, he returned.

According to the Syriac Patriarchate, when his friends and acquaintances urged him to withdraw from Gazireh to a safer location, he replied, “Even my blood I will shed for my sheep.”

Together with four of his priests and the Chaldean bishop of Gazireh, Philippe-Jacques Abraham, he was arrested and imprisoned for two months.

Bishop Malké refused to convert to Islam, and on Aug. 29, 1915, he was martyred.

He was the last Syriac bishop of Gazireh; after his death, the diocese was suppressed, and, today, the Syriac Catholic Church has no presence in Turkey.

In an Aug. 8 interview with Vatican Radio, the postulator of Bishop Malké’s cause, Father Rami Al Kabalan, spoke of the bishop’s deep spiritual life as well as the relevance his martyrdom has today.

The bishop, he said, “played a fundamental role in encouraging people to defend their faith in the difficulties of the time, during the persecutions of the Ottoman Empire.”

Bishop Malké lived a life of poverty, even selling his liturgical vestments in order to assist the poor and help fight poverty, Father Al Kabalan said.

In addition to his closeness with the poor, the priest said that Bishop Malké was extremely zealous in his apostolate and visited all of the parishes within his diocese.

One of the bishop’s most striking phrases, his postulator said, comes from when he was pressured to renounce the faith and to convert to Islam. Rather than giving in, the bishop replied, “I will defend my faith to the blood.”…

Imam converts to Christianity; Muslims beat and jail him, and burn his house down
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Papacy Using Pastors to Push Protestant Reunification

We are seeing the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Early Americans saw the first beast in Revelation 13 as the papacy that they fled for freedom in the New World. Then the second beast (U.S.) makes an image or look-alike to the Old World Order. New World Order under the UN is a focus now.

“Protestants, as a people, have a long history of heresy. The time for reconciliation is now in order to ensure a full and dogmatic transition into the folds of the Church,” said Rick Warren, Pastor of the Saddleback Church in California as he visited the Vatican.

“It’s important that we participate in these sacred rituals before asking our congregation to do the same,”  Pastor Joel Osteen said, adding his time in confession was immensely moving.

We are seeing the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Early Americans saw the first beast in Revelation 13 as the papacy that they fled for freedom in the New World. That beast is seen as an amalgamation of the four beasts from Daniel 7 that it survived, but then had a “deadly wound” by the sword which was the Protestant Reformation—the sword being God’Sword–Scripture.

But the “deadly wound was healed and all the world wondered after the beast.” In this context, the US (second, lamb-like beast) causes the world to make an image—a look alike to the Old World Order. New World Order under the United Nations will be like the papacy because it will have the pope in control as suggested by the imagery of a harlot riding the beast of global government in Revelation 17 that says she commits fornication with kings (governments)–and other clues that can only fit the papacy..

I visited Venezuela and Colombia as a college student, he saw Communist demonstrations and was told that the poverty and illiteracy of these Catholic-dominated countries were fertile soil for what we now see with a Marxist pope. Sitting on tons of gold (Google) from centuries of oppression. Why should the pope want the US to share its wealth when our prosperity came more legitimately.

The pope’s Laudato Si’ appeals to mankind to save earth as God’s “creation,” a word used 66 times in his letter, but the pope is ignoring the Sabbath as the biblical memorial to creation in the 4th Commandment as he puffs up Sunday that has pagan sun worship as its basis, and he claims Sunday as a memorial to Christ’s resurrection, but the Bible gives baptism as the memorial to his death, burial and resurrection, Romans 6.

In spite of all that’s not good for America, the pontiff will probably get a ready reception from a catholic congress—not Roman Catholic, but little “c,” universal—going along to get along. However as this administration pushes us toward global government, we may see civil war, though war is never civil.

The pope’s visit in September could be like Rome’s visit to Jerusalem in 66 AD. It  was a signal the early Christians took to flee the city. Many now may wonder if martial law is impending. That would be a reason to flee because of Christ warning of military “standing where it ought not” in Mark 13.

Most Americans are not ready to accept the pope’s UN New World Order. It’s wakeup time. Christians should build on the foundation of Scripture because a storm is coming that will sweep away all else.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Perfect Storm, is an 80-page, nicely illustrated condensation of the classic, The Great Controversy that’s been translated into 39 languages, addressing some of these issues. For a copy, readers may send $1.99 by PayPal to Ruhling7@juno.com (includes postage)

Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago has $100 Million Worth of Fossil Fuel Investments

The “Green” Pope Francis seems to be a bit of a hypocrite when it comes to the Catholic Church’s investment in fossil fuels. His push to impact climate change appears to apply to everyone but the Catholic Church.

Richard Valdmanis from Reuters reports:

[S]ome of the largest American Catholic organizations have millions of dollars invested in energy companies, from hydraulic fracturing firms to oil sands producers, according to their own disclosures, through many portfolios intended to fund church operations and pay clergy salaries.

This discrepancy between the church’s leadership and its financial activities in the United States has prompted at least one significant review of investments. The Archdiocese of Chicago, America’s third largest by Catholic population, told Reuters it will reexamine its more than $100 million worth of fossil fuel investments.

“We are beginning to evaluate the implications of the encyclical across multiple areas, including investments and also including areas such as energy usage and building materials,” Betsy Bohlen, chief operating officer for the Archdiocese, said in an email.

[ … ]

Dioceses covering Boston, Rockville Centre on Long Island, Baltimore, Toledo, and much of Minnesota have all reported millions of dollars in holdings in oil and gas stocks in recent years, according to documents reviewed by Reuters.

The holdings tend to make up between 5 and 10 percent of the dioceses’ overall equities investments, similar to the 7.1 percent weighting of energy companies on the S&P 500 index, according to the documents.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ guidelines on ethical investing warn Catholics and Catholic institutions against investing in companies related to abortion, contraception, pornography, tobacco, and war, but do not suggest avoiding energy stocks.

Read more.

Will all Catholic churches, schools, hospitals and related organizations stop using fossil fuels to save the planet?

It would seem that Pope Francis has yet to walk the walk but he is good at talking the talk. To meet Pope Francis’ encyclical it would be necessary to, as Jesus did, shed all the trapping of fossil fuels.

I wonder if fossil fuels were used to cook the last supper?

Pope Francis: Rejection of Migrants “an act of war”

Pope Francis has been chastising Europe for years now for not welcoming the hordes of migrants arriving on European shores and across its eastern borders.  There is nothing new here.   Apparently he must have gone to Lampedusa again.

I wonder how many migrants have been ‘welcomed’ to live at Vatican City? Does anyone know? Has anyone asked?

Meanwhile, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond is quoted as saying: “marauding” migrants threatened the British “standard of living,” which brought howls of criticism from members of the ‘human rights industrial complex.’

Philip-Hammond_3024915b

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond

From the UK Independent:

Speaking to a youth group, he said the situation where desperate migrants were bounced from country to country seeking shelter was “an unresolved conflict… and this is war, this is violence, it’s called murder”.

In his speech on the island of Lampedusa in southern Italy the Pope called on European powers to do more to help the migrants that have been arriving on the island, according to the Gazzetta del Sud.Pope Francis has called the rejection of migrants fleeing violence “an act of war”.

Speaking to a youth group, he said the situation where desperate migrants were bounced from country to country seeking shelter was “an unresolved conflict… and this is war, this is violence, it’s called murder”.

In his speech on the island of Lampedusa in southern Italy the Pope called on European powers to do more to help the migrants that have been arriving on the island, according to the Gazzetta del Sud.

No surprise, the Independent goes on to criticize David Cameron quoting the Mayor of Calais calling Cameron a racist and then says this (below).  Frankly, at the moment the UK is holding firm and trying to save itself from the invasion that is washing across southern Europe and into Germany and most of the rest of Europe.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond caused further controversy on Sunday when he told the BBC he believed “marauding” migrants threatened the British “standard of living”. Amnesty International condemned the remarks saying they were “mean spirited” and “shameful”.

For more in the ‘Invasion of Europe’ at RRW, go here.

Why doesn’t the Pope go to Syria?

A good opportunity for “Muslim-Christian dialogue”:

Let’s put the pope’s Muslim-Christian “dialogue” policy to the test. Here’s the perfect destination for the next papal trip: Raqqa, the de facto capital of the Islamic State’s caliphate.

Last Sunday, Pope Francis called for the release of Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim (the Syriac Orthodox archbishop of Aleppo), Boulos Yazigi (the Greek Orthodox bishop of Aleppo), and Italian Jesuit priest Paolo Dall’Oglio, who — if they are still alive — have all been held captive for two years now by Islamic jihadists in Syria. Said the pope:

I hope for a renewed commitment by the competent local and international authorities, so that these, our brothers, will soon be restored to freedom.

He must know that the “competent local and international authorities,” if there are any, aren’t going to do a thing to free these clerics.

If the pope wants it done right, he is going to have to do it himself – and in doing so, he can prove the value of the Church’s insistence and dependence upon “Muslim-Christian dialogue.”

The pope should go to Raqqa and appeal personally to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State’s Caliph Ibrahim, for the release of Ibrahim, Yazigi, and Dall’Oglio. Pope Francis has said that “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence,” and he has assiduously called for “dialogue” and denounced violence in virtually every situation. So he should go there, and display the correctness of his recommendations by initiating an in-person “dialogue” with the caliph or other appropriate Islamic State representatives, during which he can explain to them how they are misunderstanding the Qur’an and Islam.

This will fix everything: not only will the Islamic State forthwith release the bishops and the priest, but they will lay down their arms, and distribute flowers to all the children. The power of “dialogue” over all forms of violence will be abundantly established before the eyes of a world struck with awe, yet again, at the wisdom of this pope and the compelling power of his humble, saintly personality.

As he prepares for this “dialogue” trip, however, the pope may face resistance from his own bishops.

Robert McManus, the bishop of Worcester, Massachusetts, two years ago (ironically not long before Ibrahim, Yazigi, and Dall’Oglio were abducted) summed up the prevailing view of the U.S. Catholic bishops:

Talk about extreme, militant Islamists and the atrocities that they have perpetrated globally might undercut the positive achievements that we Catholics have attained in our inter-religious dialogue with devout Muslims.

So what is Pope Francis doing even talking about these abducted clerics? He should keep quiet about such matters, so as to preserve the “dialogue.” Will Bishop McManus and the other American bishops, recognizing the dignity but also the limitations of his positions, humbly but unmistakably call him on the carpet and “oppose him to his face, because he stood condemned,” as St. Paul did to Francis’ first predecessor, St. Peter (Galatians 2:11)?

Of course they will say nothing, and Pope Francis will not go to Raqqa, because in both cases the concerned parties probably know full well that the sham of the “dialogue” policy would be exposed to the world.

The contemporary Catholic Church, especially in the West, has confused niceness with charity.

It may be nice to avoid unpleasant matters and to enjoy delicious hummus and pita down at the mosque, but it is not charitable to confirm Muslims in their bullying and supremacism by kowtowing to their wishes.

It is not charitable to keep silent about the atrocities they commit in the name of their religion and in accord with its teachings….

Read the rest here.

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Why Is the Vatican Pushing Communist Goals? by Michael Hichborn

This coming November, the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Science is holding a workshop intended to figure out how to indoctrinate your children in the Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs]. This comes on the heels of the Vatican nuncio to the United Nations announcing “verbatim” support for the SDGs, and after Catholic Relief Services president Dr. Carolyn Woo echoed Pope Francis’ call for support for the SDGs as well.

So, what are the Sustainable Development Goals?

They’re a United Nations plan for the creation of a global socialist utopia thinly disguised as a poverty reduction program. In short, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are the first step in achieving several of the goals laid out in Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto. In truth, these goals are Communist goals, through and through. Here’s a snapshot of how specific portions of the SDGs line up with identified Communist goals:

Sustainable Development Goals:

  • Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
    • Communists have always used the plight of the poor as justification for the implementation of their nefarious schemes
  • Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
    • Plank 7 of the Communist Manifesto calls for a top-down approach to industry and agriculture
  • Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
    • A 1938 issue of a Communist publication concluded that “only through the final victory of world socialism can the vast stores of available scientific knowledge really be put to work for the full benefit of humanity. ‘Socialized medicine’ is a meaningless phrase except in a socialized society.”
  • Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
    • Plank 10 of the Communist Manifesto is “free education for all children in public schools.”
  • Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
    • Communism has pushed for working women since the beginning of the Revolution in Russia.
  • Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
    • Plank 8 of the Communist Manifesto: Equal liability of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
  • Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
    • Plank 9 of the Communist Manifesto: Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.
  • Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
    • This is an echo of Karl Marx’s mandate, “From each according to his ability to each according to his needs.”
  • Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
    • This is pure global governance orchestrated by an entity with authority above national sovereignty.

This summary is not intended to be exhaustive, but should provide enough information to alarm even the most lukewarm of patriots and faithful Christians. But the Catholic Church, which has issued full and unqualified condemnations of Communism and Socialism should have nothing to do with the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals … and yet, “Catholic” social justice organizations and its leaders have hijacked key positions in the Vatican and are using their influence and authority to fast-track programs to get the faithful to fully support and work for the implementation of the SDGs. This is extremely dangerous and must be forcefully resisted by all faithful Catholics. What follows is a general overview of some of the more egregious of the SDGs in their audacious push for global Communist governance.

Read the rest at http://www.lepantoinstitute.org/.

Hichborn_headshot300ABOUT MICHAEL HICHBORN

Michael Hichborn is the president of the Lepanto Insitute. Formerly, Michael spent nearly eight years as American Life League’s Director of the Defend the Faith project. He has researched and produced countless articles and reports on the funding of abortion, birth control, homosexuality and Marxism by Catholic Relief Servies and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD). Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Christendom College in Political Science and Economics and a Master’s degree in Education from American Intercontinental University. Michael lives in Virginia with his wife, Alyssa, and their five children.

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His Absurdness Pope Francis: Koran and Holy Bible are the Same!

Ayn Rand wrote, “The uncontested absurdities of today are the accepted slogans of tomorrow. They come to be accepted by degrees, by dint of constant pressure on one side and constant retreat on the other – until one day when they are suddenly declared to be the country’s official ideology.”

On Monday, Pope Francis, the Bishop Of Rome, addressed Catholic followers regarding the dire importance of exhibiting religious tolerance. During his hour-long speech, a smiling Pope Francis was quoted telling the Vatican’s guests that the Koran, and the spiritual teachings contained therein, are just as valid as the Holy Bible.

As a Catholic it pains me to read words like this when daily I see the persecution of Christians and Jews by the followers of Mohammed. The Catholic Church is retreating and Islam is gaining. At some point Islam will become the official ideology of the Vatican, the Islamic State promises so.

Rather than go into a long litany of reasons why the Holy Bible is different than the Quran, not the least of which is the Koran does not recognize that Jesus was crucified, died and then rose from the dead to forgive our sins. For it is the Holy Trinity which is the foundation of Catholicism and the Holy Catholic Church.

Rather I will focus on Quran versus 2: 191-193, which read:

And kill them [the non-believers] wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you, and fitnah is worse than killing. And do not fight them at al-Masjid al- Haram until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.

And if they cease, then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

Fight them until there is no [more] fitnah and [until] worship is [acknowledged to be] for Allah . But if they cease, then there is to be no aggression except against the oppressors.

Jews, Sikh, Christians, Hindus, Kurds, Buddhist, Ezidis, and anyone else who is not a Muslim is to be slaughtered if they do not embrace Islam.

Show me in the Holy Bible where it says that anyone who does not accept Jesus is to be slaughtered. One cannot.

When Pope Francis stated, “Authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence”, Robert Spencer wrote:

No one would even be interested in this question were it not for the abundant evidence to the contrary: the daily record of jihad violence carried out by Muslims who point to Islam and the Qur’an to justify their actions, including many who are burning churches and terrorizing Christians in Nigeria, Egypt, Syria, Pakistan and elsewhere. It is because of them that Pope Francis, David Cameron and others feel compelled to insist that, contrary to what we see happening every day, Islam is really peaceful. The question is whether they are doing the victims of jihad any real service by insisting this.

For if Pope Francis were to admit that Islam is a violent religion, that admission would imply the necessity of addressing Islamic intolerance of Christians.

The last thing that Pope Francis and certain world leaders want to do is to further enrage Fitnaphobes (i.e. the Muslim community). This is a false and dangerous position, as it ignores the social disease (existential threat) of Fitnaphobia, the known Islamic wolves at the gates of the Vatican.

Pope Francis is an Islamic apologist and Fitnaphobic.

Islam cannot be stopped unless and until Muslims, citizens, political and national security leaders at every level begin to profile and identify Fitnaphobic individuals, organizations and nation states.

When religious tolerance becomes a one way street, then the Vatican will fall to the Islamic Caliphate.

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EDITORS NOTE: To learn more about why Muslims slaughter visit www.Fitnaphobia.com.

This Is Not Right: Socialist President of Bolivia gives Pope Hammer & Sickle Cross

Throughout the history of the Soviet Union (1922-1991), Soviet authorities suppressed and persecuted various forms of Christianity to different extents depending on the particular era. Soviet policy, based on the ideology of Marxism-Leninism, made atheism the official doctrine of the Soviet Union.

Marxism-Leninism has consistently advocated the control, suppression, and the elimination of religious beliefs.

The Soviet state was committed to the destruction of religion, and destroyed churches, mosques and temples, ridiculed, harassed, incarcerated and executed religious leaders, flooded the schools and media with atheistic teachings, and generally promoted atheism as the truth that society should accept. The total number of Christian victims of Soviet state atheist policies, has been estimated to range between 12-20 million.

Peru21 reports:

The president of Bolivia, Evo Morales , presented the pope Francisco a carved wooden crucifix on the hammer and sickle , symbol of communism, during a meeting the two held Wednesday night at Government House and was televised .

The size contained the image of Christ crucified on the handle of the hammer, footage showed state television .

Morales is defined as socialist and represents a regional trend known as’ Socialism of the XXI Century “, which also profess the governments of Venezuela and Ecuador.

The response of Pope Francis was not at all positive. After quite puzzled look, the pontiff told Evo Morales that “this is not right”.

The International Business Times on March 5, 2013, the 60th anniversary of Joseph Stalin’s death, reported:

An amoral psychopath and paranoid with a gangster’s mentality, Stalin eliminated anyone and everyone who was a threat to his power – including (and especially) former allies. He had absolutely no regard for the sanctity of human life.

But how many people is he responsible for killing?

In February 1989, two years before the fall of the Soviet Union, a research paper by Georgian historian Roy Aleksandrovich Medvedev published in the weekly tabloid Argumenti i Fakti estimated that the death toll directly attributable to Stalin’s rule amounted to some 20 million lives (on top of the estimated 20 million Soviet troops and civilians who perished in the Second World War), for a total tally of 40 million.

”It’s important that they published it, although the numbers themselves are horrible,” Medvedev told the New York Times at the time.

Perhaps Pope Francis should have refused this gift, for what is symbolizes – the deaths of tens of millions of Christians under Communist rule.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image of Evo Morales giving Pope Francis Christ crucified on the hammer and sickle is courtesy of AFP.

Pope Right: Hell Not Forever, Incompatible with a Loving God! Where Did We Get that Idea?

Pope Francis has sparked another debate with controversial remarks at the Third Vatican Council. He says, the concept of hell where people burn eternally cannot be Christian–it goes against the concept of a loving and compassionate God.

That idea is being challenged by other Bible scholars, not just the pope.

When God told Adam that if he ate of “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” that he would “surely die” (Genesis 2:17) He did not mean live forever in torment. This idea is an invention of the devil to paint God as a devil.

God says He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked. It’s a biblical concept that God does not destroy and that we destroy ourselves by the choices we make. How important it is to choose wisely.

The word “hell” is found 54 times in the King James Bible. It translated from the Hebrew word “she’ol” meaning the grave 31 times, and from the Greek word “hades,” also meaning the grave 10 times. The Greek word gehenna is the source for 12 uses of hell and the word means a place of burning (only 12 out of 54 places in the Bible).

The Bible teaches that the wicked will be burned up and leave them “neither root nor branch,” Malachi 4:1. God says, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked,” Ezekiel 33:11.

That was before churchmen got into the act by promising to pray people out of hell or purgatory (no such word in the Bible) for money. Poor translation of Revelation makes people think the fire is forever when it is the consequences (death) that lasts for ever.

The parable of the rich man and Lazarus has been used by many preachers to teach eternal torment.

The idea of a conscious existence between death and the resurrection was held by many in Christ’s day. He knew this and framed His parable to teach truth related to their preconceived opinions–that no man is valued for his possessions–all that we have belongs to us only as lent by the Lord. A misuse of these gifts places us below the poorest and most afflicted man who loves and serves God.

Christ desires us to understand that it is impossible for men to secure the salvation of the soul after death.

“The living know that they shall die, but the dead know not anything,” Ecclesiastes 9:5. The belief in consciousness after death sets us up for deception by evil spirits that can personate departed love ones–like the evil spirit personated Samuel, brought up by the witch of Endor at Saul’s request.

EDITORS NOTE: Dr. Ruhling is a physician whose special interest in retirement is Bible prophecy, especially the wedding parables, and he offers more information at his website: http://TheBridegroomComes.com

Where’s the Pope’s Encyclical on Christian Persecution? by Raymond Ibrahim

Pope Francis recently released a new encyclical. Portions of it deal with environmentalism, global warming, and climate change. Naturally, this has prompted controversy.

It’s noteworthy that Francis didn’t merely make a passing comment on global warming during this or that sermon, but that he issued a papal encyclical on the matter. Encyclicals are much more formal and significant than remarks made during mass. They are letters written by a pope and sent to bishops all around the world. In turn, the bishops are meant to disseminate the encyclical’s ideas to all the priests and churches in their jurisdiction, so that the pope’s teaching reaches every church-attending Catholic.

All this leads to the following question: Where is Pope Francis’ encyclical concerning the rampant persecution that Christians—including many Catholics—are experiencing around the world in general, the Islamic world in particular?

To be sure, the pope has acknowledged it. On April 21, during mass held at Casa Santa Marta, Francis said that today’s church is a “church of martyrs.” He even referenced several of the recent attacks on Christians by Muslims (without of course mentioned the latter’s religious identity).

Said Pope Francis:

In these days how many Stephens [early Christian martyred in Book of Acts] there are in the world! Let us think of our brothers whose throats were slit on the beach in Libya [by the Islamic State]; let’s think of the young boy who was burnt alive by his [Pakistani Muslim] companions because he was a Christian; let us think of those migrants thrown from their boat into the open sea by other [African Muslim] migrants because they were Christians; let us think – just the day before yesterday – of those Ethiopians assassinated because they were Christians… and of many others. Many others of whom we do not even know and who are suffering in jails because they are Christians… The Church today is a Church of martyrs: they suffer, they give their lives and we receive the blessing of God for their witness.

The pope is acquainted with the reality of Christian persecution around the world.  So why isn’t he issuing an encyclical about it?  Such an encyclical would be very useful.

The pope could instruct bishops to acknowledge the truth about Christian persecution and to have this news spread to every Catholic church.  Perhaps a weekly prayer for the persecuted church could be institutionalized—keeping the plight of those hapless Christians in the spotlight, so Western Catholics and others always remember them, talk about them, and, perhaps most importantly, understand why they are being persecuted.

Once enough people are familiar with the reality of Christian persecution, they could influence U.S. policymakers—for starters, to drop those policies that directly exacerbate the sufferings of Christian minorities in the Middle East.

Whatever the effects of such an encyclical—and one can only surmise positive ones—at the very least, the pope would be addressing a topic entrusted to his care and requiring his attention.

As recent as 1958, Pope Pius XII issued an encyclical that addressed the persecution of Christians.  A portion follows:

We are aware—to the great sorrow of Our fatherly heart—that the Catholic Church, in both its Latin and Oriental rites, is beset in many lands by such persecutions that the clergy and faithful … are confronted with this dilemma: to give up public profession and propagation of their faith, or to suffer penalties, even very serious ones.

[…]

Missionaries who have left their homes and dear native lands and suffered many serious discomforts in order to bring the light and the strength of the gospel to others, have been driven from many regions as menaces and evil-doers…

Note that Pius does not mention the burning and bombing of churches, or the abduction, rape, enslavement, and slaughter of Christians.  The reason is that Christians living outside the West in 1958 rarely experienced such persecution.  In other words, today’s global persecution of Christians is exponentially worse than in 1958.  Pius complained about how Christianity was being contained, not allowed to spread and win over converts…

Keep reading

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Vatican Validates Jihad Terror: Signs Treaty Recognizing State of Palestine

There is no “State of Palestine” at this time. This is part of the ongoing pressure upon Israel to create one. Creating one will be a great victory for the global jihad force, as a “State of Palestine” will inevitably be a new jihad base for renewed attacks against what remains of Israel. Events will unfold just as they did when the Israelis withdrew from Gaza: while the international media hailed a new era of peace, the “Palestinians” gutted installations and prepared for jihad.

This recognition could end up being as large a blot on the Catholic Church’s record as the Inquisition and the many Catholic clerics all over Europe who went along with the Nazi program against Jews during World War II. The “Palestinians” make no secret on official PA TV of the fact that they share that same genocidal antisemitic bloodlust. This recognition only validates that bloodlust, and enables it.

As this recognition is given, Christians are being persecuted by Islamic jihadists all over the Middle East — Islamic jihadists with the same supremacist ideology as that which motivates the “Palestinians.” In response to this persecution, the bishops of the Catholic Church pursue a “dialogue” with Muslim leaders that makes everyone involved feel good about themselves, but doesn’t do a single thing to alleviate that persecution. And the bishops in the U.S. actively move to silence those who dare speak out about the true nature and magnitude of that persecution, and to prevent them from being heard in Catholic settings. Now, with this recognition, the Church is actively aligning itself with the jihad force, and demonstrating the great lesson of our age, that terrorism works: murder enough people and issue enough genocidal threats, and the whole world will cower at your feet.

The Vatican, by recognizing the genocidal jihad entity that is or will be the “State of Palestine,” is creating a huge moral dilemma for those Catholics who believe that Israel, as being on the front lines of the global jihad, ought to be supported, and that jihad terror, as represented by the “Palestinians” as well as by the persecutors of Christians, ought to be opposed. This is a political decision that has nothing to do with the substance of the faith, but these Church policies are heading the faithful toward a disaster of which they are largely ignorant and for which, thanks to their bishops, they are completely unprepared. Do those who see this disaster coming still have a place in Francis’ progressive, ever-so-modern Catholic Church?

“Vatican signs treaty recognizing State of Palestine,” Times of Israel, June 26, 2015:

The Vatican on Friday signed a historic accord with Palestine, two years after officially recognizing it as a state, in a move criticized by the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

The accord, a treaty covering the life and activity of the Church in Palestine, was the first since the Vatican recognized the Palestinian state in February 2013. The step was agreed in principle last month and condemned by Israel as a setback for the peace process.

The Foreign Ministry said Friday in response that it “regrets” the Vatican’s decision to sign the “one-sided” text.

“This hasty step damages the prospects for advancing a peace agreement, and harms the international effort to convince the PA to return to direct negotiations with Israel,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“We also regret the one-sided texts in the agreement which ignore the historic rights of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel and to the places holy to Judaism in Jerusalem. Israel cannot accept the unilateral determinations in the agreement which do not take into account Israel’s essential interests and the special historic status of the Jewish people in Jerusalem,” the statement added.

“The Palestinians continue to act unilaterally which distances us from any chance of holding direct dialogue,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely.

“I regret that the Vatican decided to participate in a step that blatantly ignores the history of the Jewish people in Israel and Jerusalem. Any attempt by the Palestinians, or any other actor to undermine our historic right to Jerusalem and our country will met by staunch opposition by us,” she said.

The treaty makes clear that the Holy See has switched its diplomatic relations from the Palestinian Liberation Organization to the State of Palestine.

The Vatican had welcomed the decision by the UN General Assembly in 2012 to recognize a Palestinian state. But the treaty is the first legal document negotiated between the Holy See and the Palestinian state and constitutes an official recognition.

“Yes, it’s a recognition that the state exists,” said Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi last month.

Israeli officials criticized the Vatican announcement in May.

“We’re disappointed by the decision taken by the Holy See. We believe that such a decision is not conducive to bringing the Palestinians back to the negotiating table,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon told The Times of Israel at the time.

“Israel will study the agreement and consider its next steps accordingly,” a brief statement from the ministry said.

The text of the treaty deals with essential aspects of the life and activity of the Catholic Church in Palestine, a Vatican statement said in May.

“Both parties agreed that the work of the Commission on the text of the Agreement has been concluded, and that the agreement will be submitted to the respective authorities for approval ahead of setting a date in the near future for the signing,” it noted.

The Vatican has been referring unofficially to the state of Palestine for at least a year.

During Pope Francis’ 2014 visit to the Holy Land, the Vatican’s official program referred to Abbas as the president of the “state of Palestine.” In the Vatican’s latest yearbook, the Palestinian ambassador to the Holy See is listed as representing “Palestine (state of).”

The Vatican’s foreign minister, Monsignor Antoine Camilleri, acknowledged the change in status, given that the treaty was initially inked with the PLO and is now being finalized with the “state of Palestine.” But he said the shift was simply in line with the Holy See’s position.

The Holy See clearly tried to underplay the development, suggesting that its 2012 press statement welcoming the UN vote constituted its first official recognition. Nowhere in that statement does the Vatican say it recognizes the state of Palestine, and the Holy See couldn’t vote for the UN resolution because it doesn’t have voting rights at the General Assembly.

The 2012 UN vote recognized Palestine as a non-member observer state, made up of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, lands Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war.

The Palestinians celebrated the vote as a milestone in their quest for international recognition. Most countries in Africa, Asia and South America have individually recognized Palestine. In Western Europe, Sweden took the step last year, while several parliaments have approved non-binding motions urging recognition….

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The New Paganism? The Case against Pope Francis’s Green Encyclical by Max Borders

Paganism as a distinct and separate religion may perhaps be said to have died, although, driven out of the cities, it found refuge in the countryside, where it lingered long — and whence, indeed, its very name is derived. In a very real sense, however, it never died at all. It was only transformed and absorbed into Christianity. – James Westfall Thompson, An Introduction to Medieval Europe

In 2003, science-fiction writer Michael Crichton warned a San Francisco audience about the sacralization of the environment. Drawing an analogy between religion and environmentalism, Crichton said:

There’s an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there’s a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all.

We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment. Just as organic food is its communion, that pesticide-free wafer that the right people with the right beliefs, imbibe.

This analogy between religion and environmentalism is no longer a mere analogy.

Pope Francis, the highest authority in the Catholic Church — to whom many faithful look for spiritual guidance — has now fused church doctrine with environmental doctrine.

Let’s consider pieces of his recently released Encyclical Letter. One is reminded of a history in which the ideas of paganism (including the worship of nature) were incorporated into the growing medieval Church.

Excerpts from Pope Francis are shown in italics.


 

This sister protests the evil that we provoke, because of the irresponsible use and of the abuse of the goods that God has placed in her. We grew up thinking that we were its owners and rulers, allowed to plunder it.

Notice how Pope Francis turns the earth into a person. Sister. Mother. This kind of anthropomorphic trope is designed to make you think that, by virtue of driving your car, you’re also smacking your sibling. We’ve gone from “dominion over the animals and crawling things” to “plundering” our sister.

The violence that exists in the human heart wounded by sin is also manifested in the symptoms of the disease we feel in soil, water, air and in the living things. Therefore, among the most abandoned and ill treated poor we find our oppressed and devastated Earth, which “moans and suffers the pains of childbirth” [Romans 8:22].

First, if the state of the soil, water and air and living things is indeed symptomatic of our violent, sinful hearts, then the good news is that sin is on the decline. On every dimension the Pope names, the symptoms of environmental harm are getting better all the time — at least in our decadent capitalist country.

Do not take it on faith: here are data.

There are forms of pollution which affect people every day. The exposure to air pollutants produces a large spectrum of health effects, in particular on the most poor, and causes millions of premature deaths.

This will always be true to some degree, of course, but it’s less true than any time in human history. Pope Francis fails to acknowledge the tremendous gains humanity has made. For example, human life expectancy in the Paleolithic period (call this “Eden”) was 33 years. Life expectancy in the neolithic period was 20 years. Globally, life expectancy is now more than 68 years, and in the West, it is passing 79 years.

Yes, there is pollution, and, yes, the poor are affected by it. But the reason why the poor are affected most by air pollution is because they’re poor — and because they don’t have access to fossil fuel energy. Pope Francis never bothers to draw the connection between wealth and health because he thinks of both production and consumption as sinful. Brad Plumer writes at Vox,

About 3 billion people around the world — mostly in Africa and Asia, and mostly very poor — still cook and heat their homes by burning coal, charcoal, dung, wood, or plant residue in their homes. These homes often have poor ventilation, and the smoke can cause all sorts of respiratory diseases.

The wealthy people of the West, including Pope Francis, don’t suffer from this problem. That’s because liberal capitalist countries — i.e., those countries who “plunder” their sister earth — do not suffer from energy poverty. They do not suffer from inhaling fumes and particulate matter from burning dung becausethey are “sinful,” because they are capitalist.

See the problem? The Pope wants to have it both ways. He has confused the disease (unhealthy indoor air pollution) with the cure (cheap, clean, abundant and mass-produced energy from fossil fuels).

Add to that the pollution that affects all, caused by transportation, by industrial fumes, by the discharge of substances which contribute to the acidification of soil and water, by fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides and toxic pesticides in general. The technology, which, connected to finance, claims to be the only solution to these problems, in fact is not capable of seeing the mystery of the multiple relationships which exist between things, and because of this, sometimes solves a problem by creating another.

It is strange to read admonitions from someone about the “multiple relationships that exist between things,” only to see him ignore those relationships in the same paragraph. Yes, humans often create problems by solving others, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t solve the problems. It just means we should solve the big problems and then work on the smaller ones.

Solving problems even as we discover different problems is an inherent part of the human condition. Our creativity and innovation and struggle to overcome the hand nature has dealt us is what makes us unique as a species.

Perhaps this is, for Pope Francis, some sort of Green Original Sin: “Thou shalt just deal with it.” But to the rest of us, it is the means by which we live happier, more comfortable lives here under the firmament.

The Earth, our home, seems to turn more and more into a huge garbage dump. In many places on the planet, the elderly remember with nostalgia the landscapes of the past, which now appear to be submerged in junk.

If you get your understanding of waste management and the environment from the movie Wall-E, then you might have the impression that we’re burying our sister in garbage. But as the guys over at EconPop have pointed out, land used for waste management is also governed by laws of supply and demand — which means entrepreneurs and innovators are finding better and less expensive ways to reuse, reduce, recycle, and manage our waste.

The industrial waste as well as the chemicals used in cities and fields can produce an effect of bio-accumulation in the bodies of the inhabitants of neighboring areas, which occurs even when the amount of a toxic element in a given place is low. Many times one takes action only when these produced irreversible effects on people’s health.

People, on net, are living longer and healthier than they ever have in the history of our species. What evidence does the Holy Father have that irreversible effects on people’s health rises to the level of an emergency that demands drafting in a papal encyclical? And why focus on the costs of “chemicals” without a single mention of overwhelming their human benefit? Indeed, which chemicals? This kind of sloppy thinking is rather unbecoming of someone who is (we are constantly reminded) a trained chemist.

Certain substances can have health effects, but so can failing to produce the life-enhancing goods in the first place. The answer is not to beg forgiveness for using soaps and plastics (or whatever), but to develop the institutions that prevent people and companies from imposing harmful costs onto others without taking responsibility for it.

The key is to consider the trade-offs that we will face no matter what, not to condemn and banish “impure” and unnatural substances from our lives.

These issues are intimately linked to the culture of waste, affecting so much the human beings left behind when the things turn quickly into trash.

Now we’re getting somewhere. This is where Pope Francis would like to add consumerism to production on the list of environmentally deadly sins.

Let us realize, for example, that most of the paper that is produced is thrown away and not recycled.

Heaven forfend! So would Pope Francis have us burn fossil fuels to go around and collect processed pulp? Is he unaware that demand for paper is what drivesthe supply of new trees? We aren’t running out of trees because we throw away paper. The Pope’s plan sounds like it could have been hatched in Berkeley, California, instead of Vatican City. And yet worlds have collided.

Michael Munger puts matters a little differently:

Mandatory recycling, by definition, takes material that would not be recycled voluntarily, diverts it from the waste stream, and handles it several times before using it again in a way that wastes resources.

The only explanation for this behavior that I can think of is a religious ceremony, a sacrifice of resources as a form of worship. I have no problem if people want to do that. As religions go, it is fairly benign. Butrequiring that religious sacrifice of resources is a violation of the constitutional separation of church and state.

Well, Professor Munger, this is the Pope we’re talking about.

We find it hard to admit that the operation of natural ecosystems is exemplary: plants synthesize nutrients that feed the herbivores; these in turn feed the carnivores, which provide a lot of organic waste, which give rise to a new generation of plants. In contrast, the industrial system, at the end of its cycle of production and consumption, has not developed the ability to absorb and reuse waste and slag.

Where is the evidence for this? These are matters of faith, indeed. All this time I thought the industrial system did have the ability to absorb and reuse waste: It’s called the system of prices, property, and profit/loss. The problem is not that such a “recycling” system doesn’t exist, it’s that corruption and government distorts the system of property, prices and profit/loss so that our economic ecosystem doesn’t operate as it should.

Indeed, when you have the Pope suggesting we burn gas to save glass, you have to wonder why the industrial system is so messed up. A system that “requires us to limit the use of non-renewable resources, to moderate consumption, to maximize the efficiency of the exploitation, to reuse and to recycle,” is called the market. And where it doesn’t exist is where you’ll find the worst instances of corruption and environmental degradation.

Then, of course, there’s climate change. In the interests of brevity I won’t quote the whole thing. But here’s the punchline, which might have been plucked straight from the IPCC Summary for Policymakers:

Climate change is a global problem with serious environmental, social, economic, distribution and policy implications, and make up one of the main current challenges for humanity. The heaviest impacts will probably fall in the coming decades upon developing countries.

This might be true. What the Holy Father fails to appreciate is that the heaviest impacts of policies designed to mitigate climate change will definitely fall upon developing countries. (That is, if the developing countries swear off cheap energy and embrace any sort of global climate treaty. If history is a guide, they most certainly will not.)

Meanwhile, the biggest benefits of burning more carbon-based fossil fuels will accrue the poorest billions on earth. The Pope should mention that if he really has their interests at heart or in mind.

But many symptoms indicate that these effects could get worse if we continue the current patterns of production and consumption.

“Patterns of production and consumption”? This is a euphemism for wealth creation. What is wealth except production and consumption of resources to further human need and desire?

His suggested cure for our dangerous patterns of wealth creation, of course, is good ole demand-side management. Wiser, more enlightened minds (like his, he hopes) will let you know which light bulbs to buy, what sort of car to drive, and which insolvent solar company they’ll “invest” your money in. You can even buy papal indulgences in the form of carbon credits. As the late Alexander Cockburn wrote,

The modern trade is as fantastical as the medieval one. … Devoid of any sustaining scientific basis, carbon trafficking is powered by guilt, credulity, cynicism and greed, just like the old indulgences, though at least the latter produced beautiful monuments.

But the most important thing to realize here is that the “current” patterns of production and consumption are never current. The earthquakes of innovation and gales of creative destruction blow through any such observed patterns. The price system, with its lightning-quick information distribution mechanism is far, far superior to any elites or energy cronies. And technological innovation, though we can’t predict just how, will likely someday take us as far away from today’s energy status quo, just as we have moved away from tallow, whale oil, and horse-drawn carriages.

The Pope disagrees with our rose-tinted techno-optimism, saying “some maintain at all costs the myth of progress and say that the ecological problems will be solved simply by new technical applications.”

The Pope sits on his golden throne and looks over the vast expanse of time and space — from hunter-gatherers running mammoths off cliffs to Americans running Teslas off electric power, from the USA in 1776 and 2015, from England before and after the Industrial Revolution, from Hong Kong and Hiroshima in 1945 to their glorious present — and sneers: progress is a myth, environmental problems can’t be fixed through innovation, production is destroying the earth, consumption is original sin.

Innovation is the wellspring of all progress. Policies to stop or undo innovation in energy, chemistry, industry, farming, and genetics are a way to put humanity in a bell jar, at best. At worst they will put some of us in the dark and others in early graves. They are truly fatal conceits.

And yet, the Pope has faith in policymakers to know just which year we should have gotten off the train of innovation. William F. Buckley famously said conservatives “stand athwart history, yelling ‘Stop!’” Greens are similar, except they’re yelling “Go back!”

Therefore it has become urgent and compelling to develop policies so that in the coming years the emission of carbon dioxide and other highly polluting gases is reduced drastically, for instance by replacing fossil fuels and by developing renewable energy sources.

I reflect again on the notion that this effort might be just another way of the Church embracing and extending a competitor religion. Then again, Pope Francis so often shows that he is a true and faithful green planner. In an unholy alliance with those who see the strategic benefit in absorbing environmentalism, the Holy Father has found the perfect way to restore the power of the Church over politics, economics, culture, and the state to its former glory.


Max Borders

Max Borders is the editor of the Freeman and director of content for FEE. He is also cofounder of the event experience Voice & Exit and author of Superwealth: Why we should stop worrying about the gap between rich and poor.


Daniel Bier

Daniel Bier is the editor of Anything Peaceful. He writes on issues relating to science, civil liberties, and economic freedom.