Blogger Who Wrote Scathing Post On ‘Laudato Si’ Considering Reading Encyclical For Himself

June 18, 2015 by  
Filed under Politics

Catholic blogger Dermot McHenry, who wrote a scornful attack on Laudato Si yesterday, reported this morning that he was now about ready to consider actually reading the encyclical for himself.

“The thing is like 180 pages long or something like that,” McHenry told EOTT. “And since I’m not a big fan of Francis or the whole global warming thing, or reading long posts, I thought the best thing to do was to simply read what other commentators were saying and to eloquently regurgitate what I read, form a nice little narrative that would make my readers happy, and then to post it with a bunch of bold words everywhere.”

McHenry went on to say that after diligently and thoughtfully reading almost 88 comments on another post about Laudato Si, that he was “absolutely flabbergasted” at how utterly pathetic and pedestrian the idiotic encyclical was, and that he felt sorry that the Church was being headed by such a weak minded man.

At press time, McHenry is on track to successfully skimming the entire encyclical in under 15 minutes so.

  • Jim

    EOTT should do an investigative piece of the environmental effect of all the flabbergasses being emitted this week in response to Laudato Si.

  • Philippa Martyr

    No WAY. Reading it will spoil everything.

  • John Médaille

    Reading it would only prejudice your mind.

  • Facepalm

  • DaGeek

    I’ve read a good bit of it, and it’s like a massive brain dump, lacking a central theme (aside from free markets = bad), and comes across to me as a giant scolding of all of us for our selfishness, our evil use of fossil fuels, and (consistent with his zero-sum-game economic belief) our enriching ourselves by enslaving the poor.
    Oh yeah, and the sky is falling unless all our governments band together and make massive changes to the global economy right now. The Holy Father has said he wants a poor Church; if this encyclical’s medicine is administered to cure all our ills (real and imagined), I fear we’ll have a uniformly poor world. Perhaps that’s what he envisions – a world in which all are equally poor.
    I do want to know specifically where he sees the world being turned into a massive pile of trash – either he needs to get out more or I do.

    • mithril1971

      Yes you read it right. In order to live up to the Gospel, we need to repent of our selfishness, use fuels that aren’t causing war and poverty, and stop enriching ourselves by enslaving the poor (in the US, Mexico, India, China, Africa…). If this seems new to you, you must not be Catholic, and I’d be happy to point to docs (as the encyclical does) by John XXIII, Paul VI, JPII and Benedict XVI so you can learn about it.
      Yup. We’re being called to be Catholics faithful to the Gospel, and faithful to over a hundred years of social encyclicals asking for the same things.
      Yes. You DO need to get out more. Visit the Hudson River for a tiny glimpse of our lack of care for the planet given us as gift. There are rivers we cannot swim in, and lack of clean drinking water is a well documented concern across the globe. Visit Mumbai if you need to see the trash heaps for yourself.
      Yes. If you are Catholic, you need to take this magisterial teaching and learn from it, pray about it, and be humble enough to consider it.
      If you can’t get out of your own home, I challenge you to watch Child 31, and then claim there are no trash heaps, and that we as Catholics are doing all we can to care for the world God gave us, and our brothers and sisters who live here.

      • kamiller42

        “use fuels that aren’t causing war and poverty”

        Fuel can one of many reasons to go to war, like the Vatican went to war to protect land from Muslims.. land, aka dirt. Fuel is important in eradicating poverty. It’s a precious resource deserving protection from those who would exploit others with it.

        Your litany of cherry picked ills by man is one of many problems I have with the encyclical. It’s very dour and dystopian. It gives hardly an ounce of credit for the great contributions man has done to save and better utilize the planet. And, most times it gives credit, it is with the caveat of “Man tried and failed because of selfishness/capitalism/etc. He fixes one problem and makes another.”

        By the way, the computer you used to type your post better have been made with recycled, non-fossil fueled based materials and powered with renewable power sources only. And, turn off your A/C. You must do these things to be a good Catholic. /s

        Yes. I read the encyclical. It has some bright spots, but they appear to be the lipstick on a pig.

        • DaGeek

          And don’t use a computer invented and manufactured by a profit-seeking corporation!

          • sixlittlerabbits

            All modern computers have been developed from the initial efforts (starting in the 1930s) of the US Army. That paragon of social justice Dorothy Day used the computer technology available in her day at the Catholic Worker.

            But now Pope Francis has enlightened us: Computers are BAD. And how can those who believe in “social justice” continue to use computers developed through the efforts of the “evil” US military?

      • samton909

        What you mean is, in order to live up to the Gospels, you have to be a Democrat. Come on, say it.

        • WesleyD

          No. In order to live up to the Gospels, you have to work for the unborn, the poor, those poisoned by industrial waste, the victims of Communist aggression in Eastern Europe, the victims of Islamist aggression in the Middle East, the victims of American aggression in Central America, the victims of euthanasia, and those who have been deluded by the lies our media tells about human nature, and victims of all forms of hatred.

          If you know of a political party that does all those things, you have to join them. I don’t know of any. But even if there were such a party, voting for them would not be sufficent for me to “live up to the Gospels”. If you are able to do that by voting for a political candidate, I salute you.

          • James Van Damme

            Wait – you found a barely pro life party? It must be so small that it isn’t on the ballot here in NY

          • sixlittlerabbits

            No, it isn’t on the ballot in NY. Our wonderful “Catholic” governor Andy Cuomo–following in the footsteps of his dad, “St. Mario,” refuses to allow NY State to offer “Choose Life” license plates. Andy knows how to pick his battles.

          • wiffle

            When someone lectures like that, the speaker is almost always someone who is either a Democrat or votes straight ticket even if they claim they are not affiliated. American Bishops and Cardinals seem to make a point of hanging out with Democrats, and of course the Democrats make a point of affiliating themselves with Catholics that are name only at best.

            If you’re truly independent, voting equally for the correct candidate of either party, then I salute you. If you hold your nose and vote straight party Democrat, the original poster had a point.

          • wiffle

            I think this reaction is why American Catholics can get weird politically.
            Dicussions tnd up in such grandiose hypotheticals to the point where it becomes impossible to speak our opinions plainly and just admit we’re choose the least bad candidate. People are certainly allowed to go there, of course.:)

            But I also read mithri1971’s post as a very long winded “good Catholics vote Democrat” Everything she mentions is right out of the Democrat talking points on the environment, etc, right down to “capitalism, is it sorta bad or really bad?” Only when prompted will she mention abortion and it’s “well of course the Pope mentions that too” She’s clearly cacusing with a political side and that’s okay. What gets old is a supposed “apolitical” dicussion/lecture about what Catholics should think.

          • WesleyD

            I can’t speak for Mithril, of course. But when I read her post, I didn’t see that at all.

            Perhaps part of the question is this: Is someone who advocates several causes allowed to talk about one without mentioning the others? A few years ago I went on the West Coast March for Life. At the beginning of the march, a major religious leader gave one of the speeches, and his speech focused on “I’m glad you folks oppose abortion — be sure that you also oppose the death penalty, cuts to welfare, California farmers not getting a just wage, etc. etc.” Personally, I found this very rude — not becuase I disagreed with those other causes, but because this specific day was the March for Life. If he were invited to give an opening prayer at a rally for California’s underpaid immigrant farm workers, would he similarly lecture them on why they should oppose abortion and euthanasia? I doubt it.

            If Mithril had said in her post, “The following is a complete list of my key priorities,” then the fact that she didn’t mention abortion in her post might allow you to infer something about how she feels on that issue. But her post was replying to an earlier post that discussed Francis’ environment-related claims, so in her reply that’s what she focused on. So, unlike samton and you, I didn’t infer from it anything whatsoever about her views on other issues — nor even whether she thinks one issue is more important than the others.

          • wiffle

            Fair enough. I don’t remind being reminded that one particular view does not make a set of views.

            However, I’ll note that mithril1971 has spent a whole lot of time inferring things about other people based their views and to a lesser extent your post did as well. She’s repeatedly implied that people are narrow minded/provincial, we will be of course reading it as part of our doctrinal tradition, etc, etc. You’ve implied that a poster who stated my own reaction, must be wholly dependent on politicians to do their own Christian work.

            It has to cut both ways. I’m happy to not infer a bunch of other views for you if you’ll do the same in reverse.

          • sixlittlerabbits

            Wesley, what you describe in the bishop’s talk is the “seamless garment” approach popularized by Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, but rejected by the Right to Life Movement.

            Cardinal Dolan also wears the seamless garment; he doesn’t say much about abortion, but gets really hot under the collar about illegal “immigration.”

          • CumExApostolatus

            All I can think to say is, “Bravo” to Dolan for his seamless liberation from Catholic theology.

            Wasn’t Bernardin part of the rainbow coalition?

        • mithril1971

          thats a very narrow understanding of the Gospels…. and I am not affiliated with a political party… And democrats in the US would staunchly reject the letter’s assessment of abortion, for example. If you read the entire thing with an open mind, and recognize that it only builds on a significant portion of the encyclicals of the Catholic Church since Leo XIII, you might actually find some beauty in it. And, yes, challenges for a comfortable first world. It’s going to depend on what you bring to it, like everything we read, and if you can be thoughtful about it as a complete document. And, of course, if you are Catholic, you will read it as part of our doctrinal tradition.

          • StillCat

            I live in Malaysia and have not read the encyclical yet I must say ( will do later). But I really agree with what mithral1971 says. I think we need to read this in terms of Catholic social doctrine. It is a challenging encyclical to those of us who are better off, and if we each took it to heart, we could help to promote gospel values in the market place. I believe in other places, Pope Francis has confessed that he does not have any solutions but leaves it to people of goodwill who are the specialists to find these strategies. I think that unadulteralted capitalism is never a good sratregy…Surely, in our time on earth, we can look for modifications to the system, and while I am sure the kingdom of God can never really be established on this earth, yet the paradox of the gospel message is that we must always seek out ways to further the common good. Am amazed at the negativity I have read so far….and can surely tell you that in the 3rd world, many would love this encyclical!

          • wiffle

            If you’re looking for Catholics to continue to leave the Church, I suspect this path will continue it. 🙁

            And honestly, I suspect many in the 3rd world will feel abandoned by this encyclical. Catholics in China have police stations next door and the government choosing their Bishops. Africans and those in the Middle East die to go to Church…and Pope Francis has published a book on recycling.

          • StillCat

            but I believe you misunderstand the document when you say this. I have just finished chapter 2. It is not aligning itself with secular society but rather consistent with the social teaching of the church and previous documents from Popes JPII and Benedict!!
            Also re: 3rd world, I think what you mentioned is another issue…. surely church teaching is broad enough to also have space for social teaching while also not forgetting the basic call to evangelise and bring the good news of Jesus Christ to everyone. Peace.

          • wiffle

            Al Gore preaches AGW. I can walk into Staples and have them encourage me to recycle. Neither one will discuss states of sin. Environmental stewardship is certainly part of the Christian message. However, raising it to this level presents an enormous opportunity cost. We lose the chance to talk about what is unique to Christianity.

            It’s okay if we disagree, it really is. We can both understand from our own views. 🙂 I’m just pointing out why I’m negative on the concept and why I doubt there will be much enthusiasm for the Laudato Si outside the developed world.

          • StillCat

            Yes, I understand. TQ for your comments. Will also have a think about them. Peace!

          • samton909

            There will be much astonishment at how the Pope’s solutions would hurt the developing world the most.

          • wiffle

            I know. I wish he had been willing to listen to other scientists and/or entertain more doubt on AGW.

          • samton909

            No, it is a radical departure from what they said. What they said made sense. They would go over the pros and cons of things and rationally balance their statements. Pope Francis just plays the awkward grinding note of castigation. And he misrepresents what his predescesors thought and said.

          • StillCat

            I know this website is satire and I don’t want to get too serious about my comments. But a gentle reminder about what fr Mitch pacwa says which is ” to understand what the pope really says and not what the media says he says…” just read something from WSJ which may be of interest… by fr Robert Sirico. Can’t seem to paste it here, but perhaps people could check it out. (although you could argue, and you would be right, that this could just be another media opinion!)
            Peace!

          • sixlittlerabbits

            But can’t we reasonably assume that “the Pope really says” what he writes in the encyclical?

          • StillCat

            yes, you we can. But I don’t think you understand what he says…. I don’t fully understand it, and you are right to ask me not to comment ( am only thru chapter 3 as I want to read it slowly and understand it and be open to it. )
            Still, please remember that he has a scientific background, and mch of what he writes harkens or is very similar to catholic thinkers such as Stanley Jaki, who argue that real science is the science of a contingent and coherent universe. The Pope in talking about a technocratic paradigm is speaking to this reductionist view of science and he wants us to realise how metaphysics ( understanding the reality and the coherence of the universe) and social ethics are not excluded. but rather can contribute to it so much more richly.

          • sixlittlerabbits

            The Pope has a scientific background? That claim seems to be satire. Welcome to Eye of the Tiber.

            Here is some pertinent information:

            While it’s true that Pope Francis has a background in chemistry, the level of his education in that area has been unclearly stated. According to the pontiff’s official biography on the Vatican’s web site, Pope Francis “graduated as a chemical technician” before entering the priesthood, received a degree in philosophy and theology from the Colegio de San José in San Miguel, and taught literature and psychology at both the Immaculate Conception College in Santa Fé and the Colegio del Salvatore in Buenos Aires. However, the only mention of the Pope’s chemistry education was the notation that he graduated as a “chemical technician”; whether his training constituted the equivalent of a university degree, and where he undertook that course of study, was not specifed:Read more at http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/popechemistry.asp#AFvwOqbwXFPYI0Oy.99

          • StillCat

            Apologies, but I don’t think you understand the encyclical and that’s why you are so negative about it. Its my opinion and I am sure you don’t agree with it. But that’s OK.

            Gosh, just s chemical technician! And what audacity to present his views on science and the economy at a global level.. ….although what you mention does not detract from my earlier point I think

            Why do I feel I’m back at the church in Corinth?

            .

          • sixlittlerabbits

            Why do you feel lke you’re back at the church in Corinth? Beats me. We bunnies fall down rabbit holes, maybe cats travel via time machine.

          • StillCat

            Nope. We use alleys!

          • CumExApostolatus

            Perhaps you don’t understand it because it doesn’t actually make sense, let alone teach anything about orthodox Catholicism.

          • StillCat

            I don’t agree, it does make sense, and it continues the tradition of the social teaching of the church …if you see my earlier comment… against a reductionist scientific worldview that doesn’t take account of God. And for a worldview where nature is sacramental. Although, I also see why people react against it…. the writing is patchy and sometimes confusing ( he doesn’t write as well as JPII or Benedict who are fabulous!), a major assumption is global warming (which many trads. have a problem with accepting), and I am not sure who he intends his audience to be (secular society or the Catholic community?). But there are so many parts that are beautiful, even poetic….I am firmly convinced that detractors have prejudged the document….

          • sixlittlerabbits

            Dear me, have we forgotten the Ten Commandments and Christ’s statement that if we love Him, we will keep the Commandments?

          • CumExApostolatus

            The church’s history goes back, ever-so-slightly, to years before JPII and Ratzinger.

          • sixlittlerabbits

            You haven’t read the encyclical yet. That says it all.

          • samton909

            I read it. It is unremittingly silly. Quite beneath the dignity of a Pope, who is supposed to have thought things out. Most of it is so dumb that I had to stop reading it, because it was like listening to a very long, very drawn out diatribe. It was like listening to political commercials at the end of a long political season, back to back, droning on in the same insipid fashion. Something is really wrong with this Pope. I have defended him for the last two years, but now he has stepped over the crazy line.

            And by the way, he completely misinterprets his predecessors to make them sound as unbalanced as his opinion, by selectively quoting only parts of the very well thought out, very balanced things they said. It is really quite distressing.

          • sixlittlerabbits

            How kind of you to enlighten us, enlighten us, and enlighten us. Have you thought about writing a commentary on “Laudato Si” for those who need your guidance?

        • wiffle

          You’ve gotten a lot of negative responses. I’ll throw out there that my experience has been the same. Someone who goes on long rants about how unaware everyone else is and how the Gopels tell us to do this that or the other thing is almost always a Democrat, even if there’s no formal affiliation. “Good” Catholics vote for the “obvious” candidate, which is almost always a Dem. *shrug*

      • Larry Guglielmi

        Agreed. But the Holy Father missed a great opportunity to point out that American capitalism has and is the best example of addressing the issue’s you have sited. All other economic systems fail. He is a confusing communicator.

        • mithril1971

          Well, I have to say that while capitalism has great benefit, it still results in a world often littered beyond use, and with major ecological concerns, and even human rights concerns (for example, sex traffic increases dramatically when the Super Bowl is in town). But my guess is that because the purpose of this encyclical is to underscore the integration of a properly dignified humanity with a properly respected ecology, and to highlight personal and communal responsibility for the common good in all places in the world, an economic pitch didn’t seem appropriate in the context of magisterial doctrine.

          As readers it is vital to remember that this is not personal opinion, but a doctrinal text with weight for Catholics. I think it’s also really important to remember that he is speaking with and for the global community… some commenters here seem to think the whole world *is* the U.S. (I’m not saying at all that you do Larry, but it’s amazing to me how many here seem to forget!)

          • Larry Guglielmi

            Thanks Mith. The point I was trying to make is, what other system has a chance of fixing these problems and allow us to exercise our free will.

          • mithril1971

            got it.

          • wiffle

            Capitalism is the only economic system that lifts the poor out of poverty, and offers enough freedom of speech and religion to proctect the poor and the environment, full stop. “Has great benefit” assumes there’s some sort of workable alternative. There’s none. To ignore modern events snd the history of the 20th century is not exactly an expansive worldview.

          • sixlittlerabbits

            In speaking “with and for the global community,” Francis is aligning the Church with some very evil organizations, such as the anti-life UN.

      • DaGeek

        Except we ARENT getting rich by enslaving the poor. Capitalism has lifted hundreds of millions from poverty, and you’re misreading Oul Lord if you thin He’d frown on development that results in fewer poor and starving people.

      • sixlittlerabbits

        In #55, Francis declares: “People may well have a growing ecological sensitivity but it has not succeeded in changing their harmful habits of consumption…. A simple example is the increasing use and power of air-conditioning. The markets, which immediately benefit from sales, stimulate ever greater demand. An outsider looking at our world would be amazed at such behaviour, which at times appears self-destructive.”

        My, my, and this practicing Catholic “rabbit’ thought “self-destructive” air conditioning helps those with asthma and breathing difficulties. As for the Hudson River–which I see daily from my humble rabbit hole–right now it’s awfully hot and muggy on the river’s banks. Many pay the utility company willingly for relief from the heat, including those with low incomes. Ironically, intense heat seems more “destructive” than air conditioning.

    • Subvet

      Your last sentence sums up the main problem I have with the encyclical, i.e. Lots of claims but few specific examples. If I tell a subordinate their performance is sub par then out of fairness I should be able to cite very specific examples. The same mindset applies here.

    • samton909

      It’s just weird to hear a Pope say such overblown, untrue things.

    • sixlittlerabbits

      You mean his reference to “a number of studies” indicating that global warming is occurring and is a crisis didn’t persuade you? Or maybe you failed to be impressed by the credentials of his main adviser, a whacky atheist?

      Maybe Francis needs to update his shtick.

      His comment that “whenever food is thrown out it is as if it were stolen from the table of the poor”–with a footnote even–reminds us “of a certain age” how we were ordered to eat all the food on our plates because “children are starving in Europe” (i.e., rationing was still in effect after World War II).

      Ferdinand the Bull would be a better symbol for “Laudato Si” than St. Francis. Unlike a certain modern Pontiff, St. Francis was more concerned with disrespect for the Eucharist than with the plight of the poor or creation (see Augustine Thompson, “Francis of Assisi: A New Biography”).

  • Hank Hafliger

    I can’t believe the pope would embrace the Scientific Fallacies of “Global Warming” and “Man Made Climate Change” in a Dogmatic Letter! Doesn’t he have the Wisdom to know these Propaganda are forced upon us by the NWO? Does it also now make me a Heretic to deny these concepts? (The Climate has and will always change.)

    All in all most of what was written needed to be said.

    As a Farmer I would say he (Pope Francis) has no idea the complexities necessary in order to produce food for 7 billion people. I do believe in his scathing of the free markets he provides no solution to the troubles of our times. (Reminds me of the Pharisees of which Jesus said, “You tie up huge burdens for the people to carry, but don’t lift a finger to lighten them”). I believe we need a World Wide Organization to moderate fluctuations in commodity prices. The reason for a lot of the wastefulness in the free markets is because of the cycles in prices. If you could commit to maintaining a certain price by buying up surplus product with the market falls and releasing it when the market goes up. This will keep prices low for the poor, above the cost of production for the producer and keep unsustainable producers from entering the market place ruining the environment. I believe the Church is the only worldwide organization with the Moral Integrity to run such a scheme. Money could be made out of nothing (like all fiat money is) by starting a Bank to fund it. And extra profit made could be channeled back to help help the Poor.

    • samton909

      It’s called futures contracts.

      • Hank Hafliger

        Futures contracts don’t allow the physical market to be manipulated. They are great for price discovery, and protection of margins, but the futures market s don’t allow supplies of a good to be moderated in the short term. I’m talking about long term storage like the Commodity Credit Corp used to function in the US.

  • lynea

    Someone ought to have told those 7 virgins with the oil lamps that they were selfish, especially when they didn’t even bother to share with the other virgins who ran out of oil. Sheesh. What were they thinking?

    Oh wait, someone is telling me that God wrote this… ok. Scratch what I said before. I have to reread this encyclical perhaps.

  • lynea

    Someone ought to have told those 10 virgins with the oil lamps that they were selfish, especially when they didn’t even bother to share with the other virgins who ran out of oil. Sheesh. What were they thinking? 😉

  • lynea

    #laudatesiestnugas

  • kamiller42

    Those books better be printed on 100% recycled paper.

  • I am truly missing the satire in this combox!

    I think I’ll go over and read the Crux or NotReally Catholic Reporter Comboxes for fun!

    • samton909

      All Crux prints nowadays is pro gay stuff, so no good going there.

  • Ever mindful

    Could the encyclical be translated into Latin, and chanted as background aeroplane music, thus preventing on-flight interviews??

    • Casper

      Well, that’s no fun for Il Papa. Can we at least set it to the Missa Criolla, and get a little South American flava?

  • samton909

    True story – I got up early yesterday and looked at the National Catholic reporter. There was a story on the reaction to Laudato Si – full of quotes from various Catholic heads of organizations, typically from the left, about how wonderful the encyclical was, and how smart and wise Pope Francis’s comments were.

    All of this was on their website about two hours before the encyclical was released. They all just made it up.

    • Aaron

      Journalists received it the day before, and bishops received it several days before.

      • samton909

        The comments were from various “normal Catholics” like the ones that are in environmental groups, Catholics United for Pasta, and the such like

  • wiffle

    This funny. 🙂 I’m probably in there somewhere.

  • Hotrod1962

    As an aside, and I’m pretty sure no one has mentioned this here, in the last chapter of “Laudato Si”. Pope Francis makes some scathing, bombastic comments toward Pete Carroll and his decision to throw a slant pass with 26 seconds left, which, as we all know, was intercepted. “With the Superbowl on the line, the reason I think the ball was not given to Marshawn Lynch instead was demon possession and the fact that Seattle has not cared enough for it’s environment” the Pope wrote.

    • wiffle

      Having watched that Super Bowl game, I’m surprised and saddened to hear that only one chapter was dedicated to the topic.

      • Hotrod1962

        Rumor has it that the sequel, Laudato Si II” will have an in-depth theological discussion of the devastating pollution of Argentina’s Matanza-Riachuelo river basin and Argentina’s unexpected elimination from the 2014 World Cup.

        • samton909

          It was the big Oil companies that engineered Argentina’s elimination.

  • Ever mindful

    Feel I’m ready for the next encyclical now….

    • wiffle

      Happy to move on as quickly as possible myself now. 🙂

  • Mike Dross

    I think the confusion was over the rise in Apostolic See levels.

  • Benjamin Warren

    I know EOTT had to write an article, but it’s alright to be beyond very tired of this evil pope and his foolishness.

    • Captain_America

      It’s all right now,
      You learned your lesson well,
      You can’t please everybody,
      You got to please yourself.

  • Captain_America

    In a shocking announcement, Vatican blogger Angelo Negri said at a press conference held just outside the Vatican. he would be putting his politics ahead of his religion in evaluating this new communist encyclical.

  • ithakavi

    Even Al Gore would have difficulty in squeezing out 184 pages. Is there a Cliff’s Notes version?