If by now you haven't guessed I'm not a great fan of Pope Francis nor his magna opus Laudato Si. The kindest thing I can say for it is that it is trite. The real world has enough moral issues without the fictional, apocalyptic, global warming, predictions so dear to his heart. Below is part of an online argument I have been having with someone who thinks Laudato Si is visionary.
Did we read the same text?
If the late Jerry Falwell had come out against air conditioning he would have been the laughing stock of the country. What Jerry Falwell did do was rid American mainline Protestantism of anti Semitism and for that he deserves some credit.
"People may well have a growing ecological sensitivity but it has not succeeded in changing their harmful habits of consumption which, rather than decreasing, appear to be growing all the more. A simple example is the increasing use and power of air-conditioning."
Or savor this hardcore banality, "To cite one example, most of the paper we produce is thrown away and not recycled." This from the same Church that produced such thinkers as Thomas Aquinas and Duns Scotus! When Pope Pius XI left for his summer retreat early in 1938 with the words "The air makes us sick" his words were directed at Adolf Hitler who was meeting the first week in May with Italian leader Benito Mussolini. Pope Francis would probably have instructed Hitler to make sure his soldiers picked up their litter on their way to invade Poland and fretted about the C02 level. Did he miss the story about the Russia's seizure of the Crimea or the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe or the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and Africa? Global warming is his first concern? Hellava job, Francis!
And what is his problem with the free dissemination of the news?
"Furthermore, when media and the digital world become omnipresent, their influence can stop people from learning how to live wisely, to think deeply and to love generously. In this context, the great sages of the past run the risk of going unheard amid the noise and distractions of an information overload. Efforts need to be made to help these media become sources of new cultural progress for humanity and not a threat to our deepest riches."
What sort of efforts? and what trusted governmental agency should be tasked with helping these media to become
sources of new cultural progress? Obama's FCC? One suspects His Holiness himself has spends too much time in the digital world.