Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The wretched gospel of Pope Francis the Handwringer

The Australian

"...Two and a half centuries after the birth of the Enlightenment the Catholic establishment still struggles with modernity.

The Pope recommends rediscovering the tradition of monasticism to escape the decadence of the metropolis. He equates cities with toxic emissions, urban chaos, poor transportation, visual pollution and noise. They are “huge, inefficient structures, excessively wasteful of energy and water”.

"...For romanticists who yearn for a simpler life in the pastures, the rise in global life expectancy is a phenomenon they dare not ­acknowledge. It began to increase in the early 19th century with the expansion of the industrial technology (profit driven, one should add) that so unnerves the Pope.

The most remarkable improvements have been in the developing world. In the country now known as Bangladesh, life expectancy was 21.5 years in 1906. A Bangladeshi child born today can expect to live 3½ times as long.

These little details should delight the Pope, who rightly celebrates the sanctity of life and the equal respect each human should command. The march of progress and economic growth should renew hope in humankind and our God-given ability to improve our lives and increase the utility of the planet.

Yet the pontiff finds it impos­sible to escape the irrational fear that we are on the eve of ­destruction.

“Doomsday predictions can no longer be met with irony or disdain,” he says.

"...This despairing, despondent and demoralizing encyclical is the first papal offering the ABC has taken seriously in the past 40 years. It is all the more troubling for that."

Read this assessment here in it's entirety here.

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