Saturday, June 13, 2015

Pope's Possible Encyclical on Global Warming

Yes, I am Catholic. But, do not expect a quick response from me with regard to any encyclical the Pope may or may not issue next week on global warming.

Regardless of what may be issued next week, you are not part of "Team Pope" (as one environmental group proclaimed itself) unless you support the Church's position on abortion, gay marriage and birth control, etc. Those are matters of morality which directly relate to the Catholic Church's mission of saving souls. Science controversies do not.

This afternoon, I heard from a pro-global warming person asking if I wasn't, as a Catholic, obliged to believe whatever the Pope might put in the encyclical? Isn't the Pope infallible? These are frequent questions, so let me answer them now, especially since Papal infallibility is often misunderstood.

To restate, the goal of the Catholic Church is saving souls -- getting us to Heaven. Jesus told his Apostles,

Truly I say to you, Whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Given that instruction of Jesus, the Pope, acting as head of the Church, is infallible with regard to faith and morals (only).

Jesus recognized (since He could not be here personally speaking to every single human being) someone had to be the referee as to sinfulness. Assume for a moment the Pope, officially, said it was OK to cheat at baseball. While Jesus might not be pleased with that proclamation, it would not be held against us at Judgment Day because the Church "loosed" it. It is in that sense, and that sense only, the Pope is "infallible" in the execution of the Church's mission.

Whether the catastrophic global warming hypothesis is correct has nothing to do with saving souls.

2 comments:

  1. Yet another opportunity for me to to talk about our society's obsession of focusing on differences as opposed to commonalities. Mike is a Catholic, and I am a Protestant. Significant difference? Yes. But I choose to focus on the bigger commonality in that we are both Christians, and are called upon to follow the teachings of Jesus to the best of our abilities. Mike and I have a different take on climate change. And that's more than OK. If we, and all who agree with our respective positions, seek the truth with as pure a motive as we can muster, we will all eventually find it, and it won't matter who said what and when. The political and religious dysfunctionality in our country is holding us back. If we all consider the possibility that we could be wrong (about anything), the truth would more than likely be a lot easier to uncover.

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  2. Readers: Greg is an outstanding meteorologist from Raleigh. I appreciate him taking the time to post.

    And, yes, as Christians much more unites us than divides us.

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