By Christopher B. Daly
We take you now to the Vatican . . .
. . . where a pope who took the name of the saint who cared the most about birds and animals and all living creatures decided to take a stand on the moral issues raised by pollution, rampant consumerism, and brutal inequality. He is telling believers to forget about that line in the Bible about God giving man “dominion” over the planet. Instead, he’s telling believers to read the rest of the Bible and catch the main drift, which emphasizes humility, stewardship, and love.
Here’s a summary, courtesy of the Holy See Press Office, and here’s the full text.
Here’s the “lead” (in which Francis invokes his sandal-wearing, vegetarian, tree-hugging namesake):
1. “LAUDATO SI’, mi’ Signore” – “Praise be to you, my Lord”. In the words of this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs”.
–Uh-oh. What happens when the institution of the papacy flip-flops? Could be awkward for American Republicans. (Especially those American Republicans who expediently cite papal teachings on issues like abortion and birth control when it suits them.)
–Especially when the American electorate is moving the other way.
ELSEWHERE in fossil fuels . . .
–Batteries have long been the weak link in the transition to electric power. Could this guy have an answer?
–On the divestment front: add the pro-business MIT to the list of U.S. universities bailing out of investments in coal (and tar sands). Go, you Beavers!
–And here’s a series on coal-fired plants. Phew.