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1. As weeks go, this was a tough one! It started a week ago Thursday with the release of the Pope's Encyclical, Laudato Si. I guess I should start out by saying that I loved most of it. In fact, I appreciate that the Holy Father took so much time to write such an all encompassing piece! I also appreciate the fact that the Pope is plain spoken. This Encyclical is easy to read and comprehend. .
To understand where he is coming from, one only has to read this:
I do not want to write this Encyclical without turning to that attractive and compelling figure, whose name I took as my guide and inspiration when I was elected Bishop of Rome. I believe that Saint Francis is the example par excellence of care for the vulnerable and of an integral ecology lived out joyfully and authentically. He is the patron saint of all who study and work in the area of ecology, and he is also much loved by non-Christians. He was particularly concerned for God’s creation and for the poor and outcast. He loved, and was deeply loved for his joy, his generous self-giving, his openheartedness. He was a mystic and a pilgrim who lived in simplicity and in wonderful harmony with God, with others, with nature and with himself. He shows us just how inseparable the bond is between concern for nature, justice for the poor, commitment to society, and interior peace.I mentioned paragraph 47 in an earlier post.
Real relationships with others, with all the challenges they entail, now tend to be replaced by a type of internet communication which enables us to choose or eliminate relationships at whim, thus giving rise to a new type of contrived emotion which has more to do with devices and displays than with other people and with nature.and of course I applaud this:
120. Since everything is interrelated, concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion. How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings, however troublesome or inconvenient they may be, if we fail to protect a human embryo, even when its presence is uncomfortable and creates difficulties? “If personal and social sensitivity towards the acceptance of the new life is lost, then other forms of acceptance that are valuable for society also wither away”.
2. But then he said stuff like this:
Although no conclusive proof exists that GM cereals may be harmful to human beings,
I'm here to tell ya, getting rid of GMOs from my diet has gotten rid of my ulcerative colitis, eczema and 40 pounds . There never will be "conclusive proof" if the funding isn't there to conduct it! But I'll take personal anecdotes any time!
"Climate change" is mentioned 5 times, as if it's already a given that man can modify the climate. It sounds like he is advocating expensive programs to try to "fix" this.
From personal experience I know that trying to "Fix" climate is also harmful to the poor. In Akron, we have expensive EPA mandates on water. My last water/trash bill had over $60 worth of charges just for EPA mandates. At least once or twice a month I watch the water department go down the street shutting off water, because people are struggling to keep up with their payments. So while I understand where Pope Francis is coming from, I think this is a perspective he didn't perhaps take into consideration.
At least nothing in the encyclical leads me to believe that I have to accept man made climate change as a fact!
3. Then today, of course, five members of the Supreme Court decided to change the course of history and make same sex marriage legal in the United States.
Please see Archbishop Chaput's statement.
The Daily Signal.
and my own bishop - Bishop Lennon of Cleveland who is SPOT ON!
Traditional marriage is the cradle of the family, the basic building block of society. As Pope Francis has reminded us, every child has a right to be raised by two parents, a father and a mother. Both parents are important, and they are not interchangeable. The sad reality that so many children are deprived of this right because of the crisis in traditional marriage does not make it any less important. It is deeply disappointing and worrisome that our courts do not understand this.
4. Sadly, but not surprisingly, many of my Catholic School classmates, from high school and grade school, are applauding the decision. My younger Facebook friends, whose parents spent tons of money sending to Catholic school, are also flying the rainbow flag on their Facebooks today.
5. That said, I have had at least three of my liberal facebook friends who support my write to disagree with the decision. Folks, I can't tell you how rare that is and how much I appreciate it! I've always said that people should be able to disagree and still respect each other.
6. There was also a decision by the Supremes yesterday on Obamacare. On that one, Justice Roberts decided to go play with his liberal friends.
Justice Roberts is a huge disappointment. He is to George W., what David Souter was to Bush 41. Ann Coulter called it. I nominate her for vetting all the next SCOTUS appointments by the next Republican president.
The scary thing about THAT decision is the fact that words no longer have any meaning. From Judge Scalia:
7. This last one isn't of such major impact - but it still stunned. me. After baring my soul on Catholicmom.com last week about body image. I wrote:
With the wedding a mere month away, I was desperate. I finally sought and found the old-fashioned torture device I had been avoiding for years – the measuring tape. After finding a web site to describe how to accurately record measurements, I dutifully took mine and then wrote it all down – every agonizing detail of it. With the actual numbers in front of me, I started looking around for something that would fit and feel comfortable for the wedding. I had to face some facts – I am not a size 8. I am no longer an hourglass shape. This body has had babies, and has lived a life, and even after a 40-pound weight loss, I am an apple and still a plus size – I have to shop accordingly.
To which some guy named Mike, (on Catholicmom.com? Seriously?) decided to opine.
To which I replied:
Get back to me Mike after you’ve birthed (3 via C-section) and raised 6 kids on a shoe string and gone through menopause Okay?!
He totally missed the point of the entire piece. What. A. Jerk.
Father Lawrence Lew via Flickr. licensed CC