Laudato Si

If what I’ve been reading this morning in the press is accurate about the release of the papal encyclical Laudato Si, even the Pope, in calling for a “bold cultural revolution”, has become a revolutionist, and with that he has aroused the antipathy of conservatives. This is going to be interesting. It’s definitely a document I’m going to have to read.

It’s definitely an interesting situation whenever a progressive Pope becomes married to an incorrigibly conservative and even reactionary institution like the Church. The authors of the CTV article linked to above describe the encyclical as “a blunt, readable booklet full of zingers that will make many conservatives and climate doubters squirm” and indeed they are squirming, judging from the devious responses. Here’s a sample taken from the article itself,

“The simple reality is that energy is the essential building block of the modern world,” said Thomas Pyle of the Institute of Energy Research, a conservative free-market group. “The application of affordable energy makes everything we do – food production, manufacturing, health care, transportation, heating and air conditioning – better.”

Mr. Pyle’s attempt to equate “energy” with fossil-fuels is pure propaganda. One supposes that even he can’t be that stupid to really believe that energy is reducible to fossil-fuel production and consumption alone. That’s what we call “spin”.

And here’s US Presidential contender Jeb Bush:

“I don’t think we should politicize our faith,” U.S. Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, a Catholic convert, said on the eve of the encyclical’s release. “I think religion ought to be about making us better as people and less about things that end up getting into the political realm.”

Ooopsie! That’s more revealing of Jeb Bush than it is of the Pope. Mr. Bush doesn’t think that ethics, apparently, have any business in “the political realm”. Nice piece of self-contradiction which reveals a compartmentalised mentality — a Jekyll and Hyde mentality. There is, in other words, “religion” and “politics” (or ethics and power) and never the twain should meet, apparently.

Mr. Bush has also stated that the it’s none of the Pope’s business to venture into climate change. But the defence of Creation and the unity of life is the Pope’s principal business. It’s the very meaning of the word “catholic” — cata + holos — to concern oneself with the whole or the universal. When Pope Francis “urges people of all faiths and no faith to undergo an awakening to save God’s creation for future generations”, he is exercising true “catholicism” — a universal way of looking at things, an holistic or integral way of looking at things. That’s what “integrity” is. It’s Mr. Bush who is being hypocritical here, and quite “uncatholic”, in segregating and isolating ethics from politics. That is what we mean by “lack of integrity”.

I would suggest to American readers that they be very wary of a presidential candidate who demonstrates such a schizoid mentality and duplicitous attitude which, again, would appear to be a consequence of our inheritance of a pernicious Cartesian metaphysical dualism — the dualism of “spirit” and “matter”, or, in Mr. Bush’s terms, the radical segregation of  “religion” and “politics”; ergo, of ethics and power (and apparently, the latter is more real than the former for Mr. Bush). It’s the very meaning of “duplicity”.

And Duplicity, thy name is Double-Talk, Double-Think, Double-Standard, and Double-Bind — those things which I have previously stated are the names of our own “four Riders of the Apocalypse” at our “end of history”.

Laudato Si might prove to be a pivotal event, but also one bound to provoke reactionaries.



8 responses to “Laudato Si

  1. donsalmon says :

    I’m really glad you caught the dualistic spin of Bush’s comment about religion and politics having nothing to do with each other.

    Of course, he’s simply lying, since he had no problem injecting religion into the very sad Terry Shiavo affair (a young woman nearly brain dead on life support,). But I suppose that lying is also a reflection of that dualistic mindset!

    I’m very interested in watching the conservative reaction to this Pope. There are several Catholic conservative presidential candidates running now, and it will be quite interesting to see how they manage this one.

  2. Scott Preston says :

    For those interested, the encyclical is now posted online, and one site it can be read at is

  3. K-Dog says :

    “I would suggest to American readers that they be very wary of a presidential candidate who demonstrates such a schizoid mentality and duplicitous attitude”

    I don’t think you have to worry about your readers getting the wrong idea about Bush. The problem we have is that your readers don’t elect the president. Spin, advertising budgets, and fools elect presidents. Fools do not read you.

    Your observations about Bush are astute. He compartmentalizes so he does not have to deal with his own cognitive dissonance which effectively makes him a sociopath. Had the papal encyclical supported unregulated capitalism Bush would have praised the Pope for bringing religion into the political realm. Bush would have called him a forward thinker and a refreshing new voice in the Vatican.

    Considering that popes have been dabbling in politics for over a thousand years the comment by Bush shows he would rather the human race go extinct than make the changes needed to guarantee our future. To guarantee our future takers among us have to stop taking any more than their fair share. That means some serious belt tightening for Bush. His comment identifies him as a taker who has no intention of changing.

    Another example of ‘change we can believe in‘ which for those running the show is no change at all.

    • Scott Preston says :

      His comment identifies him as a taker who has no intention of changing.

      Yes. Thanks for the comment. I just wonder if that remark by Bush, dumb as it was, might have hurt his political fortunes. Prob not. I’ve read lots of even dumber stuff since, if that were possible.

  4. Scott Preston says :

    I’ve been reading Laudato Si (along with Don Salmon’s book on Yoga Psychology), and thought I’ld mention something that came up in the course of that reading. Francis quotes Romano Guardini in quite a few places in the encyclical, especially from Guardini’s book Das Ende der Neuzeit (trans: “the end of the modern world”). Why I found that interesting is that Jean Gebser, the subject of a lot of postings here at The Chrysalis, was a student of Guardini’s in Germany, and Guardini is mentioned a few times in Gebser’s Ever-Present Origin. And it’s also interesting, in that regard, that Francis often makes reference to “integral development”.

    Often subtle connections between things.

  5. LittleBigMan says :

    “But the defence of Creation and the unity of life is the Pope’s principal business. It’s the very meaning of the word “catholic” — cata + holos — to concern oneself with the whole or the universal.”

    It’s absolutely wonderful and enlightening to see you discuss the essence of words, movements, revolutions, creeds, etc. I love it. A lovely feature of both the old The Dark Age Blog, and now, The Chrysalis.

    Every time I hear about another Bush or even Clinton, the word “Yikes!” comes to my mind. Of course no one is obsessed with these two families. But they are what “Big Money” is obsessed about.

    If things were ideal, Elizabeth Warren would clinch the nomination of a popular party/movement, receive 99% of the vote, and become the president for 8 years after Obama.

    But as long as Money Changers have a hand in the process, we are going to move further and further away from anything ideal, integral, and holistic. And the Money Changers are a global network reaching back to ancient times. The Money Changers have had the Middle East and its wealth in their fist since their release and freedom in Babylon in about 500 B.C.

    The vast majority of the rulers in the Middle East have been a puppet of The Money Changers for over two millennia and counting.

    The Money Changers are the true puppet masters because they are rarely seen or take responsibility for anything, and yet they pull the strings from behind well-groomed puppet.

    These well-groomed puppets appear as “Ayatollahs” , ” presidents”, ” Imams” , ” Supreme Leaders” , members of “The Guardian Council”, “ISIS top leadership”, and so on in the Middle East. This is exactly why despite its vast resources, the ordinary people in the Middle East live in war and poverty. This is a legacy of over 2000 years of plotting and scheming by the Money Changers. All present day leaders in the Middle East, for instance, can be traced to 100’s of billions of dollars stashed in overseas banks that are owned and run by Money Changers.

    In Europe, the Money Changers are known as the European Central Bank (ECB), Court of Auditors, The Council, and The European Commission. Although Europeans are majority brave, intelligent, and politically sophisticated, in my opinion they are losing the battle to Money Changers evident in the freedoms and rights they continue to lose. The unjustified so called “austerity measures,” and what happened with the banking system in Cyprus – which is now all but forgotten – are all designed to punish, weaken, and enslave the middle classes in Europe.

    In North America, South America, and Africa, the Money Changers have created other puppets and instruments that get the job done. These puppets appear as “developments” in these regions and use multinationals to burrow their way into and exhausting and raping every resource possible.

    But old money from the Middle East, in the 100’s of billions of dollars, is used to support menace around the world, including the outcome of key elections in the West. This is why the audience in Europe and the West must keenly watch the happenings in the Middle East: the money stolen from there will be used to support anti-populace policies elsewhere in the world.

    This is why the Middle East has the worst treasury, taxation, tariff, and import-export tracking system in the world. It makes it very easy to move around astronomical amounts of money without much of a legal tracking system. When such legal tracks to ownership and wealth exist, they can easily be destroyed or changed and new ones fabricated since the safe-keeping of these records is itself a joke, too.

    For example, this news caught my attention just recently:

    Very few people know how the Levy family came to be so big in the Diamond Business. In the months before the fake Iranian revolution (which was managed internally by deep undercover SAVAK operatives that then moved to Israel in order to manage an eight year war between Iran-Iraq that destroyed many resources in both countries) the members of the Levy family had received word way in advance that turmoil was coming to Iran. Seeing the foretold turmoil as an opportunity, the family took out a loan, estimated in the 100’s of millions of dollars, from the Iranian National Bank. On the loan application, the Levy’s indicated that the purpose of the loan was to build several multi-purpose high-rise buildings. Through whatever connection the Levy’s had in the country, the loan was approved and the Levy’s received the astronomical loan. But then the fake revolution and mayhem ensued in the coming months, the Levy’s disappeared, and no high-rise buildings were built as it was stated on the loan application. The Levy’s were never prosecuted for the money they stole.

    It seems to me that evil has long understood the importance of integrality and a global network (finance, education, the news and propaganda, politics and power, industry, defense, intelligence, etc.) in achieving its goals since the ancient times. But the good, or the middle classes if you will, have not acted in unison toward achieving their goals; that is, the goal of moderating the distribution of wealth (which is how Scandinavian countries function?) – and responsible living.

    For example, as I have mentioned before, the most active, well-read, and vociferous socialists among my colleagues, abandoned their principals in the aftermath of 2008 financial collapse and began purchasing thousands of very cheap stocks of these same multinationals whose global ventures have destroyed our environment and standard of living for the future generations.

    Many of these colleagues of mine sold back their stocks in 2011 and 2012 and made huge profits. All of them are staunch Democrats, but when profits were to be gained they acted exactly the same as Republicans: “Big Business = Good.”

    So, the Pope’s Laudato Si is commendable and I am very happy to see him sounding the alarm. But at this point in time, the Pope’s manifesto has come too late and the Titanic is already 50% under water; methinks.

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