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Clergy Corner by Fr. Robert Falabella for July 19, 2015

Clergy Corner by Fr. Robert Falabella for July 19, 2015

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Recently, Mike Gallagher, WGTK Conservative Talk Show Host, interviewed Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League -- the Nation’s largest Catholic Civil Rights Group -- concerning the Encyclical of Pope Francis on Global Warming. Herein was the discussion:

Gallagher: The syndicated Journalist, Dr. Charles Krauthammer criticized the Pope on his (Pope Francis’) position on Global Warming, saying (sardonically): “I was not aware the Pope was a scientist…” (Krauthammer then continued) “…on ethics and dogma, we respect that, but the minute he (the Pope) steps outside of that and acts as a scientist or politician, he opens himself up to criticism that is given to anyone else.”

Gallagher: “Bill Donohue, was Charles Krauthammer right?”

Donohue: “Half right; Krauthammer is wrong when saying the Pope must strictly stick to only Faith and Morals -- for there is a moral dimension to environmental destruction -- they (popes) talk about how, (since) we are God’s Stewards, we have to take control of the earth (Confer Genesis 1:26;28)… Now where I would agree with Krauthammer is this: When the Pope gets “MICRO” and starts giving way to sweeping general statements about “HOW” we must specifically deal with the environment through controversial theories, when there are equally strong counter proposals; when the Pope gets into such things, for instance, (as) having a real problem with air conditioning -- (which he does…it is in the document #155) …and when he says carbon dioxide is a pollutant -- well, carbon dioxide is not something that has been added by humans -- it is constitutive of being a human being; so when you say those kind of things -- when you get into the ‘Weave’ and get very “Micro” that’s why peoples’ eyes will roll and they will say: ‘Wait a minute, where does the Pope have the authority to be that specific as to how we should do it? -- especially when the “how” has nothing to do with God’s Revealed Word! There Iies also a very much anti-market force animus here -- most of the document is blaming Capitalism virtually for any problem we have.”

 

Donohue continues: “Now the Liberals are not going to like some parts of the Encyclical when (Pope Francis) talks about how he is against “Population Control;” …he is against Abortion; he emphasizes the natural differences between men and women; he does not cancel them out -- he has a number of things to say about that.”

Donohue continues: “I think it is unfortunate that the document does not have better editors. Let me be very specific: At Paragraph # 61, the Pope asks us to reject doomsday predictions on the catastrophic effects that will befall the world due to especially carbon emissions. I’m glad he said that since, up to that point, he seems to have a lot of doomsday predictions. But when you jump to paragraph # 161 -- Pope Francis writes: (I quote)… “Doomsday predictions no longer are to be met with irony or disdain…” So which one is it, #61 or #161?”

Gallagher interjects: “And Bill, let’s face it, this is not the first time there has been some controversy over a position the Church has taken. There are always risks … don’t forget the US Catholic Bishops in the early “Eighties” opposed Nuclear Deterrence -- they called that “immoral.” But as Krauthammer points out: “That kept us safe and avoided war for fifty years.”

Donohue: “That’s why good motives can get you into A LOT OF TROUBLE. (Recall) The Bishops were also against the 1996 Welfare Reform Act that Clinton had to sign, which would liberate the ‘poor’ from the state of dependency and from everything else. (And so) While Patrick Moynihan was a champion of the ‘poor;’ and the Bishops were champions of the ‘poor,’ they were both wrong because in 1966 both were opposed to the Welfare Reform Act. So good intentions can only get you so far.”

Donohue: “Let me say a final thing -- Pope Benedict the XVI, when he was Cardinal Ratzinger, in the year 2004, said it is entirely possible to be a good Catholic and disagree with the Church’s teachings on such things that are not    DOCTRINALLY DEFINED BY THE CHURCH, as when it is right to wage war or acceptance of the Death Penalty.”

Fr. Robert’s Comment: Such has to do with the moral difference between “killing” and “murder.” Every murder will always involve an immoral killing; but every moral killing does not involve murder. Further, the Code of Canon Law, # 749, #3 states: “No doctrine is understood to be infallible defined unless it is …clearly and firmly shown to have been authentically proposed in that manner. In fact, the exercise of the infallible teaching authority is extremely rare” (page 57).

Donohue continues: “But you cannot disagree on things like Abortion or Euthanasia which have to do with “murder” -- in other words, there is a hierarchy here -- so this statement on climate change or global warming should be given respect, but Catholics are not required to give full assent.”

Father Robert’s comment: For instance we Catholics are required to give assent EVEN to those teachings of the Church on Apparitions or accepted Devotions which are permitted by the Church, but not requirements as such. Thus, if a Catholic does not find spiritual enrichment and a fostering of a deeper love and faith in Jesus Christ, one is not required to embrace it; (and one is not less “Catholic” for having this position; while for others such teachings may be found to enrich their faith, and so the Church embraces them as well.

Ever in the love of Christ,

Father Robert

Tags: homily, clergy corner
 

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