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Is this the biggest bombshell in Laudato Si?

by Christopher A. Ferrara
July 30, 2015

Back in 2003 the author Michael Crichton gave an address to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. What he said then seems to have presaged, with uncanny accuracy, what pundits are now calling “recyclical” — i.e., Laudato si (LS). As Crichton said on that occasion:

Today one of the most powerful religions in the Western World is environmentalism. Environmentalism seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists. Why do I say it’s a religion? Well, we must look at the beliefs.
If you look carefully, you see that enviornmentalism is in fact a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths. There’s an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there’s a fall from the state of grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all.
We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the Church of the environment. Just as organic food is its communion, the pesticide-free wafer that the right people, with the right beliefs, imbibe.   [Quoted in Iain Murray, The Really Inconvenient Truths: Seven Environmental Catastrophes Liberals Don't Want You to Know About, pp. 84-85.]

The elements Crichton outlined are all to be found in LS, even if the document employs a certain amount of Christian content in aid of its primary function as an environmentalist manifesto addressed to “every person living on this planet” regardless of his religion or lack thereof (LS 3).

There is, first of all, the notion of environmental sin, my subject today. Having no real Scriptural support for its novel concept of “sins against the earth,” which LS bizarrely personifies as “among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor (LS 2),” the “recyclical” cites the views of the Eastern Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew. The concept of schism having been abandoned entirely by the post-conciliar mentality — except when it comes to “extreme traditionalists” — Orthodox prelates are now apparently to be considered sure guides for instruction of the Catholic faithful. As LS declares in its very opening:

Patriarch Bartholomew has spoken in particular of the need for each of us to repent of the ways we have harmed the planet, for “inasmuch as we all generate small ecological damage”, we are called to acknowledge “our contribution, smaller or greater, to the disfigurement and destruction of creation”…. “For human beings… to destroy the biological diversity of God’s creation; for human beings to degrade the integrity of the earth by causing changes in its climate, by stripping the earth of its natural forests or destroying its wetlands; for human beings to contaminate the earth’s waters, its land, its air, and its life – these are sins”. For “to commit a crime against the natural world is a sin against ourselves and a sin against God.”

Now, of course, it is sinful to waste or wantonly despoil the resources with which God has endowed the earth as His gift to man, just as it is sinful to waste any blessing God bestows. But a waste of natural resources is no more a “crime against the natural world” than car theft is a crime against the car. The natural world, to which man was given a divine title, has no capacity to be the object of a moral offense. Yet in the judgment of a schismatic cleric who refuses submission to the Roman Pontiff, presented to the Catholic faithful as if it could bind them, every man shares in sinning against “the integrity of the earth,” including each individual’s small but supposedly blameworthy contribution to “changes in its climate.”

So, just as Crichton suggested twelve years ago, Environmental Sin becomes the functional equivalent of Original Sin, tainting every member of the human race.  And this absurd theological contention appears in a papal encyclical based upon the “authority” of a schismatic prelate who does not even recognize the existence of the papal office and whose schismatic church allows divorce and does not accept the Catholic dogmas of Original Sin and the Immaculate Conception or the Catholic doctrine on Purgatory. 

Perhaps this is the biggest bombshell in the entire document.  Whereas Our Lady of Fatima came to the Cova da Iria to call for the reunification of the Orthodox with Rome consequent to the conversion of Russia, Francis cites the “pope” of Eastern Orthodoxy as an authority Catholics must heed.  In the immortal words of Archbishop Lefebvre concerning the New Mass when he first saw it: “Is this for real?” It is indeed for real. It is as real as the Third Secret of Fatima, which cannot have failed to predict everything we now witness in the midst of “the Francis revolution.”

Hat tip to Elizabeth Yore, whose article alerted me to Crichton’s speech.