Not until Protestant biblical criticism had reduced Holy Scripture to a pious fairy tale and fairly exhausted itself did Catholic clerics adopt it as their gold-standard exegetical tool.
Similarly, Marxist Liberation Theology was embraced by Western clergy just as Communism was crumbling in the East.
Today, scientists are offloading evolution even as clerical ‘theistic’ evolutionists turn somersaults trying to squeeze the round whole of Catholic teaching into the square peg of amoeba-to-man delusions.
Why do they do it? Why, as the late Fr Bryan Houghton observed of his post-conciliar brethren, do clerics always pick up and run with an idea when it’s dead?
The short answer, of course, is Modernism, which has secularised their souls and left them running to embrace the fag end of every discredited worldly trend which tends to unbelief.
The most recent is Environmentalism - on which "stage," admit the bishops of Queensland, they have all arrived "a little late and a little breathless." And, clearly, intent on making up for lost time!
Today, many prelates, priests and religious are falling over themselves in the rush to prove their Green credentials, signing on for the great "global warming" con and mouthing fashionable eco-cant pinched from the soundbites of shoddy politicians.
This has far-reaching and often surreal consequences for the faithful, who suddenly find themselves confronted by nature-worshipping nuns extolling the diabolic. "Traditional religions such as paganism have much to teach us about how to live in harmony with other beings," Sr. Margaret Twomey informed The Irish Catholic [8/6/06]. "Maybe we have denigrated paganism too much, paganism is a religion, we can learn from it."
On 30 June, as a measure of her learning, Sister joined other Mercy Sisters "in a West Cork field to sing, light a bonfire and perform a traditional circle dance," in celebration of the pagan festival of solstice.
When not cavorting in a field, these nuns run a park centre near a village "to emphasise the interconnectedness of nature." Sr Twomey explained that "the leadership of the Order wanted to make a practical response to questions about the damage humankind was doing to the planet."
Catechising children and tending the poor and sick now seem infra dig against Sister’s lofty cosmic vocation of "restoring biological diversity" and "self sufficiency"!
If only eco-insanity confined itself to this little coven of all-singing, all-circle dancing banshees in County Cork. Alas, it has penetrated deep into the life of the Church.
Among the annotations in Theology and Secularisation - the recent excellent Pastoral of the Spanish bishops dissecting the causes of the sickness of the Church in Spain - one even reads that "an author has proposed that the vow of poverty become one of ‘ecological conservation’." Sr Twomey would doubtless concur.
In the pews, meanwhile, the grass-roots ‘Greening’ of the faithful is reflected in a report on the blessing of pets at St Mary’s church Erskinville, Sydney, on 30 October 2005. Attending with her shar-pei was Catherine Clarke, who said:"I believe animals have a soul, After all, what do you get when you spell God backwards?"
This unwitting blasphemy is a small but telling symptom of the concerted paganising/ecologising going on everywhere.
The eco-pantheism preached by the Archdiocese of Brisbane in its Lenten Program 2003 is representative. According to a report in Australia’s Fidelity magazine of June 2003, the 64-page program booklet is replete with glossy environmental images but contains no photos of saints, churches or Christian symbols, not even a cross. Scripture readings are wickedly twisted to accommodate the Green agenda e.g. God’s command for Abraham to sacrifice a trapped goat instead of his son Isaac is perversely used to insist that God does not differentiate between "any living being - animal or human" since they are all equally "sacred." On page 22, parishioners are even asked to invoke the blessing of a feminist goddess: "Sophia-Christ, walk with us."
The booklet has the Imprimatur of Archbishop John Bathersby, who also introduces the accompanying 23 minute video, The Garden Planet - The Call to Ecological Conversion, exhorting us to ponder the environment and "how precious it is." He makes no mention of the death and resurrection of Christ. This sets the tone for the rest of the video, which calls a rainforest a "sacred book" and exhorts the faithful to "natural outreach" and to appreciate the "sacred" value of the environment (but not to bring unbelievers to the Church and the salvation of Christ). Similarly, participants are not called to Lenten repentance but asked: "What practical steps can you... take to reduce air pollution."
This sort of treacherous lunacy was once the preserve of liberal Protestants, like the Anglican Bishop of London who recently called flying abroad for a holiday or buying a large car "a symptom of sin" because of its effect on the environment. Indeed, the Anglicans are producing a booklet called "Treasures on Earth" suggesting ways to cut carbon emissions, since too many have "energy obese" lifestyles. [Daily Mail, 24/7/06]
But watching beyond-parody faux ‘bishops’ mimic their political masters is one thing. For self-respecting members of Christ’s faithful it is quite another seeing real prelates follow suit. As at a Catholic Earthcare conference held in Canberra last October where the Australian Bishops delivered a position paper on climate change, slavishly regurgitating the Green manifesto. The local diocesan paper Catholic Voice reported that they:
These are not uncommonly held episcopal sentiments. But why would any Catholic, never mind consecrated souls and successors of the Apostles, want to cuddle up with the melange of godless globalists and self-serving fellow-travellers who dictate and distort environmental concerns today?
Clearly, no longer enamoured with Christ’s Vicar, whose ecological prouncements they shamelessly misrepresent and undermine, they prefer the gospel espoused by Green Luddites like former U.S. Vice-President and 2000 presidential candidate, Al Gore, who among much else advocates "completely eliminating the internal combustion engine."
Both delusional and dangerous, Gore embodies the amoral Left-liberal voice orchestrating the global Green agenda and leading clueless Catholics by the nose.
Perceived as a dull Southerner whose presidential ambitions had nose-dived, Gore reinvented himself as a passionate liberal activist by writing Earth in the Balance in 1992 (reissued in 2000 on "Earth Day"). This hysterical polemic is filled with every cataclysmic worst case scenario ever dreamt up by the lunatic-Left enviro-socialist lobby: crises of overpopulation, food supply, water shortage, species extinction, a disappearing ozone layer etc. ad nauseam. And, of course, Public Enemy #1 and Gore’s obsession, global warming.
"We must make the rescue of the environment the central organizing principle for civilization," he messianically declares, calling for a Global Marshall Plan or Strategic Environmental Initiative with "population control" as its "first strategic goal."
Demanding the formulation of new laws, education programmes, international treaties, economic policies and "the social and political conditions most conducive to the emergence of sustainable societies," Gore proposes nothing less than another social experiment of the type pursued by Hitler, Stalin, Mao et. al.
Ironically, while laying out his Stalinist programme, which he admits is a "wrenching transformation" in society, he insistently compares the effects of present Western "consumptionism" to those of Communist and Fascist totalitarianism!
Yet this is no more ironic than the name of the new documentary (and companion book) based on the global warming lecture that Gore has given more than 1,000 times worldwide since 1989. Initiated a few years ago by a Hollywood environmentalist after hearing the Senator deliver a short version of the talk before the premier of the climate disaster-propaganda movie "The Day After Tomorrow," the film is titled An Inconvenient Truth.
As this edition reveals, however, the real "inconvenient truth" is not Senator Gore’s apocalyptic theory but the genuine scientific evidence contradicting it and every other cry of eco-Armageddon raised by Green icons in recent times.
Fraudulent claims, failed prophecies and fatal consequences stretch back from Gore to the Club of Rome [Limits to Growth, 1972], Paul Ehrlich [The Population Bomb, 1968] and Rachel Carson [Silent Spring, 1962] - just a few scaremongers among many willing to sacrifice objective, dispassionate scientific research on the various altars of misguided noble intentions, self-aggrandisement and Left-liberal ideology.
Never have so many got it so demonstrably wrong so often. And at such high cost, as with Carson’s emotive campaign which led to the banning of the relatively harmless pesticide DDT and, consequently, according to scientific experts, tens of millions of Malarial deaths.
Senator Gore’s seamless contribtion to this ignominious Green history, alone, destroys any vestige of eco-credibility. Yet it only confirms what we already know of him.
Notwithstanding false statements attributed to Gore and disseminated via the internet over the years, many more verified matters of public record substantiate that he is an untrustworthy ignoramus who makes even the dullest and dodgiest politicians seem like repositories of virtue, knowledge and wisdom in comparison! (One recorded incident reveals Gore even failing to recognise the busts of the Founding Fathers at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello residence before the 1993 inauguration! "Who are these people?" he asks his host, who duly introduces George Washington and the rest.)
Gore will stop at nothing to make himself look good, even to stating "I took the initiative in creating the Internet" or exploiting his sister’s death from lung cancer in 1984 (which he spoke about emotionally at the 1996 Democratic convention - "until I draw my last breath, I will pour my heart and soul into the cause of protecting our children from the dangers of smoking" - despite continuing to accept cheques from his family tobacco farm and campaign contributions from tobacco companies for years after).
He has been caught out lying and dissembling so outrageously and hypocritically so often that it is obviously a pathological condition. One which manifests itself in his environmental mission, as recognised by his own Party.
During the 1992 Democratic presidential primaries, the Wall Street Journal got hold of an internal Democratic National Committee memo that listed possible objections to Earth in the Balance. One of them was that Gore "has no sense of proportion: He equates the failure to recycle aluminum cans with the Holocaust - an equation that parodies the former and dishonors the latter."
After reading Earth in the Balance, the late Julian Simon, an economist who famously challenged the Greens to ‘put up or shut up’ and repeatedly found them wanting, was convinced that Gore was one of the most dangerous men and one of the shallowest thinkers in all of American politics. An oft repeated charge.
Just how off-the-wall is glimpsed in State of War by Pullitzer Prize winning author James Risen. He reveals that after Clinton took office in 1993 and started slashing the intelligence budget a demoralised CIA was forced to turn its energy to lesser problems. "Thanks to Vice President Al Gore, for example," he writes, "the CIA briefly made the global environment one of its priorities." In that light, it is sobering to reflect on how close Gore came to office in the 2000 presidential election. And he might run again in 2008.
But perhaps the inconvenient truth which best explains Al Gore and his totalitarian "vision," is something his liberal brethren in the media have always conveniently chosen to ignore or wave away - the fact that he owes his education and entry into a life of social and political privilege to the notorious Communist traitor Armand Hammer, who bankrolled his father’s political and business career.
Hammer, son of an American Communist and actually named after the Marxist symbol of an arm holding a hammer, conspired with every Soviet leader from Lenin to Gorbachev, laundered money for Soviet agents in the U.S. and worked closely with the head of the KGB. One of the most corrupt, devious, treacherous and egotistical men imaginable, in 1950 he became Albert Gore Senior’s political patron. He also made him a partner in his cattle-breeding business and later hired him as an executive in his Occidental Petroleum company. Gore Jnr still owns around $1,000,000 of Occidental stock. [The Secret History of Armand Hammer, Edward Jay Epstein, 1996]
The Gore-Hammer relationship has the makings of a book in itself; a symbol of the symbiotic nexus between transnationalist Marxists and Corporatists carried over from the Cold War and still creating and exploiting mutually beneficial markets and opportunities - like those thrown up by cultivating environmental hysteria. Born-again environmentalist Mikhail Gorbachev would be a central figure in any such recounting.
The point here, though, is that Al Gore personifies the ignorant, superficial, mendacious elitists dictating debate on ecological issues today. The British PM is another.
A vacuous political chameleon who repeatedly reinvents himself on the basis of the latest poll or focus group results, Mr Blair’s credibility is zero. Even his erstwhile Left-liberal allies now describe him as "a psychopath capable of reinventing himself with remarkable dexterity, like an actor." [New Statesman, 17/7/03] He has overseen an unprecedented socio-moral degradation of British life and a staggering rise in State regulation, inspection and control, alarming Left and Right alike.
Embroiled in sleaze from the moment he took office, despite his promise to be "whiter than white," the debasement of political and parliamentary life is another Blair legacy. Most recently in the cash-for-honours scandal. It seems that the ‘cost’ of an OBE for Labour donors averages out at about £50,000 and a peerage around £1million. [Daily Mail, 22/7/06] With accusatory fingers pointing straight at Downing Street, Mr Blair is soon to be questioned by police in an ongoing Scotland Yard enquiry which has already seen his chief fundraiser Lord Levy arrested and interrogated at length.
And so, his shameful tenure drawing to a close, Phony Tony must now act his way out of a gaol sentence. We can expect a final bravura performance - to match the one that has latterly seen him morph into a jet-setting Green propagandist. This allows him to cut a morally earnest figure on the international stage recycling hackneyed global warming horror stories. Last March, he flew 25,000 fuel-guzzling, carbon-belching, earth-choking miles to tell New Zealanders that "time is running out for the planet"!
During these theatrical jaunts, meanwhile, the country sinks further into chaos under his notoriously inept and lecherous deputy, John Prescott.
The worst kind of snout-in-trough party hack whose mangling of the English language makes George Bush sound like Laurence Olivier, ‘Prezza’ is regarded as a national embarrassment. Recent lurid revelations of an affair with his diary secretary saw him described in one leading daily as a "sleazy, adulterous buffoon." Yet it seems this monument to New Labour is also now an eco-intellectual. Earlier this year, he delivered a speech to the International Economic Forum of the Americas, solemnly declaring climate change "the biggest challenge facing this planet."
Shortly after, he hosted a Downing Street visit by Al Gore, with whom he had worked on the Kyoto Protocol in Japan in 1997. After Gore’s anti-global warming speech to more than a dozen senior Ministers, scores of Labour MPs and a handful of environmental lobbyists, Prescott lavished praise on "Al," lamenting that his defeat in the 2000 presidential election had stymied his environmental agenda which "would have been totally different and so much better" than that of the Bush administration.
And there is no relief in sight. ‘New Tory’ leader David Cameron, a shallow Blair clone full of gimmicks and sound-bites, has put climate change at the top of his agenda. Last April, he even jetted off on a three-day visit to Norway to examine melting glaciers, travelling by dog-sled to a remote research station, film crew in tow. He rationalised this extravagant photo op by claiming: "It’s important that political leaders take time to study the big challenges that face our planet. And there is no bigger challenge than climate change." Ominously, his policy proposals for the next election include "tough annual targets for carbon reduction."
Among many other fatuous attempts to reinforce his Green street cred, Son of Blair also urged voters during the local elections to "vote blue, go green" while handing them Silver Birch saplings in hemp carrier bags. These contained literature about the plant rather than information on rising crime rates, plummeting education standards or scandalous waste in the NHS.
Influencing and encouraging Cameron to "chase votes on the green ticket" is passionate environmentalist Zac Goldsmith, editor of The Ecologist magazine and son of the late billionaire Jimmy Goldsmith. He told an interviewer that Cameron had once been described as "a political Ipod on which you could play anything." And he added: "I hope that’s true. I hope I will be able to infect him with environmentalism." [Daily Mail, 3/5/06]
These mini-portraits are typical of the kind of "secular leaders" whose cynical Green hype has most certainly infected the Australian episcopate, who are keen to "co-operate" with them. But in calling for "a strategy to manage the future development of society" involving "detailed," "resolute," "swift" and "radical" responses, the bishops are merely helping to facilitate secular environmental policies at best costly and ineffectual, at worst coercive and deadly.
It is a corrupting alliance. For when Catholic ecclesiastics swallow the propaganda, recycle the lies and ape the Green manifesto, they not only succeed in compromising the Faith and human life - with their pantheistic "seamless garment" that puts unborn babies on a par with algae [see "Dark Green Catechism" this issue] - they also end up looking as creepy and dangerous as Gore; as vacuous and deluded as Blair; as tawdry and opportunistic as Cameron; as ridiculous as ‘Prezza.’
In addition, they come across as having no sense of proportion, even in respect of their celebrated "social justice" priorities. Like their Green partners, they deplore global poverty, yet push for a futile global warming Protocol whose enormous cost, Bjorn Lomborg, director of Denmark’s Environmental Institute points out, would be enough to provide the whole planet with clean water in one year. And since preventable water related diseases are said to kill 10,000 to 20,000 children every day in the developing world and some 2.4 billion people do not have access to proper sanitation, the ecological distraction fostered by bishops is a deadly social injustice! As one anti-poverty campaigner put it: "Sanitation is not a contentious issue. It is not energy, it is not global warming, it is not globalisation. It is toilets for people who are dying because they do not have them." Amen.
Blind and shallow, we see here the ideological mindset: adherence to a party line which must avoid realities and complexities in order to further its cause. The price to be paid in terms of personal credibility, however, is high.
Mr Cameron’s Norwegian dog-sledding stunt to examine melting glaciers is a case in point. It turns out that some glaciers in the very area visited by Cameron - the Svalbard archipelago - are not disappearing at all but, rather, surging forward! While others in Iceland, like Myrdalsjokull, now cover ground which forty years ago was grazing land for sheep. Not so suprising, perhaps, since many computer models used for glacial predictions show higher temperatures and warmer weather in the Arctic could actually lead to glacial advance, not retreat.
Contradictory facts and theories, however, concern neither Mr Cameron nor his eco-consultant Mr Goldsmith nor episcopal "useful idiots," who want to protect and foster the greenhouse bogies in order to scare us into a Green-approved lifestyle of organic sackcloth and ashes. This, in turn, leaves us easy prey for the darker designs of arrogant elitists like Al Gore - the "Coercive Utopians" for whom there is no environmental problem, real or imagined, that massive government intervention and control cannot fix, and no dissident Christian knee it cannot bend to Holy Mother Earth.
All, therefore, are of one mind with the dissolute Bill Clinton, who in 2001, on a money-spinning tour Down Under, told a captive Aussie crowd that when it comes to climate change: "The science is unassailable."
Really? Am I alone in suspecting that this serial liar, adulterer, perjurer and brutal sexual predator is no more reliable an authority than his dysfunctional former Vice-President? And that he is more likely spouting discredited rubbish when he tells us that "unassailable" Green science says we "are going to see huge food production problems on every continent and millions of refugees" due to the flooding associated with rising sea temperatures?
The 18,000 scientists who have signed the ‘Oregon petition’ [www.sitewave.net], which declares global warming a lie with no scientific basis whatsoever, might also find Bill’s prediction a bit of a stretch! At any rate, it should have all sounded very familiar to his Australian audience.
Briefly, in 1999 doomsayers said Australia’s colourful Great Barrier Reef was turning white and had but a few years to live. A scientist commissioned by Greenpeace started the ball rolling with his bleak forecast that most of the world’s coral reefs "could be eliminated by 2100" and the GBR itself within several decades. A few experts attempted to disagree but the media ran with shock-horror stories about "rising sea temperatures" due to global warming killing off "the once-spectacular reef."
They were all wrong. Again. The Reef has healed itself. The microscopic algae that was expelled from coral, causing it to bleach, actually stayed alive, meaning the coral could recover. And so it did. The end of the world was called off. Again. Today, the marine park authority happily declares that "The Great Barrier Reef is one of the healthiest reef systems in the world." ["Reef’s White Lies", Herald Sun, 27/1/03]
Not that this inconvenient bill of health stopped the Queensland bishops putting out a Pastoral on the Great Barrier Reef ["Let the Many Coastlands be Glad", 2004], calling the Church to "ecological conversion" and featuring dictatorial Gore-like passages about "radically changing our habits, reducing our consumption of everything that is not renewable, and reusing and recycling what we have’."
Did they say "recycling"?! Don’t get me started or we will be here till eco-Armageddon! Suffice to say that in 2003 five enviro big-wigs from socialist, ultra-PC Sweden dared to question their brethren’s orthodoxy in an article for the newspaper Dagens Nyheter. The former director-general of the government’s environmental protection agency, the former campaign manager for Keep Sweden Tidy and officials from three waste-collection companies collectively stated that the "vision of a recycling market booming by 2010 was a dream 40 years ago and is still just a dream." Burning household waste, they declared, "is best for the environment, the economy and the management of natural resources." Recycle that, eco-nazis!
Yes indeed, the radical Green crusade is one long evasion of troublesome truths. But as the ensuing essay explains, it is also a final stage in the long, relentless march towards a new biocentric, godless, global religion which seeks to snuff out all that is transcendent and holy in man.
Since the principal target of this escalating threat is the Catholic Church - God’s appointed defender of the dignity of man, made in His image and likeness - it is our duty to keep informed and remain alert to the signs of the times. Hence this month’s environmental compendium of overlapping and complementary articles on the ‘Greening’ of Church and State today.
May it spur us to fervent daily prayer for Our Holy Father: that he will cleanse the Catholic sheepfold of this eco-paganism being fostered by shepherds who believe, as in Queensland, that "concern about environment, no matter where it comes from is driven by God’s Holy Spirit." ["Let the Many Coastlands be Glad"]
What reckless naivety!
For as evidenced herein, the ecological concerns of the Green elite are driven not by the Holy Spirit, but the bogus "spirit" of the Father of Lies. The most inconvenient truth of all.