Pope Francis has much to say

Written By: - Date published: 7:20 am, June 22nd, 2015 - 219 comments
Categories: climate change, global warming, religion - Tags: , , ,

I’m never going to agree with the Catholic church on some pretty fundamental issues, but Pope Francis is a breath of fresh air. He is speaking the truth on climate change, the environment, and social injustice:

Pope’s climate change encyclical tells rich nations: pay your debt to the poor
Pontiff’s 180-page intervention in climate change debate casts blame for ‘ecological crisis’ on the indifference of the powerful

Pope Francis has called on the world’s rich nations to begin paying their “grave social debt” to the poor and take concrete steps on climate change, saying failure to do so presents an undeniable risk to a “common home” that is beginning to resemble a “pile of filth”.

The pope’s 180-page encyclical on the environment, released on Thursday, is at its core a moral call for action on phasing out the use of fossil fuels.

But it is also a document infused with an activist anger and concern for the poor, casting blame on the indifference of the powerful in the face of certain evidence that humanity is at risk following 200 years of misuse of resources.

Naturally there is a backlash from the rich and powerful:

Jeb Bush joins Republican backlash against pope on climate change

Republican presidential contender Jeb Bush joined forces with the coal industry and climate deniers in a gathering conservative backlash against the pope, lashing out against a leaked draft of the spiritual leader’s letter on climate change.

In his first official day on the presidential campaign trail, Bush, who is Catholic, told a town hall event in New Hampshire that Pope Francis should steer clear of global affairs. … Bush converted to Catholicism when he got married 20 years ago, and regularly cited church teachings when he was Florida governor – even enacting a law to introduce anti-abortion “Choose Life” car license plates. But when it comes to climate change, Bush said he would not be guided by the church.

Such is the nature of certain kinds of “faith”, apparently.

So, Pope Francis is a leftie (as in my opinion any honest christian must be), and he has much to say. Will he now match his actions to his words, and use the power of the Catholic church to further social and environmental goals?

What a weird and wonderful world it is – you can follow Pope Francis on Twitter…

219 comments on “Pope Francis has much to say ”

  1. Save NZ 1


  2. odysseus 2

    He is not a leftie whilst not addressing the issue of population control.

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      Yip, it’s a bit hypocritical of the church to come out and say all of this now, when they and their policies have done probably more harm to the planet over human history than anything else.

      If they’re now going to start preaching and teaching birth control, then good. But until then, this is pretty cynical.

      • RedLogix 2.1.1

        Yes the Catholic Church has a deeply compromised past. Yet I’m less willing to write off any positive change as cynical merely because I might judge it as ‘not enough’.

        Sometimes ‘in the right direction’ can be embraced without rancour.

      • adam 2.1.2

        Lanthanide, really that is what you believe? That christians have done more harm than good?

        • weka

          I don’t think he was menaing Christians so much as Catholics. But I am curious as to the reasoning behind the idea that Catholics have done more hamr to the planet than anything else. They’ve done harm for sure, but I can think of others who have done worse. I don’t think Catholics can be held responsible for cliamte change for instance, which is the most important issue of all time. But even if you leave climate change out of it, I’m not sure Catholics take the number one spot for environmental destruction.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          I think the fact is that the Power Elite have done more harm than good. And once upon a time, say pre-18th Century, the Church was indeed a core part of the power elite. But today the Power Elite are the Banksters, the Trans-National Corporations, the 0.01%.

          And the uprooting of any ethic or morality which is not neoliberal means that the Church is also in the firing line, and this Pope is firing back.

      • wtl 2.1.3

        I’m not sure the ‘preaching birth control’ would really make a difference. The fact is most Catholics ignore the church’s anti-contraception stance – after all, it’s not like the birth rate in ‘Catholic’ countries is particularly high.

        The most reliable means of population control is simple – improve the status and education of women. Taking a stance against inequality and improving the status of the poor will go some way towards that.

        • weka

          I agree, it’s likely that this shift will be followed by others that improve the status of women.

        • adam


        • Lanthanide

          “The fact is most Catholics ignore the church’s anti-contraception stance”

          That might be true *today*.

          I’m talking about the swathe of human history, where “go forth and multiply” has been the Catholic Church’s number 1 policy.

          The best thing you can do to mitigate your impact on the environment is not to have children. All the tree-planting, carbon-offsetting and recycling that you want to do pales in comparison to simply not having children.

          • Alpha.Z

            {The best thing you can do to mitigate your impact on the environment is not to have children. All the tree-planting, carbon-offsetting and recycling that you want to do pales in comparison to simply not having children}

            so, do you support abortion as means to stop climate change? would it have been good for climate change if you too were not born at all?

            • Lanthanide

              1. I support a woman’s right to choose. If a woman chooses to have an abortion for any reason, I’m fine with that.
              2. Yes, it would undisputably be good for “climate change” if I had been aborted or not born at all.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              abortion and euthanasia: great policy platforms.

              • Lanthanide

                Yes, they are.

                • the pigman

                  Sorry, but your comment in SR’s thread that you and your partner have 0 interest in ever having children may have some effect on your perception of what constitutes great policy. A majority of the world’s population (and the NZ electorate) is interested in having children.

                  • Lanthanide

                    What. In. The. Actual. Fuck?

                    Because I have no interest in having children, my opinion about the appropriateness of contraception is invalid?

              • b waghorn

                Far better ones are education and free top of the line birth control .

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  to clarify – I think major changes to abortion and euthanasia laws are vote losing policy platforms; further I think it is government’s primary role to promote fullness of living and life, and not death.

                  • For many women (and other people who can get pregnant), “fullness of living and life” doesn’t happen if they can’t control their own fertility.

                    For many terminally-ill people, “fullness of living and life” means being able to determine the time and conditions of their death, instead of fearing a drawn-out, lingering loss of ability and identity.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Do whatever you want, but the line is drawn when ‘what you want’ harms others or harms society, or pretends that there should not be some consequences for such actions.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    IMO, you would be wrong on that. Most people actually support both abortion and euthanasia.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Doesn’t meant that a policy platform around major change in those areas aren’t going to be vote losers.

              • Tracey

                which is why you find little groups, of often men, outside abortion clinics rather than handing out free condoms and educating young men outside schools.r

          • Puddleglum

            Hi Lanthanide,

            As correlations go, the global birth rate has increased in line with economic growth (and that goes right back to agricultural times).

            I think you have religious doctrines around the wrong way in terms of cause and effect. Typically, injunctions to go forth and multiply are both propounded and pursued when there are challenges to the population (e.g., high infant mortality, intergroup warfare or competition, etc.).

            Also, when countries modernise birth rates decline, irrespective of religious teachings or their absence. If the doctrine is out of sync with these more powerful processes it is just ignored, on the whole. It then has to play catch-up.

            I think liberal thinkers completely over-rate the significance of ideas in determining human behaviour.

            There are many ‘ideas’ around at any one time but only certain ones ‘catch on’ or are sustained. Those ideas are primarily ones that are compatible with the selective economic and social-political conditions of the time.

            Further, if you look at current birth rates you’ll see that they correspond to the prosperity of countries. Mali and Niger, for example, are predominantly Muslim – not Catholic – yet have some of the highest birth rates in the world. They are also some of the poorest countries in the world.

            Religious doctrine is not a primary cause of population growth – even if its words encourage reproduction.

            If you want to blame something for population growth then blame industrialisation over the past 200 years (and, before that, agricultural settlement) as this graph shows quite clearly.

            That has been the motor for population growth and – now – is becoming the brake for it.

            Understandable dislike for some Catholic teachings (or teachings of any religion or ideology) should not obscure the facts about the main global drivers of population growth – as tempting and satisfying as firing shots at religion may be.

            • Macro

              I was about to say much the same – but you say it much more clearly than I.

          • weka

            “The best thing you can do to mitigate your impact on the environment is not to have children. All the tree-planting, carbon-offsetting and recycling that you want to do pales in comparison to simply not having children.”

            That depends entirely on where you live and what kind of lifestyle you have. Not all childbearing is equal.

        • ianmac

          @wtl, “most Catholics ignore the church’s anti-contraception stance”
          I think you might add -“in developed well educated societies.” The huge cost of over-large families appear to be in more primitive catholic families who remain obedient to the rules.

        • Draco T Bastard

          The most damage done by the Catholic Church with their doctrine against birth control happens to be Africa and other poor nations.


          Thankfully, we can see those nations starting to ignore the stupidity of the Catholic Church in that regard.

      • RJL 2.1.4

        Have you actually read the encyclical? It doesn’t read as remotely “cynical” to me.

        As far as birth control goes, Pope Francis doesn’t mention that directly whatsoever. He does write that abortion in incompatible with environmentalism (which is perhaps very debatable). But it is just one paragraph in a 180 page document. It’s not the main point at all.

        What Pope Francis does do is write a lot about finite global resources and limits to growth. Logically, at some point, those ideas end in some form of birth control. I doubt he, and his advisors, are blind to this.

        • Draco T Bastard

          What Pope Francis does do is write a lot about finite global resources and limits to growth. Logically, at some point, those ideas end in some form of birth control. I doubt he, and his advisors, are blind to this.

          But not yet willing to admit it.

        • Richard Christie

          Have you actually read the encyclical?

          Laudato Si (24 May 2015)

          “Instead of resolving the problems of the poor and thinking of how the world can be different, some can only propose a reduction in the birth rate. At times, developing countries face forms of international pressure which make economic assistance contingent on certain policies of “reproductive health”. Yet “while it is true that an unequal distribution of the population and of available resources creates obstacles to development and a sustainable use of the environment, it must nonetheless be recognized that demographic growth is fully compatible with an integral and shared development”. To blame population growth instead of extreme and selective consumerism on the part of some, is one way of refusing to face the issues.”


          Curb population growth? Don’t look there.

      • wyndham 2.1.5

        All of us are allowed to change policies and politics. If you think the Catholic church has been a harmful influence on the course of human history have a close look at the historic and baneful influences of many of what are now called “democracies”. Or to come even closer to the present, have a look at the influences of that bastion of the free . . . the USA. My guess is that even the excesses of the Inquisition was peanuts compared with what has recently been inflicted on the peoples of the Middle East.
        Disclaimer; I am not, nor have ever been, connected to the Catholic church !

    • adam 2.2

      odysseus, where is your evidence for that remark? All I’m seeing from you is anti-papal rants, and some typical malthusian clap trap.

        • adam

          That’s not proof, just more of the anti-papal rant, coupled with your tired Malthusian line.

          • Draco T Bastard

            More and more Malthus is being proved right. The world really is limited, it really does have limited resources and, because of those, it really does a population limit.

            • adam

              I disagree, Malthus is a easy out for most in the west and their consumption.

              “Look it’s those poor people over there and all their breeding – they are the problem, what, what”

              Show me the huddled masses who are doing all this consumption. And I’ll show the 5% who are chewing up the world, oh such more.

              It’s a distraction, or a fiddle as Rome burns approach to the problem.

              We over consume. That is the problem.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                And we continue with economic and financial systems which continually push over-consumption as the grandest of all societal and political virtues (moar growth, anyone?).

              • Draco T Bastard

                Show me the huddled masses who are doing all this consumption. And I’ll show the 5% who are chewing up the world, oh such more.


                Now consider what happens to the world when those huddled masses are consuming as much as the West. The reason why we call them developing is because they’re developing the consumption habits of the West.

                • adam

                  I’m talking reality now, not some time in the future.

                  Read the statement from the Pope – it’s about the west taking responsibility for their own consumption on one hand, and the fact that consumer capitalism, or post scarcity capitalism, or whatever you want to call it. Has to come to an end – so we precisely don’t have the future you are suggesting.

                  My point, is that yes resources are finite, but we can handle the population, if we shift from capitalism to a more sustainable economic model.

                  Look I’m not sure who said it, “We have the tools, and one of the greatest gifts from the twenty century – Organic farming.” I believe, as opposed to the doomsayers, we have the ability to feed ourselves and sustain the land. It’s not going to be simple or indeed very nice transition if we keep mucking around.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    I’m talking reality now, not some time in the future.

                    The Future is built upon the Now and the Now isn’t looking too great.

                    Has to come to an end – so we precisely don’t have the future you are suggesting.

                    As things stand, we do have that future as was made known to the world 40 years ago.

                    I believe, as opposed to the doomsayers, we have the ability to feed ourselves and sustain the land.

                    Yes we do have that ability but that doesn’t mean that we can sustain 7+ billion people nor that we will implement that ability.

                • RJL

                  @Draco T Bastard
                  “Now consider what happens to the world when those huddled masses are consuming as much as the West.”

                  Yes, that would be the argument for putting an end to over-consumption by everyone.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    That’s the argument for preventing the rise of excessive consumption in the developing nations and decreasing consumption in developed nations. The developed nations have to move first.

  3. RedLogix 3

    Well if nothing else – Pope Francis is showing up a lot of so-called left-wing leaders for the moral cowards they are.

    The Catholic Church has an extraordinary history, and many, many things to answer for. But it is worth remembering that in all religions the majority of clergy go about their duties with humility and an admirable dedication.

    Here in Australia it will be interesting to see how this plays out personally for Tony Abbott – who has openly aligned his values to a very conservative Catholicism. Will he remain loyal to his Pope, or to his beliefs?

    • Sable 3.1

      Probably loyal to his wallet first and foremost…..

    • Ad 3.2

      The Pope is a great moral engine, doing all he can as one person.
      It is an astounding document to read, in no small part because it uses a language completely outside of capitalism to talk about the destruction of capitalism.

      I recommend everyone to read the whole thing.
      I did over the weekend.
      It’s not short, but it’s not a novel either. Persevere.

      • RedLogix 3.2.1

        OK I’ll take that challenge up.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Yeah I will too

          • Ad

            Just to check myself, as a practising Catholic, I am aware of its spectacular sins, failings, and human damage.

            I would want a strong Pope to alter the investments, assets, and practices of the church towards humans living sustainably on the planet.

            That would be a useful measure of the effects of his Encyclical: change the church for a start.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              With my very small understanding of the Catholic Church, I believe the fact that he has managed to get this Encyclical out is evidence that has already pushed for significant changes at the most senior levels.

              • Ad

                Great start, agreed.
                I will be really comfortable with evidence.

              • Macro

                The Pope comes from Argentina where liberation theology is, and has been, a powerful force for change.
                This encyclical oozes the theology of liberation, I would be very surprised indeed if Pope Francis did not move strongly towards making this encyclical a living reality within the church as far as he is able. Nevertheless we are seeing reaction (Jeb Bush for instance) particularly in the right wing conservative elements of Catholism in the States against this. I just hope he will survive. I believe he has opened himself up to danger more than any Pope in the recent past.
                We in NZ really have little idea of where, or how, this theology originates; or how it is put in to practice. The recent Argentinian film “White Elephant” gives some idea. The mixed film reviews in Europe and the States mainly failed to understand just how radical such a theology is, because the slums are not so ever present as in Latin America where these priests are working.
                Liberation Theology has had some influence in NZ where individual churches have put some of the ideas into practice in poorer areas of NZ. My daughter’s Masters Thesis is a case study in Liberation Theology with respect to Community Development in NZ

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  OK very interesting indeed, thanks. I had only been vaguely aware of the term “liberation theology” and not known much else about it.

                  • Ad

                    There’s also a film that gets close to some of it called “Romero”, about the Catholic Archbishop of El Salvador who underwent a kind of conversion experience towards liberation in the early 1980s.

                    The film is about his assassination while doing mass. He’s headed towards sainthood under this Pope. Didn’t stand a chance under the previous Pope. Labour insider politics is hard – Catholic politics has a mortality rate.

              • Tracey

                I find it interesting that you are far less sceptical of this authoritarian business organisation (the Vatican) than you are by other practitioners of neo-liberalism.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Hi Tracey, I’m not a lefty who is anti-everything. And I also appreciate that all large organisations have satanic characteristics and fall short of morality.

                  • Tracey

                    I know that CV, the things you are not anti are fascinating, to me anyway.

                    you’re pretty anti-left though, certainly the last few months 😉

              • Heather Gimwood

                To CR: ….and well have had to choose which urgency he addressed first! I am not Catholic, and acknowledge other of their problems not included, but surely this man has taken and announced to the world his great stance on this , the most urgent issue we face…truly a modern miracle.

            • Tracey

              agree (see above)… until then it’s mere words… which are ever so much more powerful when accompanied by actions

            • adam

              Hear, hear.

      • Tracey 3.2.2

        And so he has opened up the Vatican archives and bank accounts for distribution amongst scholars, investigators and the poor? Or does he, like all prior popes expect the rest of the world to put their hands in their pockets.

        The poverty that could be solved and the empowerment which could be made if the Vatican liquidated only half its assets/holdings

        I am pleased he is preaching more compassion and love than the old time BS but I am not yet ready to proclaim him as saint until his actions match his words.

        • Draco T Bastard

          The poverty that could be solved and the empowerment which could be made if the Vatican liquidated only half its assets/holdings

          From the experience NZ has of privatisations I’d expect the exact opposite.

          Now, they could certainly do more about a better distribution of their income but I suspect you’ll find that even the resources of Roman Catholic Church to be limited compared to the billions that need lifting out of poverty.

        • Ad

          Although, when you rack them up, Catholic church-affiliated NGOs are about second only to the UN in their global redistributive capacity.
          No idea about the global cumulative redistributive power of international socialism at the moment, but the Catholic Church is a whole bunch more than words. They are certainly deeds already.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          And so he has opened up the Vatican archives and bank accounts for distribution amongst scholars, investigators and the poor? Or does he, like all prior popes expect the rest of the world to put their hands in their pockets.

          I expect the Catholic Church to be still functional in the 22nd Century. Their overall formula works for them. They aren’t going to change it upside down for some flash in the pan fad.

          • Tracey

            I expect yo to be right hence I take what words come out of that particular “country” with a grain of salt.

    • Tracey 3.3

      The guardian reports

      “Rome correspondent Stephanie Kirchgaessner has filed a new report on the encyclical and reaction to it. Here’s an extract:

      Cardinal Peter Turkson, the pope’s top official on social and justice issues, flatly rejected arguments by some conservative politicians in the US that the pope ought to stay out of science.

      “Saying that a pope shouldn’t deal with science sounds strange since science is a public domain. It is a subject matter that anyone can get in to,” Turkson said at a press conference on Thursday.

      The pontiff’s upcoming document is being hailed as a major intervention in the climate change debate – but what exactly is an encyclical?

      In an apparent reference to comments by Republican presidential contender Jeb Bush, who said he did not take economic advice from the pope, Turkson said that politicians had the right to disregard Francis’s statement, but said it was wrong to do so based on the fact that the pope was not a scientist.

      “For some time now it has been the attempt of the whole world to kind of try to de-emphasise the artificial split between religion and public life … as if religion plays no role,” he said. Then, quoting an earlier pope, he said the best position was to “encourage dialogue between faith and reason”.”

  4. Sable 4

    Well its all very nice but will anyone listen? Seems to me people these days choose the lowest common denominator to represent them…..

    • maui 4.1

      Who knows, but the important thing is that a person presiding over hundreds of millions of people has said this. With powerful American business people and politicians like the Bush’s under him in the spiritual hierarchy it certainly is a game changer, or at the very least it begins to make them look even more silly and out of touch with reality.

  5. adam 5

    Indeed weka I agree – this is an interesting take on the Pope.



    And yeah he’s still a bit backwards


    But overall – as you say weka women are coming to the front of the church debate – slowly. Much slower than I’d like personally.

  6. Colonial Rawshark 6

    Government sponsored forecasts predict potential for civilisation collapse within the next 40 years

    With signs of societal and environmental stress and strain clear from the early 21st century. In other words, the ‘new normal’ we are living through now where economic growth is always just around the next corner is likely part of a larger trend shift.

    I suppose we now know what mass surveillance and the growth in para-military police forces are for.


    • Ad 6.1

      I knew the insurers would be getting it faster than governments.
      Nice links in there.

      • Colonial Rawshark 6.1.1

        Anyone with a time horizon longer than an electoral cycle seems to have a real advantage over the politicians in terms of “getting it.”

  7. maui 7

    True leadership, and something we sorely need as a country. I wonder if we can nab him for PM for a while, would do wonders here.

  8. Tigger 8

    Yet he still stands in the way of contraception – which would curb population levels. He’s still anti gay, anti trans. Child rapists in his ranks remain protected. The church still drags money off congregations who can’t feed themselves, holds property for itself, doesn’t pay taxes. New wallpaper – same dogma.

    • Lanthanide 8.1


    • Colonial Rawshark 8.2

      Sorry Tigger, but the rest of the world doesn’t all believe the way that you do. And frankly, if you cannot see the good in others, is there a reason why should they see any good in you.

      The Catholic Church has power and sway throughout every corner of the globe. Which is more than I can say for lefty liberals.

      This Pope speaks about justice for the poor and justice for the Earth – which puts him at the forefront of political economics as far as I am concerned, despite side issue criticisms about the Catholic Church and identity politics.

      • Ergo Robertina 8.2.1

        You just effectively labelled child rape a ”side issue” in that bizarre comment.
        You acknowledged your lack of understanding about the Catholic Church up-thread, and it shows. I suggest you do some research before writing any more comments defending the church. For starters, I recommend Alex Gibney’s film, Silence in the House of God; and the book ‘The Dark Box’ by John Cornwell.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Hey ER, you want to morally condemn over a billion Catholics and make child rape the central issue whenever the Catholic Church or the Pope is mentioned in any context, go ahead.

          • Ergo Robertina

            You’ve again illustrated your lack of understanding by claiming those who are prepared to confront and name these crimes wish to ”morally condemn over a billion Catholics”.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              Please excuse me if I don’t refer to you or defer to you on matters relating to the Catholic Church.

              • Ergo Robertina

                Fine. I don’t expect you’ll refer to reality much either, in your reactionary admiration of an institution about which you’ve admitted knowing little.
                It appears you make it up as you go along in a desire to throw barbs at ‘lefty liberals’.

          • Tracey

            cos you are giving Labour a big break right now in NZ under their new leader without any reference to the past aye CR?

            • Colonial Rawshark

              Did Andrew Little just make a big speech on the critical importance of an ethos where justice for the Earth and justice for the poor was paramount? Linky please.

              • Tracey

                It seems you didn’t realise which of your comments I was referring to so I am reposting it here for you.

                “you want to morally condemn over a billion Catholics and make child rape the central issue whenever the Catholic Church or the Pope is mentioned in any context, go ahead.”

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Except the Labour Party still refuses to acknowledge and apologise for opening the doors of neoliberal oppression upon the ordinary people of this country, as well as their role in the continuation of the ongoing harm.

                  • Tracey

                    so if Andrew Little says one thing you agree with everything else will be forgiven? Cool, glad to hear it.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      I’m not sure what comment I have made here on The Standard which leads you to believe that the Catholic Church has been somehow absolved of all previous historical wrong doing.

      • Tracey 8.2.2

        ” if you cannot see the good in others, is there a reason why should they see any good in you”

        If you believe this, you may want to re-read some of your posts over the last few months

    • maui 8.3

      He is still leader of the Catholic Church, he isn’t the leader of some 21st century left wing progressive movement.

      Interesting he said this:
      When questioned on what his response would be upon learning that a cleric was gay, though not sexually active, the Argentinian-born pontiff said he wouldn’t judge gay priests and explained, “You can’t marginalize these people.”

      “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” he said.

      • Ergo Robertina 8.3.1

        And that’s all anyone’s pointing out – that the Pope is still a Catholic – to those who have been deluded by the PR Pope that something challenging and progressive is occurring.

        • maui

          He appears to be radically changing the thinking within the church though, and just speaking those things is a big step toward actually changing them. I don’t agree with your pessimism that this is all a PR stunt. I don’t see why he would go out of his way to make “out there” statements and probably cop a lot of flak within the church in the process, while he is also going to be held accountable to back up those statements in the future too.

          He can’t be blamed for the mistakes made by the Church in the past and he should be supported for shifting the Church into something better.

          • Tracey

            Yes, he is speaking things that only JP2 ever went close to in the past. BUT the Vatican is a big, entrenched financial and political organisation. To suggest that every catholic in the Vatican organisation/network is changing cos of what the Pope is saying is a bit of a stretch for me until actions (by the Vatican and its networks) act the change, I remain skeptical.

            I believe he believes what he is saying (as I believe JP2 did before him). UT he and JP2 stand out, big time. BUT this organisation has a history which cannot be ignored of manipulation and lies for many reasons including financial.

            • weka

              I haven’t really been thinking about it in terms of how it will change the culture of the church structures. I’ve been thinking about the value of the Pope speaking to the world, including the huge number of Catholics who aren’t power mongers, and how incredibly radical that is. It’s also hugely needed at this time. It’s not just radical for the Catholic Church, it’s radical for the whole world. Even if the Church doesn’t change, it’s an incredibly potent act esp if he follows up on it.

              I can’t see how this is a PR move tbh.

              We desperately need leaders to lead on CC. That’s what the Pope is doing.

              • Tracey

                I have written that I believe he believes what he is saying. I also accept it is a great message to be giving the folks who attend their churches each week and hang on his every word. A GREAT improvement.

                Interestingly that this church gave the world JP2 and Ratzinger and Frank…

                That suggests to me there are some very good folks in there. BUT I still reserve the right to my skepticism base don hundreds of years of self serving power/money grabbing behaviour… Franks words have not yet suggested a shift in actual practice by the Vatican vis a vis how they use their power and their money.

                As Ad (I think) suggested, lets see the Vatican’s stocks reflect this view on climate change etc.

          • Ergo Robertina

            He won’t be held accountable; good-man-in-a-bad-world and all that.
            Meanwhile we don’t know how tough the new abuse tribunal in the vatican will be. Do you reckon media scrutiny on that will be as intense now he’s fashioning himself as the environmental saviour?

    • Chooky 8.4

      +101 Tiger…Papal opportunism …(while there have always been good Catholics and environmentalists like Thomas Berry and Teilhard de Chardin) the Catholic Church has been on the way out in most advanced Western countries where population is under control and women have fought long and hard for emancipation….the Catholic Church is a bastion of male chauvinism and power and control over women and remains so in third world countries like the Philippines… and its record on child abuse and treatment of unmarried mothers is utterly appalling

      …however there are non Catholic countries that are also male chauvinist like China …with its huge over -population and vast discrepancy in numbers of males and females due to aborting females and infanticide

    • Ad 8.5

      The Pope is currently the world’s best communicator on the link between global environmental destruction and global poverty. No one is even getting close.

      • Chooky 8.5.1

        “world’s best communicator”….?!….only in Catholic eyes i am afraid….like saying Tony Blair is the world’s best communicator for peace…and he is a friend of the Pope…receives his blessing! ( the hypocrisy is amazing)

        ……many secular people , agnostics, atheists and women have long memories I am afraid …..and are utterly turned off by Catholicism and patriarchal monotheism ….and its history of promoting exploitation, genocide in South America of native Indian populations, promotion of God given male chauvinistic anthropocentrism over environmentalism…the put down of the Earth values of the pagans and primal religions, the Inquisition, Catholic promotion of overpopulation , degradation of women and their rights to fertility control and equal pay for equal work

        there are many in the secular world who have talked about environmental destruction and global poverty ….long before this Pope…American Indians , ecofeminists , the Greens , scientists, academics for a start (eg Rachel Carson, Mary Daly, Charlene Spretnak)

        ….many women and men in the secular West have decided not to have families or limit their families to one or two for environmental and poverty reasons…..

        the Catholic Church is part of the problem …despite this Pope trying to keep up with the environmental crisis and salvage the crisis of his own outmoded institution in the Western world where women are educated and emancipated and have the means to control their own fertility and poverty

        • Ad

          I’m sorry did you just compare Mary Daly to the Pope?
          Even Shulamith Firestone wrote to John XXIII during Vatican 2 on the cosmic state of Mary. And there ain’t 1.2 billion people taking notice of her today.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          the Catholic Church is part of the problem …despite this Pope trying to keep up with the environmental crisis and salvage the crisis of his own outmoded institution in the Western world where women are educated and emancipated and have the means to control their own fertility and poverty

          The world would not be a better place today if the Catholic Church disappeared. As for how the western world treats women today and women in poverty today; nothing flash to write home about is it.

  9. adam 9

    Tigger that is anti-papal clap trap.

    No one has money taken off them if the can’t afford it. Don’t know where you get your cheap propaganda from. Most priest I know make sure the poor don’t hand over money.

    Just in case you missed the memo the idea of a broad church comes from Catholicism – Anglicans are happy with that approach as well.

    Catholic social services – ever heard of it? Here is a link


    Odd view on sexuality, sure many Catholics would argue the church is backwards on this – but their are many brave souls fighting the good fight.



    Really so Catholics have a monopoly on protecting pedophiles – I think that is the most disgusting thing you said Tigger. Cheap, nasty and quite frankly a poor statement made to attack the message about poverty and environmental damage.

    So let me say this to you, keep your pernicious jibes to yourself you sniveling little concern troll.

    • Lanthanide 9.1

      No one has money taken off them if the can’t afford it

      What a great way to justify taking money from someone. Can muggers use that defense, too? “She’s married to a millionaire, she can afford to replace her necklace!”.

      Odd view on sexuality, sure many Catholics would argue the church is backwards on this – but their are many brave souls fighting the good fight.

      So you agree with Tigger, then.

      Really so Catholics have a monopoly on protecting pedophiles

      You’re the only one who said the word “monopoly”.

      So let me say this to you, keep your pernicious jibes to yourself you sniveling little concern troll.

      And now you’re making it personal.

      • weka 9.1.1

        To be fair though, child rapists are protected in the ranks of most of NZ society, so I’m not sure what is meant by the argument. Is it that Catholics are hypocrites because they haven’t sorted out entrenched child abuse but want to talk about climate change in the context of social justice? Doesn’t that apply to many groups talking about important issues?

        • Tracey

          *sigh*. I know 3 people who were sexually abused by church (1 anglican and 2 catholic church. All boys) They were financially compensated when it was revealed.

          I know many more (women/girls) who were sexually abused by members of their family or friends of their family… so no compensation.

          Is that a tick or not?

      • adam 9.1.2

        The topic was the environment – instead you and your ilk are off into some personal crusade.

        OK – lets go off and bark at trees, because you think it’s better to attack Catholics rather than deal with issues at hand.

        No wonder so many catholics just won’t vote left – your just nasty. Don’t you see that?

        I’m having a go at you because your prejudice is clearly clouding your judgement – so if you see it as a personal attack – sorry for you.

        But, back to the point. The Pope has taken the advice of the Jesuit Scientific community, and others within the Church. Which at the heart of the matter deal with consumption, the relationships within society, and the fact we are destroying the world we live in.

        If, you don’t agree with the conclusions fair enough. But, to snip and attack this argument from the side lines because he’s the Pope, and by definition a Catholic just makes you look childish and churlish. I know emotive words again. But, I hope at this point you can handle that. Because if you disagree with him, say so. Simple really.

        • Lanthanide

          When National put benefits up in the latest budget, did everyone praise the heavens and celebrate? Or was the policy acknowledged for what it was, and then everyone mentioned all the other things that National aren’t doing but should be?

          I think the latter. Treatment is no different here for the pope.

          Another way to put it: actions are louder than words. Talk is cheap.

          It is within the power of the Pope and the church to directly make changes in their policy that would help ward against climate change. They have chosen not to make those changes.

          • adam

            So the reforms of the Vatican bank are not a big step in that direction?

            This is not a Papal Bull – This is a document that has been doing the rounds for some time, to finally get a consensus on this issue. And, yes, the Jesuits have been taking the lead on that.

            This is not some knee jerk, poll driven response by petty politicians to keep themselves in power. This is a long term, thought out statement of intent and policy shift within the church as a whole. This is not just the Pope talking, it is the Pope and the views of the majority of the church hierarchy. You’re right, there are indeed strong conservative voices in Rome – that said – you can almost see some of the horse trading done in the document.

            I’ve hinting at this for some time. I think about a month ago, I got quite direct about it.

            I think you will find a raft of changes coming after the Pontiff has made this statement. Papal policy rarely changes before the Pope states his position. The Pope has said what he now expects, now watch the change.

            That said, don’t expect it to be fast. One thing which frustrates me is the snails paces of the church sometimes. And the ability of the Cardinals to be right plonkers about some things.

            Expect some fireworks.

            • Lanthanide

              Right, so I shall take a “wait and see” approach, instead of jumping for joy that the pope said that thing about saving the environment that one time.

          • weka

            “When National put benefits up in the latest budget, did everyone praise the heavens and celebrate? Or was the policy acknowledged for what it was, and then everyone mentioned all the other things that National aren’t doing but should be?

            I think the latter. Treatment is no different here for the pope.”

            The implication with that comparison is that the Catholic Church is fundamentally evil. But it’s not, so the comparison fails. There’s nothing wrong with raising issues, but the whole ‘it’s Catholicism therefore they’re too evil for this announcement to be meaningful’ thing speaks more of prejudice than useful critique.

            • Lanthanide

              Are you in fact suggesting that the National party is fundamentally evil? I honestly can’t see any other way of reading that statement.

              • weka

                The National govt* is fundamentally wrong. The Catholic Church isn’t.

                *as opposed to the party, should have said govt earlier.

  10. mary_a 10

    Go Pope Francis 🙂 A friend of the planet and the environment. A socialist and a greenie 🙂

    Obviously didn’t choose his papal name Francis after the patron saint of nature, for nothing 🙂

    • Colonial Rawshark 10.1

      Aha that’s a good little tidbit

      • Ad 10.1.1

        I would recommend anyone do a decent retreat at Assisi, to figure out what Franciscans really mean when they intermingle poverty alleviation and respect for nature.

        It’s close to the snowline, within a village solely dedicated to everything Franciscan (some tourist crap but that’s inevitable).

        But you really do get a sense of a little group of medieval people dedicated to assisting the poor and needy when everyone else around them worshipped wealth and glory and power.

  11. Clean_power 11

    The same church that made Galileo recant? That burnt people? That abused children for decades and protected the abusers? That opposed scientific advancement?
    This Pope is the continuation of centuries of elitism and selling of misery. His opinion does not matter.

    • Colonial Rawshark 11.1

      But it looks like you’re the Flat-Earther now

      • Clean_power 11.1.1

        Not flat Earther, just recalling the anti-science stance of the Catholic church and the sudden “conversion” of this pope. Where are the facts to support his position? Or is he calling on saints, virgins and some other inventions?

        Or maybe joining the bandwagon of global warming/climate change supporters is good business for his church?

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Now lines from Monsanto and Exxon

          • Clean_power

            CR, is that your logic? If you do not believe in global warming, you must be in the pocket of a multinational? Really?
            You would have made a great inquisidor, sending people to the stake because of dissent. No room for disagreement.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              Do you have children under 20? The Pope is right; we risk handing a desert over to them.

              • Clean_power

                The same Pope that says there will be a second coming of Christ? That believes in virgins, magi, miracles and other myths? Where is his scientific authority? What are his credentials? Why do you believe in the opinion of this latter-day “scientist”?

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  You don’t have children under 20? How about grandchildren? The Pope is quite right – our culture is consumed by over-consumption – and it is destroying the one world we have to live in.

                  • Clean_power

                    So, is it global warming or over consumption? Both of them, and inextricably linked for you, I’d guess. You like the pope not only for what he says but because it coincides with the anti-capitalist society you dream of.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Far better than the capitalist anti-society you dream of mate.

                    • Clemgeopin

                      @Colonial Rawshark
                      “Far better than the capitalist anti-society you dream of mate”

                      +1 . LOL. Well said!

                      I would rewrite that slightly as follows:
                      ‘Far better than the capitalist pro-wealthy anti-society you dream of mate’

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      That’s very good, I decided to go with the one with a nice short jab to it tho 🙂

        • adam

          I think you need to read some history books Clean-power. Galileo was not prosecuted because of science. Galileo was persecuted, because he was a dick, Plus he attacked the Pope and one of his earlier scientific works, wrongly as it turns out. But hey – you go and have a wee look.

          Library – biggish building – holds lots of books.

        • TheContrarian

          “Not flat Earther, just recalling the anti-science stance of the Catholic church”

          CR himself is anti-science.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            What a stupoid comment.

            • McFlock

              pretty fucking accurate comment, actually.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                why don’t you buy a fake peer review panel from China and get that opinion published

                • McFlock

                  Because any journal fool enough to publish based on review panels chosen by the author would sooner or later publish demonstrably substandard papers and get its arse handed to it on a plate, ruining one’s career.

                  At least outright scientific fraud gets one a cult of morons who believe that one’s job dismissals, deregistrations and and journal retractions are the result of “big pharma”, so one can remain on the nutbar speaking-circuit for decades. If one were morally bankrupt and prepared to profit off the subsequent deaths caused by one’s fraudelent misinformation, of course.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Speaking of big profits from mega-deaths due to “fraudulent misinformation” have you heard of that ‘evidence based’ ‘proven safe’ ‘thoroughly researched’ drug, Vioxx? I heard some big coin was made off the sales of that wonder-hit. Caused a couple of million excess deaths too. Ah well. Better luck with the “science” next time. Meanwhile the big money making continues.

                    • McFlock

                      A couple of million excess deaths?
                      Sure it wasn’t somewhere around 40k-70k instead, after being prescribed to 80m people?

                      How different was its risk profile to, say, ibuprofen or other NSAIDS?

                      Heck, given that the “whistle blower” was the NEJM, the problem seems to be more with politics than science. The problem being either an unsafe medication being released with misleading safety claims, or a relatively safe medication being withdrawn due to PR panic.

                      If one in 40 patients prescribed vioxx died because of it and the manufacturer had outright invented all the study data, you might have an arguable point.

                      gtg now, my smallpox and ebola are acting up.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      I think 40K to 70K deaths was the US number. Many more globally. Hmmmm not in the millions however, my mistake.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      It has been suggested the number of deaths could be much higher than the official figure: http://www.theweek.co.uk/us/46535/when-half-million-americans-died-and-nobody-noticed

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      That’s interesting indeed thanks ER

                    • Macro

                      and the manufacturer had outright invented all the study data, you might have an arguable point.

                      Looks like they did!

                      It soon turned out Merck had known of potential lethal side effects even before launching Vioxx in 1999, but had brushed all such disturbing tests under the rug.

                      Even more : The death rate of over 65s went up in 1999 when the drug was introduced and noticably declined after 2004 when the drug was withdrawn.

                      Of course this isn’t the first time Drug companies have rushed “science” onto the market in the search more and more profit and found that it has serious side effects that doctors and other health professionals know nothing about.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Thanks Macro. Also it was reported that units within the FDA tried to shut down internal criticism of the drug. Science, eh.

                    • TheContrarian

                      Yeah, it’s sciences fault that people can be amoral, greedy bastards.


                    • McFlock

                      so CR is still an order of magnitude out, and no, macro, that doesn’t equate to “outright invented all the study data”.

                      Be it NSAIDs, HPV vaccines, fluoride, or anything else CR provides advice on, he consistently exagerrates the (frequently merely theoretical) negatives and understates (or outright denies) the demonstrated positives.

                      So yeah, the criticism that CR is “anti-science” is pretty fucking accurate.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Pfffftt McFlock, 140,000 serious cardiovascular incidents in the US alone, evidence of ongoing raised risks years after ceasing treatment with Vioxx, inferential evidence that many more deaths might have been involved, and you still want to claim the moral high ground?

                      You’re welcome to it

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Yeah, it’s sciences fault that people can be amoral, greedy bastards.


                      The true idiots are the people who hold to an idealised ideation of scientific endeavour which doesn’t actually occur in the real world as shown over and over and over again by actual events, incidents and revelations.

                    • Yep, occasional scientific mistakes mean any old bullshit is actually real. Wow, I can totes see the correlation.

                    • McFlock

                      “inferential evidence”.
                      You mean some popmedia article on the interwebs. Oh yeah, those are never wrong. Lucky they undergo systematic review by professionals – oh, wait.

                      You’re still demonstrating my point. You exagerrate the harm while ignoring the benefit. And you know what? That harm is the exception. And the benefits you ignore are demonstrable.

                      So yeah, you’re still anti-science no matter how often you go “Pfffftt”.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Hey McFlock

                      Go suck on all the pills you want. You’re welcome to them.

                    • McFlock

                      I will. They keep my blood pressure down and help with a number of other middle-age maladies. In demonstrable ways that a glass of water never can.

            • McFlock

              >blockquote>CR himself is anti-science.



              It is nothing but “Scientism.”

              Oh, CR will love whatever scientific evidence supports his opinion of the moment, like global warming. But as soon as he, personally, thinks he knows better than the demonstrable evidence, all of a sudden it’s the scientists who are the irrational ones.

              A bit like his support for universal human rights, up until that support involves ensuring the rights of groups he regards as “identity politics” distractions.


              • Lanthanide

                Or, the right to choose the ending of your own life, when you’ve been diagnosed with a terminal illness.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  And would you deny that same “right” to anyone who wishes to end their life in a safe, controlled and professionally supervised way?

          • Clean_power

            Why would you say CR is anti-science?

            • Colonial Rawshark

              because I am a chiropractor by trade, a believer in the Innate Intelligence of the human body, an observer of the principles of Universal Intelligence as they act on energy and matter, and hence a purveyor of “woo” tricksing poor unsuspecting patients (who include PhDs, medical doctors, RNs, university lecturers, engineers, physiotherapists, post grad researchers, etc) with quackery.

              • Lanthanide

                You believe in homeopathy and are against fluoridation of water. That’s enough for me.

                Edit: comment appears to have duplicated itself, not sure why.

                [Fixed. TRP]

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Shit loads of countries and regions are against the fluoridation of water, mate. As for homeopathy I tend not to use it myself as I prefer other modalities.

                  • Lanthanide

                    A lot of people believe in god, too. Or that people only use 10% of their brain, despite there being no scientific proof for either (and in the latter, scientific dis-proof).

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Maybe your “Scientific” club is a pretty small and marginal minority in society then.

                    • Facetious

                      If Colonial Rawshark believes in homeopathy, I can easily see why he has faith and confidence in this quack pope. Enough anti-science already. Is AIDS miracle cure found?

                    • TheContrarian

                      Yeah CR believes homeopathy works despite there being no supporting information to back it up and every major study pointing to its ineffectiveness. He pretends to be interested in research and evidence but fails to understand or engage in evidence that is contrary to his beliefs.

                      He is also an anti-vaxxer and anti fluoridation – again contrary to all the science on the matter.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Unlike yourself I actually have a scientific approach to getting “vaxxed.”

                      For instance, I understand that not all vaccinations are created equal. Unlike you I also understand that not all vaccinations are needed, or helpful, for every person. Vaccinations are just like any other medical treatment – if their benefits do not greatly outweigh their negatives and their unknowns – avoid them like the plague.

                      My position is further bolstered by many tragic and negative incidents involving vaccinations – including official coverups and outright official obfuscation of known facts regarding specific vaccinations.

                      So it would appear that by categorising all vaccinations together as a single group – when in fact they are a hugely heterogenous group of drugs – it is you who are being anti-science and anti-scientific.

                      As for fluoridation of water supply – lots of OECD countries don’t fluoridate their water supplies. My perspective on it is therefore pretty mainstream.

                    • Clemgeopin

                      It is up to you to believe in God or not, dismiss or accept anything you want, but not to believe in God just because there is no worldly ‘scientific’ proof is a strange view to have I think.

                      Similarly for life after death, miracles, resurrection, angels, prayers, conception, need for sexual desire, procreation of species, conscience, soul. time, space, motion, infinity, relativity, fourth dimension, time travel, multiverse or meta-universe etc.

                      “There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
                      ― William Shakespeare, Hamlet

                      [“May be there are more things in Heaven and Earth, Lanthanide, than are able to be proved by science”
                      __ Clemgeopin, Standard ]

                    • TheContrarian

                      Tell us again how scientific homeopathy is…

                      You only pay lip-service to science and outright deny and/or dismiss anything that challenges your narrative. Science works, you don’t.

                    • Macro

                      Yeah CR believes homeopathy works despite there being no supporting information to back it up and every major study pointing to its ineffectiveness.

                      Interesting you say that – I have an 18 month old g’son born. Who in his 1st 24 hours was admitted to 3 hospitals – had 2 helicopter rides and had a major heart operation. At 4 days he had heart surgery to correct Transposed Greater Arteries. When he was discharged from Starship he lived with us. He was visited regularly by many different Health Care professionals in his first 3 months.
                      At about 6 weeks he was again admitted to hospital when he suffered reduced breathing later diagnosed as caused by floppy airways exacerbated by severe reflux. The recommended hospital treatment was to administer H-2-receptor blockers, however these caused more violent vomiting than before. My G’son had to be watched day and night at this stage. He went to sleep monitored for his heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and BP constantly.
                      In the end we asked a trusted homeopath if she could suggest anything and she provided a homeopathic prescription of belladonna. The effect was immediate. It was observed by all the visiting Health Care professionals who were amazed. because the effect was simply that obvious. He hardly had any of the prescription medicine – it caused him so much suffering but after the belladona his whole condition changed – it was really dramatic. He is now a strong and busy young boy. He grew out of the floppy airways – which ceased to be concern as he grew bigger and his airways expanded accordingly (around 6 months of age).
                      So don’t tell me there is no proof that Homeopathic remedies work. I have seen it with my own eyes. And there are Health professional here who would vouch for it too.

                      But what this has to do with the subject at hand…. The obvious consequences of Global Warming – and the primary causes from a dysfunctional capitalist economy – I have no idea.

                    • I once found a twenty dollar note in the pisser at the pub. This proves all hotel toilets are a rich source of ready money. There are health professionals who will vouch for it too. Drunk ones.

                    • TheContrarian

                      Personal anecdotes aren’t evidence.

                      Homeopathy has been studied over and over and the result is always the same… It’s crap

                    • Lanthanide

                      CV – my parents believe in god. They also believe in evidence-based and scientifically backed medicine, the fact that the world is 4.3 billion years old and that evolution is why where all here.

                      Believing in god doesn’t automatically mean you’re anti-science.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Macro – thanks again for your input. I notice all the scientism types gathering firewood and stakes as I type this.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Personal anecdotes aren’t evidence.

                      Homeopathy has been studied over and over and the result is always the same… It’s crap

                      See one and all

                      How the self proclaimed “Scientific One”

                      Self righteous in his rationality

                      Has not an inquiring mind

                      Owns no curiosity

                      Formulates not a single question to ask

                      But when faced by inconvenient facts

                      Which do not fit his dogma

                      Casts them out as worthless chaff


                      This is what he dares call


                      It is nothing but “Scientism.”

                      Questions about nature replaced by false certainty

                      Possibility smothered by orthodoxy.

                    • Macro

                      I’ve had enough of your crap thanks very much!

                      If you had had to live day and night with that young boy on the verge of death because he could not breathe, and watch the dramatic effect that came from one simple administration – you would not say that. And anecdotal evidence is important – or else thalidomide and Vioxx etc would never have been taken off the market – because the side effects are so scattered and widespread. Read the trouble McBride and others scattered around the World had to go through to convince the Health Professionals of the 1960’s that they were administering a dangerous drug – all based on anecdotal evidence to begin with.

                      Though the first child afflicted by thalidomide damage to the ears was born on December 25, 1956, it took about four and a half years before an Australian gynaecologist, Dr. McBride of Sydney, suspected that thalidomide was the cause of limb and bowel malformations in three children he had seen at Crown Street Women’s Hospital.

                      Furthermore it never ceases to amaze me that those who like to think that they are the fountain of all conventional wisdom, reason, and rationality have such closed minds. Yet one of the hallmarks of science is the investigation of, and consideration of all possibilities.

                    • TheContrarian

                      Having curiosity and an inquiring mind doesn’t mean believing that which has no evidence.

                      To ask for evidence and to discount that which has no evidence is not close-minded

                      This might help – both you and CR:

                    • TheContrarian

                      Consideration of all possibilities means eliminating that which has no evidence to support it. Possibilities are considered and then rejected.

    • Tracey 11.2

      it matters enough for the US to say it’s not his place to speak on science, and for you to comment here.

      The Vatican can change but it needs actions to back Frank’s words, imo.

    • Ad 11.3

      If only there was a socialist or an environmentalist who could command the ears of 1.2 billion people.

    • Clemgeopin 11.4


      While some of what you are saying is true, the Catholic Church has also been an important contributor to the advancement of various branches of science and civilization.

      These give a few examples:



  12. Heather Gimwood 12

    I am not Catholic, but this man has chosen the most pressing urgency of the time, to speak about globally, to my mind a modern miracle. I suggest it is churlish to chide him for not changing imbedded Catholic doctrines which we may not agree with. His statement has achieved a major advance in the promotion of awareness and hopeful stalling of CC.

  13. Heather Gimwood 13

    I am not Catholic, but rejoice that this man with so much influence globally has chosen this, the most pressing present urgency, to emphasize. It is churlish to criticize him for not attending to matters of Catholic doctrine we may not agree with. His achievement will surely be of great import in the spread of understanding CC and hasten remedies,

  14. Heather Gimwood 14

    Apologies for duplication…PC so slow this P.M. thought had not connected

    [A couple of comments got held up in moderation, Heather, so maybe not your PC at fault. TRP]

    • Colonial Rawshark 14.1

      Also note Heather you usually use the pseudonym “Heather Grimwood” which the system would let you through on without moderation.

  15. It’s been said before

    Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.

    – Jacques Cousteau (1910-1997)

  16. Bill 16

    What a lamentable thread of comments!

    The leader of a major religion speaks out on climate change and is dismissed out of hand because the institution isn’t ‘whiter than white’. I expect all of the people dismissing what the Pope has said to be equally scathing and dismissive the next time any social democratic politician says or does anything on the grounds that social democratic governments are guilty of much, much more murder and general mayhem than the Catholic Church these past 100 years or so.

    • Macro 16.1

      My thoughts exactly Bill! It is a lamentable state of affairs and explains just exactly why Government will continue to play Chicken with the Earth. Because the left – who should know better! – are constantly bickering with each other.

    • Colonial Rawshark 16.2

      It’s the divide and conquer of identity politics. The right wing have more solidarity than the Left. That’s why the Left always fractures first and loses.

    • Lanthanide 16.3

      Bill, I’m not dismissing his statements out of hand because the institution “isn’t whiter than white”.

      I’m dismissing it because the church could immediately changes its policies to support the very cause they are claiming, vis-a-vis changing their policy on contraception.

      They have chosen not to do that.

      Do as I say, not as I do. Actions speak louder than words, and all they’ve done here is talked the talk.

      • Colonial Rawshark 16.3.1

        Lanth do you even live in the real world?

        The Labour Party with 10,000 members can’t change the smallest of policies overnight, yet you claim the Pope can alter the views of his 1.2B followers with a single wave of his ringed hand?

        Further if you want to change the stance of the Catholic church on something this fundamental, you better hurry up and start getting involved.

        • Lanthanide

          Luckily, the Pope doesn’t have to alter the views of his 1.2B followers with a wave of his ringed hang.

          All he has to do to placate me, is change the church’s official stance on contraception, which *is* within his power to do.

          “Further if you want to change the stance of the Catholic church on something this fundamental, you better hurry up and start getting involved.”


          • Colonial Rawshark

            No seriously, Lanth, what makes you think that Papal politics are that easy he can just wave his hand, change the fundamentals of the Church, and placate you?

        • te reo putake

          Um, that waving ringed hand thing is pretty much how it’s actually done in the Catholic Church, CV.


          • Ad

            So droll, Te Reo!
            To the point, within living memory socialism could change the world far faster than religion.
            These days, religion is altering the world faster than elected politics.
            Pretty sad that at the time we need non-destructive religion to act for good, the Pope’s lost all temporal power.

      • Ovid 16.3.2

        It really can’t. Humanae Vitae – the encyclical that outlines the Church’s position on contraception – has as much standing as Laudito Si. They are both statements of moral principle. These kinds of documents go through a significant amount of analysis before release to ensure they are not incompatible with established tradition.

        Out of interest, what do you consider is the optimum human population of this planet?

        • Lanthanide

          “It really can’t. Humanae Vitae – the encyclical that outlines the Church’s position on contraception – has as much standing as Laudito Si. They are both statements of moral principle. These kinds of documents go through a significant amount of analysis before release to ensure they are not incompatible with established tradition.”

          So you’re saying that God’s representative on Earth, is incapable of changing church doctrine?

          “Out of interest, what do you consider is the optimum human population of this planet?”

          A population that allows a sustainable human population at similar levels of lifestyle to that enjoyed by those in western countries. Which is probably in the order of 500m-1B.

      • Chooky 16.3.3

        +100 Lanthanide

    • Chooky 16.4

      lets see the Pope attack the TPP….and the multi national corporates….BIG Cronyist Capitalism ( ooops the Vatican and its Bank is part of them and supports them)…then maybe this Pope will get more respect

      ….lets see this Pope advocate birth control in third world countries and women’s rights

      ….what about a woman Pope for the Catholic Church ?…it is a dying institution in the educated West….the Catholic Church for centuries has specialised in guilt tripping and persecuting people ( particularly women)

      …the Catholic Church is a large part of the problem of overpopulation and poverty in third world countries …because it denies women’s rights and contraception

      …it is interesting to watch the male chauvinists operate within their outmoded male supremacist framing…even non Catholic ones come out of the woodwork…but then I suspect they come from countries which have few rights for women and gross over population problems of their own and a huge imbalance of males to females ( the females having been aborted or subject to infanticide) ….countries which have appalling environmental records and conditions…they are trying to justify themselves

      • adam 16.4.1

        How about you google before you spout you prejudice in front of everyone Chooky.

        Pope says something good – gest attacked – the Pope says something half decent – gets attacked. The Pope tries to help the poor – gets attacked. The Pope reforms the Vatican bank – gets attacked. The Pope talks about the fundamental problem facing humanity today – gets attacked. Then you attack him because you’re on some crusade to prove you’re somehow right and better. You sound just like the bloody Tories!

        I’m sick of this stupidity. Chooky – all organisations have their faults – just like you do. Just like I do, and every human being and every dam thing humans do and touch. Stop being a puritanical anti-papist for 25 minutes, and read what he said. You might just agree with what he said – indeed it might clear up some of you more stupid assertions. Hint, try finding what the wonderful NZ Bishops got added – if you can keep an open mind.

        You know it was Irish Catholics who help get labour party to power in the 1930’s? I suppose these ancestors of mine were all Papist wankers in your eyes as well ah Chooky?

        And the most ridiculous assumption of all, all Catholics are chauvinists? Oh and look you finish by blaming the poor – No you don’t sound like a Tory git – I got that wrong – you are one.

  17. ropata 17

    Using filthy coal power, the Navajo Generating Station lifts the entire Colorado river the height of the Chrysler Building and pumps it into a massive network of canals that waters 1/5th of the USA. And now it’s drying up.

    End of the Miracle Machines

    Navajo turned out to be every bit as filthy as the government had warned in the 1970s, when officials predicted it would cause severe haze and health problems. The prized landscape that surrounds it, and the adjacent Four Corners region, has become significantly polluted, with 11 national parks and protected wilderness areas draped behind a curtain of smog. While no epidemiological studies have pinpointed a cause, EPA records include tribal complaints of a doubling in cancer rates in the Navajo Nation since the generating station began operating, as well as worsening asthma. The nonprofit environmental organization Clean Air Task Force estimated emissions from the Navajo plant alone were responsible for 12 premature deaths in 2012.

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