Religion

Pope Down on This World; Favors Next

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The leader of the Roman Catholic Church speaking at a youth conference in the country that produced Midnight Oil:

The world's natural resources are being squandered in the pursuit of "insatiable consumption," Pope Benedict XVI said Thursday in a speech urging followers to care more for the environment and reconnect with the principle of peace

Benedict, speaking to more than 200,000 pilgrims gathered for the Roman Catholic church's youth festival, expanded on a theme that has led him to be dubbed "the green pope." The crowd, massed on a disused wharf in Australia's largest city, regularly erupted in cheers that gave the event the feel of a sporting event.

"Some of you come from island nations whose very existence is threatened by rising water levels; others from nations suffering the effects of devastating drought," the pope said, referring to global warming.

He noted that during his more than 20-hour flight from Rome to Sydney he had a bird's eye view of a vast swath of the world that inspired awe and introspection.

"Perhaps reluctantly we come to acknowledge that there are also scars which mark the surface of our earth: erosion, deforestation, the squandering of the world's mineral and ocean resources in order to fuel an insatiable consumption," he said.

Types of "poison" are afflicting the world's social environment, he said, such as substance abuse, along with the exaltation of violence and sexual degradation, for which he blamed television and the Internet.

I'm sure there's nothing like a 20-hour first-class flight over the planet to give a fella real perspective about how much the Intertubes are degrading everything.

More here (not that you need it).

Pope Benedict slags gay marriage here.

NEXT: Headline of the Morning (Hippie Edition)

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  1. I used to help run an inner-city Catholic Youth group and get occasional phone calls from the arch-diocese about how many of the kids were going to World Youth Day in Australia. It pissed me off because it’s not exactly the most central location, and pretty much excludes any Catholic youth who isn’t independently wealthy or Australian.

    Other than that, the Pope’s moral scolding doesn’t bother me. He’s advising us on how to live our lifes, not enacting laws. Moral scolding is a large part of a pope’s job description.

  2. Ow, pickin’ on the Pope! Lay off, dude! Seriously, that’s an interesting rap the Pope has going. It’s a damn fact that the Pople would prefer us common folks to be poor and ignorant, dependent on the priesthood for all hope of happiness. It’s a shrewd move to co-op the environmentalists. Everyone, from Al Gore to the Pope, is trying to make me feel guilty. Hey, I just want to party, and those seal pup steaks I’ve got on the grill are the best!

  3. “The concerns for nonviolence, sustainable development, justice and peace, and care for our environment are of vital importance for humanity,” Benedict told the crowd.

    Sounds consistent with libertarianism. Only question is whether the State is a good instrument for expressing such concerns.

  4. It’s a damn fact that the Pople would prefer us common folks to be poor and ignorant, dependent on the priesthood for all hope of happiness.

    Best. Typo. Ever.

    Other than that, the Pope’s moral scolding doesn’t bother me. He’s advising us on how to live our lifes, not enacting laws. Moral scolding is a large part of a pope’s job description.

    That’s true…these days. It wasn’t always so.

  5. Let’s see…incorporating a current fad into the tenets of your cult organization in order to possibly tempt new members or at least retain the current ones.

    Unsurprising.

  6. Having walked through the Vatican Museum, I’d be more tolerant of the Pope’s “moral scolding” if he re-cycled the Church’s vast treasures to help those to whom he ministers.

  7. Maybe he could sell us some indulgences for our BBQs, lawn mowers, and such.

  8. Its all in the hat. Seriously, why does anyone listen to this puppet except to wonder about that bitchin’ hat.

  9. Fuck the Pope.

    The world’s natural resources are being squandered in the pursuit of “insatiable consumption,”

    Indeed; coming from a guy who lives in a solid-gold palace, that’s pretty impressive. Those fuckers have been robbing the world blind for centuries. Wake me up when the Pope apologizes for the gargantuan theft of capital (human and financial) perpetrated by his crime syndicate.

  10. They haven’t been robbing the world, P Brooks, they’ve been extorting. They stick a plate in your face and imply that if you don’t give 10%, you’re going to go somewhere hot and dry that isn’t Tuscon.

    Look, they’re based in Italy. Like someone else we know.

  11. If the pope prefers the other world, why is he lingering in this one?
    One might prayerfully hope that he hastens to his preferred world.

    no hugs for thugs,
    Shirley Knott

  12. They stick a plate in your face and imply that if you don’t give 10%, you’re going to go somewhere hot and dry that isn’t Tuscon.

    Funny. I just took a reservation from Tuscon.

    That aside, the whole Catholic Church-Poverty thing always reminds me of The Name of the Rose.

  13. My sister lives in Tuscon. I’ll probably go out there this fall. She said not to come during the summer, because the heat will kick your ass.

  14. Has the Pope ever actually used the internet? Does he understand what the internet is and how it works?

    I have a feeling if he were to take questions on the subject, just like John McCain we’d be hearing from one of his spokesmen the next day saying “Pope Benedict is aware of the internet.”

  15. “They haven’t been robbing the world, P Brooks, they’ve been extorting.”

    Neither, they have been merely giving people the respect they deserve. If you are dumb enough to believe books about magical men that were written two thousand years ago you deserve to have things taken from you. “Like how could it not be the word of God, it was voted on and everything.” So they offer a service, if you have no self respect for yourself and do not feel it necessary to understand reality, buy the cliff notes, they might not be right, but at least you can feel pious by going through the motions every Sunday unless it cuts into football or NASCAR.

    I remember a prominent philosopher once wrote something along the lines of “God learned Greek when he decided to become an author-but he did not learn it that well.”

  16. Those that live in gold palaces and Tennessee super mansions usuually have private jets that can be used to travel the world to preach the gospel of going green.

  17. “Insatiable consumption”

    Good to know it applies to more than a Boston priest’s pedophilic proclivities.

  18. I remember a prominent philosopher once wrote something along the lines of “God learned Greek when he decided to become an author-but he did not learn it that well.”

    The paraphrase is of Nietzsche, and the usual translation is: “There’s something fine [also often rendered as “curious”] about the fact that God learned Greek when he wanted to become a writer – and that he did not learn it better.”

  19. I saw Steel Pulse last night, and they were basically ssaying the same exact thing, with a side order of praise for Haile Selassie, Marcus Garvey and Nelson Mandella. And they were pretty pumped about Obama.

    PS – You’re not going to get kicked out of church for not giving to them. Although some here like to call it extortion, the people being extorted believe in what they’re giving to.

  20. Do you folks believe *everything* you read on Yahoo! News?

    Here are the paragraphs which Yahoo! News paraphrased as “blam[ing] television and the Internet” for perverted entertainment:

    “What of man, the apex of God’s creation? Every day we encounter the genius of human achievement. From advances in medical sciences and the wise application of technology, to the creativity reflected in the arts, the quality and enjoyment of people’s lives in many ways are steadily rising. Among yourselves there is a readiness to take up the plentiful opportunities offered to you. Some of you excel in studies, sport, music, or dance and drama, others of you have a keen sense of social justice and ethics, and many of you take up service and voluntary work. All of us, young and old, have those moments when the innate goodness of the human person – perhaps glimpsed in the gesture of a little child or an adult’s readiness to forgive – fills us with profound joy and gratitude.

    “Yet such moments do not last. So again, we ponder. And we discover that not only the natural but also the social environment – the habitat we fashion for ourselves – has its scars; wounds indicating that something is amiss. Here too, in our personal lives and in our communities, we can encounter a hostility, something dangerous; a poison which threatens to corrode what is good, reshape who we are, and distort the purpose for which we have been created. Examples abound, as you yourselves know. Among the more prevalent are alcohol and drug abuse, and the exaltation of violence and sexual degradation, often presented through television and the internet as entertainment. I ask myself, could anyone standing face to face with people who actually do suffer violence and sexual exploitation ‘explain’ that these tragedies, portrayed in virtual form, are considered merely ‘entertainment’?”

    Ah, well, stating the fact that violence and degredation “are often presented through television and the Internet as entertainment” is pretty much the same as “blaming television and the Internet,” isn’t it? And the paraphrase was simply too good to check, as they say in the news biz.

    By the way, the complete text of the Pope’s address is available on the Vatican Web site:

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2008/july/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20080717_barangaroo_en.html

    Yes, the Vatican has a Web site. Or, to put it in Reasonoid terms, the Vatican often presents its subversive and dangerous doctrines through the medium of the Internet. To paraphrase that in Yahoo! News terms, Reasonoids blame the Internet for Catholicism.

  21. Good catch, MM.

    But somehow, *somehow*, I can’t conjure how in the Pope’s mind the separation that you are making would in all practicality be made.

    So, you’re right on the merits, but I imagine if someone asked Benedict to make the distinction, he’d probably refuse to.

    But, hey!, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by Popes before.

  22. But, hey!, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by Popes before.

    From behind?

  23. LMNOP,

    This is a Pope who is quite conscious of nuances and shades of meaning. He is the last person whom one should attempt to paraphrase with a summary which is “close enough.”

    As a matter of fact, a lot of Catholic doctrine is like that. That’s one reason why people who are uncomfortable with nuance have difficulty picking up on what the Church is saying.

    The Church’s teachings are quite accessible, but not simplistic.

  24. Im not catholic and I like Steel Pulse. They can go off with their lyrics about righteousness and chanting psalms… I still dig it.
    I dont care much for the Pope but this message, for the most part, was a positive one…

    I must have woken up in a good mood today 🙂 Love and peace to all of you

  25. “Exaltation of violence and sexual degradation” must surely be the fault of TV and the Internet.

    We didn’t have such problems way back, say, 2000 years ago, did we?

  26. From behind?

    Goosed! By a pointy hat!

    This is a Pope who is quite conscious of nuances and shades of meaning. He is the last person whom one should attempt to paraphrase with a summary which is “close enough.”

    Not for nothing, but John Paul II was *way* better at it. IMHO.

  27. And, if the Church were so media conscious, they sure as shit wouldn’t have elevated a cardinal who looks for all the world like the second incarnation of *Emperor Palpatine*.

    You know?

  28. “Among the more prevalent are alcohol…

    One of the potentially harmful substances when abused. It just so happens, wine represents the “blood of Jesus” in the Holy Communion. Jesus even turned water into wine, so everyone could party.

    …and drug abuse

    Of course, we have to pay lip service to the war on some drugs. The Pope needs to ask God about what he was thinking when he created cannabis and coca and tell him what a bad creator he is.

    Mr Pope Person, while you’re at it, that individual choice thing, that’s bad too, better take that feature out in the next version.

  29. Mister zig zag man, individual choice requires the availability of substances to choose not to abuse.

  30. Maybe he could sell us some indulgences for our BBQs, lawn mowers, and such.

    The Goracle has the carbon credit market cornered.

  31. Interesting. I wonder what the theological take is on man interfering with God-given free will by outlawing certain substances.

  32. Mad Max,

    The problem is, if you pay attention to the red flag that goes off in your head when a Yahoo reporter suddenly switches from quote to paraphrase, and check the actual text of the pope’s remarks, you don’t get to follow up with smug remarks about the pope being stupid and backwards.

  33. “you don’t get to follow up with smug remarks about the pope being stupid and backwards.”

    Can it be that some people on H&R still haven’t been clued in to the concept of sarcasm?

    Ask around – you’ll discover that I’m a notorious Catholic troll, not a critic of the Pope.

    “And, if the Church were so media conscious, they sure as shit wouldn’t have elevated a cardinal who looks for all the world like the second incarnation of *Emperor Palpatine*.”

    In *some* photos, the Pope does look ugly enough to resemble Emperor Palpatine. So what? A Papal Conclave has never been confused with a Miss Rome beauty pageant. Popes tend to be old guys, and not all old guys keep their youthful good looks the way Friedrich Hayek (cousin of Salma) did.

    And why should the Pope be any more physically attractive than Christ, whose Vicar he is? In describing Christ, the scriptures say:

    “There is no beauty in him, nor comeliness: and we have seen him, and there is no sightliness, that we should be desirous of him.”

    Isaiah 53:2 (Douay-Rheims)

    We can’t *all* be breathtaking physical beauties like Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman.

  34. I wonder what the theological take is on man interfering with God-given free will by outlawing certain substances.

    As you might expect, there are multiple theological takes on it.

    They range from “The State should try to make it hard for people to hurt themselves and one another in this way” to “Don’t let the State try to make it hard for people to hurt themselves and one another in this way.”

    Same goes for other prohibitions and injunctions.

  35. I’ve joked about it before, but in a cosmic justice kind of way, it
    would be awesome if the Catholic Church really could get in on the
    Carbon-offset/Indulgence purchasing scam.

  36. God is on the pope’s side.

    The article said they were on a disused wharf. As in a long-neglected piece of state-built infrastructure.

    The fact that he can put 200K kids on it without it collapsing is nothing short of a miracle.

    Contrast with what happened when a few dozen cars were on a bridge in Minnesota. It’s obvious god doesn’t like Lutherans

  37. I’m gay and Catholic and support much of what the pope has to say.

    And the immature and facile condemnations on this thread makes one wonder; why don’t arch-liberals ever dish Islam, a much more violent and intolerant reigion, with the same gusto and enthusiasm with which they constantly bash Christianity?

    Encounting that dishonesty and hypocrisy, when it comes to equal-opportunity bashing of religion, among so-called enlightened progressives is what drove me back into the faith.

    I’m thrilled 400,000 young Cahtolics were assembled in Sydney, and I’m sure many of them came away with a fed tidbits of moral wisdom.

    Many of these youths probably made many girlfriends and boyfriends as well just as a nadded bonus!

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