Published April 24, 2020 The Western Journal (link)
The world has become a frightening place in the past few months and many people have even speculated that the end of the world is nigh.
And Pope Francis, the leader of the Catholic Church, did not help to assuage those fears when, on Earth Day, he advised the billions of Catholics around the world to ask forgiveness from the earth in a screed that sounded more akin to a New Age movement speech than a Christian one.
“In today’s celebration of Earth Day,” he said on Wednesday, “we are called to renew our sense of sacred respect for the earth, for it is not just our home but also God’s home,” Zenit reported.
For starters, God’s home is heaven. The earth is God’s creation and our (current) home. But that is the least of the issues Francis’ speech.
“Because of our selfishness we have failed in our responsibility to be guardians and stewards of the earth,” he said.
“We have polluted and we have despoiled it, endangering our very lives. For this reason, various international and local movements have sprung up in order to appeal to our consciences.
“I deeply appreciate these initiatives; still it will be necessary for our children to take to the streets to teach us the obvious: we have no future if we destroy the very environment that sustains us,” Francis said.
Being good stewards of the earth that God gave us is a noble cause, even if the pope is advising children to “take to the streets” to teach us the error of our ways.
“We have failed to care for the earth, our garden home; we have failed to care for our brothers and sisters,” he continued.
“We have sinned against the earth, against our neighbours, and ultimately against the Creator, the benevolent Father who provides for everyone, and desires us to live in communion and flourish together.
“And how does the earth react? There is a Spanish saying that is very clear,” he went on. “It says: ‘God forgives always; we men forgive sometimes; the earth never forgives.’ The earth never forgives: If we have despoiled the earth, the response will be very bad.”
What is this, Buddhism?
This is where the pope went off the deep end. The earth is not conscious and it does not and cannot forgive.
The earth is a rock floating through space — an inanimate rock that has on it everything we need to sustain human life.
But one cannot “sin” against a rock. And one cannot ask for forgiveness or be granted forgiveness from a rock.
The earth and its bounty was provided to us by God Almighty and he is whom we should both thank and ask for forgiveness of when we sin.
This pope, as he often does, used his speech to make a political statement that aligns with the leftists of the world.
“At the same time, we need an ecological conversion that can find expression in concrete actions. As a single and interdependent family, we require a common plan in order to avert the threats to our common home,” he said.
“I would like to support concerted action also on the national and local levels. It will help if people at all levels of society come together to create a popular movement ‘from below.’
“The Earth Day we are celebrating today was itself born in precisely this way. We can each contribute in our own small way,” he said.
Yes, as Christians, we should take care of the many gifts God has given us, including the earth, but that does not mean we have to go on a radical leftist agenda to do it.
It has been many years since the pope was widely considered a political figure, and he should not be dipping his toe into that arena again.