Environmental Piety

The Vatican: Integral Ecology and Liberation Theology

The extraordinary Synod of Bishops for the Pan Amazon region, coming to the Vatican in October, is a very big deal. It would be a mistake for people to dismiss it as inside baseball among Catholics. Far-reaching issues of broad societal concern are at work here under cover of ecological ideals and social justice rhetoric delivered in a Christian idiom. Under cover of deep ecology, liberation theology has come in out of the cold. And it is gunning to even the score between the industrial West and the Third World. Continue Reading
Amazon Synod, part II

Please understand. There is no denying the historic cruelties visited on Amazon peoples. Still, they are hardly alone in that. Ruthlessness and barbarity have befallen every peoples on earth at some point in their history. Nor has it stopped. At present, it is Christians—not aborigines—who are prime targets  for violent persecution around the globe. Vatican emphasis on past affliction in the Amazon is a pretext for something else altogether. It is a seductive ruse for the synod’s anti-development, denuciatory, Marxoid serenade with native activists on the ocarina. Continue Reading
Amazon Synod Goes Dancing With Wolves

Before heading full tilt into the neo-pagan mirages of the Amazon Synod, a brief personal word is due. It will only take a second: “There is love and there is life. Yet we have but one heart.” That was the way Edgar Degas explained his failure to marry. If I were to borrow a variant of it to explain why this weblog has been silent recently, it would go something like this: “There is the studio and there is the writing desk. Continue Reading
St. Xavier's: From the Waterfront Priest to the Dancing Priest

There exists no sharper illustration of present-day enfeeblement of the Jesuit temper than the difference between the ministries of John Corridan, S.J., the “waterfront priest” of the 1940’s, and today’s Robert VerEecke, S.J., the “dancing priest.” Fr. Corridan earned a significant place in labor history. Fr. VerEecke earned removal from the Church of St. Francis Xavier for making sexual overtures to a male parishioner. The diminution is tragic. And telling. In the slide from Corridan, a morally serious man, to VerEecke, a flâneur on ideological boulevards, we witness the unsteadiness of a Church listing toward the conceits of the age. Continue Reading
Beauty & Accidents of Perception

Nature is terrifying. Aesthetic distance from dread of it increases only in proportion to our mastery over it. Shelter from it frees us to make art of our aesthetic promptings, so easily confused with a spiritual consciousness. It is snowing as I type this. Icicles two and three feet long hang from the gutters. A struggling andromeda outside the front door is bent in two by the weight of ice. My long curving, uphill driveway, treacherous in bad weather, is impassable. Continue Reading