Leonardo Boff is Pope Francis’ unacknowledged point man on the environmental creed. His name and work were not mentioned anywhere in Laudato Sí, not even in the footnotes. The omission was no oversight. Boff works most effectively as the man behind the curtain. He is the wizard of liberation theology’s protective metamorphosis—chameleon-like—into climate justice. Forget those priests carrying AK 47s alongside the Sandanistas in the 1980s. That was yesterday. Today, care for creation is every Earthling’s commission in order to liberate the poor and forsaken from ecological aggression by the developed world. Continue Reading
As the press tells it, this year’s consecration of Russia, together with Ukraine, was undertaken at the bidding of Ukraine’s Catholic bishops. Beneath the religious-sounding string of catchwords and rebukes, it is a secular declaration pronounced for political purposes. The media-driven orthodoxy of the day—Putin, evil; Zelensky, heroic—resurrects an outmoded cultural diktat. It serves neither the Church nor the truth of things.
Russia is no longer the font of atheistic materialism as Cardinal Burke believes it to be. His recent claim that “the great evil of Communism must be healed at its root” is true. Continue Reading
Cardinal Ravasi’s embrace of art and fashion, the two dominant enthusiasms of secular culture, conveys a this-wordly moralism more theatrical than moral. Of all modern substitutes for religion, art is the most esteemed. It veils contemporary materialism in the language of transcendent values.
The cardinal wasted no time embracing the peculiar nature of the high-stakes art world. Pope Francis was installed in March, 2013. Two months later Ravasi announced the Vatican’s first foray into the Venice Biennale. Beginning with a modest prehistory in 1893, the Biennale has evolved into the ultimate bazaar. Continue Reading
Mortality was much on the mind of St. Augustine. In The City of God, he exhibits skepticism that a world thoroughly free of death-dealing plague could ever be possible. The tenor of this old quatrain has an Augustinian ring:
will I die?
Yes, my child,
and so shall I.
Like the original wording of many eighteenth century nursery rhymes, the lines irritate modern ears. Twentieth century sensibilities revised it to suit a well-fed, housed, and vaccinated generation poised to dismiss dispiriting reminders of mortality. Continue Reading
Jeffrey D. Sachs’ presence at the now-concluded Amazon Synod is the dog that did not bark. Why not? The Catholic press describes him as “pro-abortion” and leaves it at that. But it is an inadequate description that evades a larger reality.
The synod set in play two different games, a long one and a short. The German-led agenda (e.g. married priests, female ministry, etc.), which absorbed most attention, is the short one. While that covers matters of close concern to Catholics, it functions as a red-herring to distract from the globalist despotism represented by Sachs and the other two egoists behind the Vatican curtain: Ban Ki-Moon and Hans Schnellnhuber. Continue Reading