Church, Zero; Zeitgeist, Two

A few days before the last of the Vatican’s three climate workshops, the Italian parliament sped up the divorce process. The new law cuts the time Italians have to wait for a divorce: from three years to six months in uncontested cases; one year in contested ones. It was approved with a breathtaking vote of 398 for, 28 against (6 abstentions),

Until now, Italians in a hurry to decouple had to be clever. Resourceful mates could establish false residences in other EU countries, and file for divorce where strings were looser. (Romania, a favored spot.) Back home again, their round-about quickie would be recognized in accord with EU regulations. Now, Italy has extended that courtesy to the unresourceful as well.

poster - Italian divorce


Rorate Coeli translated Sandro Magister’s blog comment on parliament’s latest repudiation of Church teaching on divorce:

This, in a parliament crammed with Catholics; in a government where numerous ministers and the Prime Minster are Catholics and the proposer of the new law, Alessia Morani, a lawyer specializing in marriage law, defining herself as a “mature, democratic Catholic.”

Philip Pullella, writing for Reuters, quotes Church historian Alberto Melloni:

The Church really didn’t even put up a fight this time because they realized that it was a lost cause and did not want to fall flat on its [sic] face with a useless act of heroism.

Useless act of heroism. Like submitting to crucifixion? Like walking to one’s own decapitation whispering Jesus’ name in anguish and terror? Like resisting the siren call of some imagined institutional triumph—a renewed Christendom—built, this time, on an environmentalist creed?

Climate march in Toronto. Photo: Milan Ilnycky,
Climate march in Toronto. Photo: Milan Ilnycky,

What to do with an inconvenient cross? Closet it. Pragmatism is, arguably, a derivative of prudence, a virtue. Better to align with the ascendant orthodoxy of the day. Better still if alignment crystallizes in traditional religious language and the principled rhetoric of compassion for the poor.

Italy’s expedited divorce law speaks eloquently of the Church’s loss of credibility in sexual matters. Can the collapse of the Church’s power of moral suasion in sexual and marital matters be compensated for—if not downplayed altogether—by going Green? Does the climate summit staged by the Vatican, at papal invitation and under the seal of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, represent an ex oficio capitulation to the New Faith?

People's Climate March, NYC, September 21, 2014. An estimated 311,000 people participated.
People’s Climate March, NYC, September 21, 2014. An estimated 311,000 people participated.

Eco-spirituality is embraceable by all, no matter one’s sexual practices, marital entanglements, race, class, or gender preference. Franciscan in its seductive embrace of all things great and small, eco-piety discourages fertility in the name of future generations who will need room for themselves. It woos the Vatican into granting a platform to two of the world’s most influential promoters of population control: abortion evangelists Ki-ban Moon and Jeffrey Sachs.

Moon uses his position as UN Secretary-General to support abortion rights around the world and proselytize for more abortion facilities in conflict zones. Sachs, a global development guru at the UN, is the darling of that other world-improver George Soros. Fertility reduction is a holy cause. In “Bursting at the Seams,” his 2007 series of Reith Lectures, he insisted on the need to “stabilize fertility.”

Big family vs. small family


Rebecca Oas, writing for LifeNews in 2013, discussed Sachs’ contribution to the U.N.’s “Sustainable Development Goals,” which go into effect this year. These goals recast earlier Millennium objectives and institute a global scheme that ties development aid to a nation’s commitment to reducing population. Ms. Oas described Sachs’ statement of his priorities:

Sachs . . . spoke of “a world that has become very crowded” with people who are increasingly “trespassing on fundamental planetary boundaries.” He had in hand a report proposal of the president of the 67th General Assembly recommending ten broad goals that included “rapid voluntary reduction of fertility” in countries with total fertility rates above 3 children per woman (only Africa has fertility that high), and anywhere where fertility rates are above replacement level. [She adds that very few countries outside Africa have above replacement level fertility. But according to 2013 CBS report, the birth rate of Muslims, while declining, is 3.51.]

Sachs ran a global campaign to have abortion language included in the Millennium Development Goals when they were first developed and again at their five-year review. His effort was rejected.

Sachs expressed the hope his new ten goals would be taught in schools around the globe. He repeatedly compared them to the Ten Commandments.

Trespassing on planetary boundaries. Listen, and you can hear the ghost of Margaret Sanger crooning, “Well done.” Keep listening. From somewhere deep within the static comes an echo of Lebensraum. The National Socialists aspired to clear Eastern Europe of its human vermin. Today’s world-improvers would clear the globe.

The crowning document to emerge from the Vatican summit was co-prepared by Jeffrey Sachs.

Ponder that.


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