Laudate Deum: a Flawed Addendum

It fails to build on the solid teaching in Laudato Si’ -- and worse


Earth Politics

The new Apostolic Exhortation Laudate Deum is a follow-up document to Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si’. Michael Dominic Taylor, in “Consider the lilies and CO2” (at Catholic World Report, Oct. 8), explains how Laudate Deum fails to build on the solid teaching in Laudato Si’ and instead runs in a mistaken direction.

Taylor first makes clear that Laudato Si’ contained “a true, good, and often beautiful expression of the Catholic doctrine of Creation, building upon the foundation laid down by our previous two pontiffs.” It gave a “thorough description and critique of the modern technocratic paradigm,” dealt with “postmodern eco-philosophies,” and invited readers to regard “God’s presence in all things and our ontological kinship with the rest of creation as the basis of any sort of environmental concern.”

A follow-up document could have furthered exploration of much of the above. But that is not what happened with Laudate Deum.

Taylor describes flaws in Laudate Deum by concentrating on several “miscues.” A link to his article is below, but first some highlights:

  • Pope Francis’s rhetoric in Laudate Deum embraces reliance on green technology and politics to solve so-called “climate change” problems, leading to certain implicit assumptions about and endorsement of green “solutions” that actually don’t make sense and don’t work. For example, the Pope’s call for “the necessary transition towards clean energy sources such as wind and solar energy, and the abandonment of fossil fuels” ignores the fact that, as Taylor writes, “wind and solar arrays are dependent on fossil fuels at every step of their production, operation, and even their disposal after their short lives.” In short, the Pope’s (along with countless green activists’) sunny suggestions about wind and solar energy replacing fossil fuels won’t age well. Hence, the Pope’s document eventually will make the Church look silly.
  • The document relies on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Per Taylor: “The IPCC is the self-proclaimed global authority on ‘climate change’ and the most cited author in Laudate Deum, excluding Pope Francis’ own writings. The IPCC is composed of weather forecasters from the World Meteorological Organization and environmentalists from the United Nations Environment Program.” He further explains how the IPCC has promoted climate alarmism: “under increasing political and financial pressure, the IPCC has published progressively dire predictions” which are “couched in opaque language about the probability of their accuracy.” The Pope has clearly fallen prey to alarmism and perhaps has listened too much to leftists who’ve recently come calling at the Vatican — like Bill Clinton, for example.
  • Coercive power exercised by some global authority is introduced in Laudate Deum in thinking that “presupposes the development of a new procedure for decision-making and legitimizing those decisions” (43) and “a multilateralism that is not dependent on changing political conditions… and possesses a stable efficacy” (35). Has the Pope learned nothing from the example of the UN and now wants epic failure on the “climate” front? Has he forgotten about subsidiarity?

Read Taylor here:


Barbara E. Rose is Web Editor of the NOR.

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