Fr. David Vincent Meconi, SJ About Fr. David Vincent Meconi, SJ

Fr. David Meconi, SJ is professor of patristic theology at St. Louis University and editor of the Homiletic and Pastoral Review (HPR). Fr. Meconi would like you to know that he offers Mass each month for readers of HPR; please be assured of his prayers for you.

Comments

  1. Thank you, Fr.Meconi, for this very good commentary. How refreshing to see such a balanced and sobering encyclical, Laudato Si. It seems that when you believe in a Creator, who designed and called everything into existence, it would only follow that you would try to be a good steward, appreciating and caring for the gift of life, as well as the home where you live out this life.

    I like the quote from Joel Salatin, an organic farmer: “I am a caretaker of creation. I don’t own it. What I’m supposed to do is leave it in better shape for the next generation than I found it.”

    Laudato Si.

  2. Dick Birmingham says:

    Thank you, Father Meconi, for a well-expressed editorial on Laudato Si. So far, I’ve only skimmed the encyclical, but I’m thrilled by what I’ve seen. At the same time I’m reading Elisabetta Pique’s biography of Pope Francis, so I see in the encyclical the quintessential Francis!

  3. D. Guidotti says:

    The Church is trying to force secular worldly issues into moral ones, and they don’t fit. While we can all agree with Pope Francis that everyone should be in solidarity with the poor and should respect the planet, that does not mean it becomes a moral priority above all others for the Church. It doesn’t.

    Jesus did not die on the cross to optimize the earth’s ecology or to eliminate poverty. He died to open up the gates of heaven and to show us the way to eternal salvation, if we followed His Word. The Catholic Church was commissioned by Jesus for this very purpose. To save souls from going to hell by converting the world to Catholicism which is the only certain pathway to salvation. What does global warming or climate change or human ecology have to do with this? The answer is none, even if it improves the overall lot of the poor. Raising the economic standard of living for the poor is a noble goal but it is not a strategic moral imperative because there is no correlation at all between material wealth or economic wellbeing and a person’s spiritual health. Raising the standard of living for a poor country does nothing for any of its citizen’s eternal salvation.

    For the Catholic Church to be elevating a mostly non-religious and secular issue into a moral imperative is a moral tragedy. How can the Church justify moving climate change to the top of its agenda (which is how the whole world will see the Pope’s encyclical) when most of the world still needs to be evangelized, when untold numbers of souls are being lost to societal decadence and religious unbelief, when the Church is morally stagnating and loosing Catholics everywhere except in less developed and third world poorer countries, when untold millions of unborn babies are being slaughtered, when the sacrament of marriage and religious freedoms are being torn down and trashed, and as Catholic minorities are being persecuted, tortured and killed in great numbers and right before our eyes?

    One has to also wonder why the Church would risk its institutional reputation by jumping into the man-made climate change fray while it is still being debated and has not been universally decided? Also knowing full well that the global warming (now climate change) lobby groups that the Church is aligning with (UN, government, corporate, and academia) are all reaping immense amounts of wealth, power, and prestige from this issue and where there is already evidence of corruption, collusion, and falsification of the data. Knowing that these groups look down on and despise the Church and its moral teachings, want to transform the world into a ecologically friendly utopian paradise through forced population control (using contraceptives and abortion as methods), favor forced wealth re-distribution, and will mandate conformance to prescribed utopian thought and behavioral requirements contrary to moral truth and free will.

    It is one thing for the Pope to issue a statement or two and to share his personal thoughts on climate change. It’s another thing to issue a more formal and official encyclical that carries the full weight and reputation of the Church and that sanctions and supports a knowingly anti-religious, pro-abortion, pro-contraceptive lobby of environmental activists and ideologues. Is the Church considering the consequences to the Church if it turns out that climate change is not primarily man-made, or that there was dishonesty within the climate change lobby, and they were found to be fudging the numbers? What about the moral consequences of validating an ecological movement that will kill millions of people through abortion and contraception to control population? And who do you think these millions of dead people are going to be? Are they going to be the rich or the poor. Has the Church considered the irony and moral travesty of being the one who caused the genocide of the very people who it wanted to help? The poor, the needy, and the downtrodden.

    Has the Church gone mad? I wonder what God is thinking?

  4. Ted Heywood says:

    I couldn’t agree more with your editorial. If the Pope had done and said the same , it would be universally praised and seen as a clarion call to a more Christian view of the world in which we live. and may in fact live (with the elimination of evil) when the Lord decides to close the curtain.
    I also agree wholeheartedly with the post above of D.Guidotti. The only observation left out was the ‘One World Government’ and wealth transfers resulting in lowered standards of living or expectations for developed and developing countries.
    As holy a man as he appears to be, unfortunately, the Pope also appears to embrace a ‘South American Socialist’ political and economic view with a disdain for North American Democratic Capitalism, even European style socialism, and is struggling with separating moral imperatives (on which he has The Holy Spirit on his side) and the political/economic means of achieving them (in which he has no particular expertise).
    An SJPII or a Benedict XVI he is not. Until he learns to communicate clearly and effectively and gets his Ends and Means squared away, he has the potential to do great damage, unintentionally. Commentators such as yourselves can only restate and clarify so many times before He has lost credibility with the more traditional half of the church, the ones that go to mass regularly and attempt to follow all the teachings. Gaining the false praise of the others is not a lasting good.

  5. Ted Heywood says:

    There are three pictures above preceding your editorial. The left and right ones are the ends ordained by the secular elites the Pope has identified with (I do believe unintentionally). It is the center one that they have focused on eliminating to achieve the other two.

  6. Tom McGuire says:

    D.Guidotti did you read Laudato Si? My impression is that your critique is based on preconceived ideas about what the Encyclical contains. My reflection after reading the document; I have a long way to go before meeting the standard of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. What I take from the earth but do not need belongs to others. Mathew 25 leaves no doubt about who Jesus is on earth today. When I take to myself what belongs to the hungry and naked, I take from Jesus. My question is how do I come down from the high standard of living to which I have become so accustomed? D Guidotti, Ted Heywood, Dick Birmingham and I are privileged with education while the majority of people in the world do not have even enough to live. Francis, Bishop of Rome, is calling us all to reconsider what we thought was how Jesus wants us to live on this earth. It is not what Francis writes that is important, what is important, what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Jesus does not expect us to take much with us as we go to the periphery and proclaim the Good News by the way we live, and do it with joy of the Gospel.

  7. Ted Heywood says:

    What Frances writes IS important…. and also the literary vehicle he chooses to use to publish it.

    In structuring the Encyclical as he did he has taken what has clearly been a ‘teaching’ medium for ongoing development and understanding of Catholic Doctrine which must be given significant belief by the faithful and turned it into a Homily. A Homily is a medium to accomplish whatever the homilist wishes to make of it and/or include in it. The faithful need not accept all that is included in a Homily as it may well include the homilists opinion on matters in which he is not qualified or expert.
    In picking and choosing the political and economic means to accomplish his ends and aligning himself and the Church with those that hold, support and finance means that are totally antithetical to Church teaching he hopelessly muddles his message. To avoid the muddle and confusion, commentators such as yourself must pick, choose and restate that which they will support and ignore the rest.
    The ‘rest’ — One world government, one world plan, the cataclysmic position on Global Warming (now morphed into Climate Change since there is no meaningful observation of any of the effects of ‘warming’ on a global basis) is very damaging to the Church’s credibility amongst most all but the elites of the scientific, governmental and educational communities. None of whom give a hoot about the church and its teachings but will now use it to support their secular purposes.