Cardinals, Climate and McCarrick

Pope Francis plans to appoint 13 new Cardinals in a consistory on October 5th. There are currently 215 members of the sacred college, of whom 180 of whom are voting –that is, they are under the canonical limit of having reached the venerable limit of being octogenarian. Ageism! I dare say, for there are any number of them I would rather have vote after that venerable milestone than others a good deal younger.

What this does mean is that a majority of the cardinals who will cast a vote in the next conclave will have been appointed by Pope Francis. Take that for what you will, for it is the Holy Spirit who guides such things, if they – and we – remain open to His inspiration.

I wish the Holy Father well – in the broad sense of that term, that he be steeped in truth, charity and prudence. And in that light, I also pray, with all due respect and affection, that he would stick to more on spiritual realities – like sin, redemption, the sacraments, liturgy, and the Church spiralling into oblivion – rather than, once again, doubling down on ‘climate change’ and ‘global warming’, all caused by big, bad anthropos – that is, you and I and the seven billion or so others on this planet. In recent plane interview, Pope Francis claims the climate is in a ‘state of emergency’, and that we must ‘abandon’ fossil fuels forthwith, or the sky will fall, or at least warm up a bit.

Here are his words:

In this regard, the forthcoming United Nations Climate Action Summit is of particular importance…There, governments will have the responsibility of showing the political will to take drastic measures to achieve as quickly as possible zero net greenhouse gas emissions and to limit the average increase in global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius with respect to pre-industrial levels, in accordance with the Paris Agreement goals.

Political will? Drastic measures? Oh, my. Sounds all a totalitarian to these sensitive ears. What does the Pope have in mind? I will reiterate for the umpteenth time that not only does the Holy Father have no authority to speak of scientific hypotheses outside of faith and morals, but this ‘hypothesis’ is untenable even from a secular and scientific point of view. Does the Pontiff really think – with all the zealots our there – that we can control the temperature of an entity the size and complexity of ‘Earth’, simply by reducing ‘greenhouse gas emissions’, all in specific locales, for China and India, the worst polluters if one thinks in those terms, are not on board? Why aim for a nice, round ‘1.5 degrees’, and not 1.6, or 1.754, or go full pi at 3.14159? Whatever one’s number, did the temperature not fluctuate – and rather more wildly than these milquetoast measures, we might add – before the dawn of Man? And before the dawn of industrialization? And we may predict there would still be wide swings even if we, homo non-sapiens to them, were all obliterated – which seems to be what some, perhaps many or most, of the environmentalists really, really want, behind all the hot air, and caveat all those who breathe it in.

And, now, a court in Canada has just allowed no less than six – yes, six – appeals (mostly from ‘indigenous groups’) against the Keystone pipeline project, which means, more or less, that the project may well linger in prosecutorial purgatory for decades, lawyers will get rich, the pipe will never see the light of day, and Alberta, and Canada along with it, will sink further into economic misery.

In another plane interview – yes, I know, along with burning up all that carbon – the Holy Father also seems to be taking some sort of joy that he is being criticized by a certain conservative sector of the Americans. I’m not sure what this means – that he enjoys the debate, the chance to question his own opinions and pronouncements, or that he considers such attacks as evidence that he is on the right course. A spokesman clarified that he respects such criticism from such an important country. Hopefully, The Holy Father takes some of it to heart, reflection and prayer.

Former-Cardinal Theodore ‘Ted’ McCarrick, now a simple layman living in a friary, has claimed, in a rare interview and in rather ambiguous language, that he is not as bad as he has been made out to be. As Mr. McCarrick framed things:

I’m not as bad as they paint me…I do not believe that I did the things that they accused me of

Why not, simply and forthrightly, I did not do the things they accused me of, rather than I do not believe I did them? Was he not conscious at the time of the actions, whatever deeds there were? Has he retrograde amnesia? In most things we do, we know we did them, or did not do them, unless our awareness be dimmed significantly, like, you’re drunk, blottoed, besotted, or acting out of some hypnotic mind control, a la, the Manchurian candidate, none of which I think apply here. He seems to have left an unfortunate echo of his presence at Seton Hall seminary.

Whatever the facts – which only God knows fully – It might be best for the former prelate to live out what days that remain in prayer, silence and what penitence he may muster. Eternity dawns, and that goes for all of us.

And, on that bright note, have hope, dear reader. For as darkness and obfuscation fall upon us, the light of truth, of goodness, of joy, shines ever brighter. We are made not for this world – the form of which is passing away, fossil fuels, global warming, or no – but for the next. Yes, we should be good stewards, and use resources wisely, but use them we should, to raise large families, to populate the planet, to live well and magnanimously, not cowering in veritable caves fanning ourselves with bamboo, and so lead many souls to that heavenly glory for which we all should strive.