Is Francis Right?

imageJohn Klotz has posted to his blog a section of the seventeenth chapter of his forthcoming book about the Shroud of Turin. It is called, The Apocalyptic Prophecy of Pope Francis.  Also read an earlier posting, The Apocalypse of Selfishness: The Great “So What?” They hang together nicely.

From his latest posting:

Despite some criticisms from conservative elements in the Church, Francis has not retreated from his elevation of the environment to a religious issue. On May 21, 2014, Pope Francis told an audience; “If we destroy creation, creation will destroy us.”

Is Francis right? Was his statement hyperbole or prophecy? Creation destroying us! Is he prophesying an Apocalypse?

16 thoughts on “Is Francis Right?”

  1. Off topic, Dan, have you received my e-mail with illustrations of the “long” Mandylion, I sent a couple days ago?

    1. Yes. I’ll be posting something today or tomorrow. I did not have time to deal with it during this 3-day 4th of July holiday weekend.

  2. The world, and everything in it, is still in the process of evolution. Creation and destruction, desctruction and creation are part of this process.

  3. I see some connection with coming Sunday’s prescribed reading from Romans, 15th Sun in OT Yr A: Romans 8:18-23;
    “18 I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us. 19 For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God; 20 for creation was made subject to futility, not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God. 22 We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now; 23 and not only that, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, we also groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.”

    I am currently reading “Pope Francis – Why he leads the way he does” Chris Lowney, Loyola Press 2013; Lowney is a former Jesuit seminarian, served as Managing Director at J P Morgan & Co, currently chairs board of Catholic Health Initiatives, a large healthcare system. It provides some fascinating insights into the radical approach to leadership Pope Francis is applying from his Jesuit formation into his mission of transforming the Church.

    There are not only the more obvious signs of selfish exploitation mentioned by John Klotz in Francis’ references to the pollution of rivers such as in the Philippines, but also the more subtle signs in weather change, such as the expected devastating typhoon in Okinawa. We are particularly conscious of this in NZ and the Pacific, brought about by man-made global warming. Despite its mid-latitude geography, the Antarctic upper atmospheric ozone hole now extends to NZ, and our mid-summers now impact on us resulting in one of the highest UV light exposures on the planet. Ice-shelves and glaciers are melting with the consequence of rises in sea levels flooding low lying Pacific islands, already evident in Kiribati and elsewhere. Weather systems are becoming more and more unstable resulting in frequently changeable extremes. One of the principal causes is man-made atmospheric pollution brought about by our excessive use of fossil fuels. Accidents are inevitable with deep sea oil drilling, and occasional foundering of monster oil tankers, such as those that occurred in the Caribbean with major damage to sea-life. Man’s selfishness knows no limits and the earth suffers the consequence.

    Our approach to stewardship has been ambivalent. We may use what the earth has to offer, but primal societies often understood the responsibility of the duties of care and conservation rather better than his modern descendants. We may reap, but we ought not rape!

  4. There is a strong link between our nature and the physical world from where we sprang. We and creation as a whole play ping pong, both are part of the same game. If we talk about Apocalypse we might as well say something about the big crunch or big freeze that some physicists think is a certainty.

  5. Fairly simple Dan. We live on Earth. If we destroy Earth, we will have no place to live and so it will be live Earth will kill us.

  6. It looks like what the great Jesuit paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said is sometimes never taken into account: the world is still in the process of evolution. Many natural disasters preceded human destruction thousands of years before the Industrial Revolution. The Great Lisbon earthquake in 1755 triggered the so-called Enlightenment, that was when Revelation began to be really questioned.,11266?content_source=&category_id=44&search_filter=&search_headline=&event_mode=&event_ts_from=&list_type=&order_by=&order_sort=&content_class=&sub_type=stories&town_id=
    It is not that the Bible has to be thrown away as a book filled with fiction, it is a library which took many centuries to compose. If we are to be intellectually honest then adjustments will have to be made, otherwise deists can poke fun at believers in the Judaeo-Christian tradition.

    Even the most brilliant minds felt the need for “something for the soul”, Rudolf Bultmann continued to be a Lutheran despite the fact that he dismissed the NT miracle accounts, Heidegger had no room for a deity in his philosophy. He fought with the Jesuits when he was younger, but towards the end of his life he began to enter and bless himself whenever he passed by a church, then called a parish priest and asked for a Catholic burial.

    Even RD refused to sign the letter criticising British Prime Minister David Cameron for calling England a “Christian country.” His attacks on God and religion aside, it seems that he still is open to the possibility that he may be wrong when it comes to this.

  7. We might be grateful for the meteorite that killed off the giant dinosaurs, they’d be hard to live with. And the earth and the cosmos will do what it will do, tectonic plate movements cause earthquakes, but they rejuvenate the earth over the course of millenia. But humanity has a share in the responsibility for his environment, and the devastating effects are everywhere visible. More and more species are becoming extinct everyday, because of the erosion of habitat due to human exploitation. There’d be more dying off if it weren’t for the dedicated work of some conservationists. Amazon forests don’t fall over naturally, and the waterways and oceans don’t get polluted without a cause! And the ozone hole is getting larger letting in the UV rays, due to overuse of fossil fuels. Deniers come in two categories: fatalists and exploiters!

  8. My comment of 7th July “There is a strong link between our nature and the physical world from where we sprang. We and creation as a whole play ping pong, both are part of the same game.”
    There are doubts about cruelty in evolution that Teilhard de Chardin(paleontologist) could not answer, Karl Rahner (theologian), another famous Jesuit also could not. If they had answers and today’s theologians, belonging to different denominations, could throw some light, we would not have nine churches closing per day in the US. Soon it will be eighteen, after that twenty seven. There are even less baptisms in traditional Protestant churches in the southern part of the US.
    What is the problem? Have Christian theologians lost the ability to think? No, they should think differently.

  9. Louis: “There are doubts about cruelty in evolution … ” The selfish gene!
    It seems that it was part of God’s plan that the fittest should survive, and that the spoils would always go to the strongest. In this way there would be a world that would have an innate strength where the various species and individuals in it could endure in their environment. Ready for the next step!

    The next step would be to rise above that cruel nature, so that we have the paradoxical teachings of Jesus and Paul. “He who loses his life shall find it;”; “The first shall be last.” “He who would be greatest among you must become your servant.” The paradoxes of the Beatitudes.

    Pope Francis seems to understand this, and leads by the example of his life, in choosing the more humble route, and dispensing with the unnecessary trappings of his position. This is true leadership, see Chris Lowney’s book I mentioned above. But the world trapped in its own nature, measuring God’s favour by worldly success, will never understand it until they aspire to rise above natural instinct, and embrace what it means to be truly human. That is why the churches are being abandoned, because too many of them have failed to understand and communicate this true message of Christ.

  10. Daveb “natural instinct”. I agree, but it raises the question, Where did that come from? It is part of the “mysterium iniquitatis”, which is what even senior Church leaders pointed out, with reference to what was done to Pope Paul VI.
    Daveb 2 “He who loses his life shall find it”. Why create life if one has to lose it to find it? There is much more to this than “meets the ear”. Jesus spoke in riddles, he did so deliberately, so that once could understand by reading between the lines. The message lies hidden there.
    History shows us that churches in general have never understood the true message of Christ, As G.K.Chesterton wrote, “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting.” Has it really been tried and by how many? It leads to an extremely difficult path, as Jesus himself warned.
    Pope Francis speaks his mind, come what may, he seems to have been “dropped from heaven” and one can only agree that he is on the right track.

  11. There lived a soldier who won the Victoria Cross, also a poet and deep thinker, who is slowly being remembered, some lines from one of his (publisher censored) poems now being brought to light.
    Siegfried Sassoon came from the famous Baghdadi Jewish family who made a name in Bombay (Mumbai), India. He was born and brought up in England, was influenced by Ronald Knox,and converted to Catholicism. Like C. G. Jung he was helped by priests and nuns, in his case the nuns at Stanbrook Abbey, and lies buried at St. Andrew’s Church, Mells, England, close to Knox. His name can also be seen on a plaque at Westminster Abbey’s Poets’ Corner.
    Sassoon thought deeply, he needed no relics, he was looking for something for the soul, which neither military honours nor money brought.

    1. There lived a soldier who won the Military Cross, also a poet and deep thinker, who became famous in 1917 and has never been neglected, let alone forgotten. His semi-autobiographical memoirs are classics of their genre. He was made a CBE in 1951. Some of his less subtle first drafts, two of which were discovered in an auction last year, were amended before going to print.

  12. Sassoon was sort of lying dormant, and the discovery of the manuscripts has led Jean Moorcroft Wilson to rewrite his biography.

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