Today’s post is at The Remnant: Archbishop Cupich Gives Up The Ghost:
What do you think the Catholic Church, that great representation of Christ’s body on earth, in Chicagoland is up to these days?
If you guessed implementing and then bragging about implementing the EPA’s Energy Star program, you were right. Congratulations.
Chicago Archbishop Blase J. Cupich is juiced about all things global warming that are happening in and around the Catholic Church these days. Now I don’t mean to single out this man, because he is one of many with similar views, yet his Excellency has been public about his exhortations. In an op-ed to the Chicago Sun-Times he tells us how joyfully he looks forward “to benchmarking and tracking” the “energy, water, and emissions performance” of the facilities under his care.
My main point is this:
So, fine; whatever. Reduce emissions at all the churches, piously and repeatedly lecture us on sustainability, and redistribute the wealth in what is left of the energy industry and of the Koch brothers to the poor. Then what? Will that get more people into heaven? Or fewer?
The argument of how these things are tied together is never made, so far as I can see, by most prelates. Pope Francis has something of one in Laudato Si’, but the connections he makes are tenuous. How can switching from incandescent to mercury bulbs pull more people off the path to hell?
Now if you are a secularist, even a Catholic one, even one in holy orders, heaven and hell are right here on earth, so you can easily make the case that energy efficiency, or whatever, makes the world more divine. Even pushing for fewer people makes sense, which is why people who live in, for instance, Boulder, Colorado, try to keep outsiders out. Environmentalists want to do the same on a planetary scale.
But you happen to believe in Christ-as-God, as you should if you’re a bishop, it’s the spiritual that should come first, the salvation of your flock. Anyway, Christ should at least be somewhere in the list. I’m not saying it’s impossible that a worldwide carbon dioxide tax can’t produce more heaven-bound souls, but I’ve never heard how.
In 1968, the editors of (the now defunct) Triumph magazine wrote an article entitled, “The Autumn of the Church.” They said:
When Christians lost faith in their capacity to make history, they naturally became interested in the success formulas of those who were making history, or seemed to be. They became interested in liberalism…
For it is the peculiar evil of liberalism, among all the errors man is capable of, that it can hold out a credible promise of welcoming its enemies even while it is eating them. It can do this because its seductive willingness to put up with everyone’s beliefs conceals the implicit bargain that no one will follow his beliefs—will take them seriously.
Und zo? “[T]he American bishops now feel able to take a stand on a public issue only when they concur with the consensus of the national secular establishment.” The Church is “committed to its secular values and goals” and is an “arm” of the “political order.”
As I say in the article, “the Catholic Church in the West has voluntarily morphed into yet another hectoring humorless NGO, albeit one that vaguely, kinda-sorta, mumbles about ‘spirituality’ from time to time.”
Incidentally, I got the days confused: this should have run Thursday at my blog and the alien invasion “disproving” God’s existence Friday. But my mistake paid off, as I now can quote from a commenter at The Remnant:
I almost never agree with Abp Cupich, but he does have a point about those coal miners tracking their carbon footprints all through the house. Yeah, for cleaner energy sources says coal miner housewives everywhere!