The encyclical of Pope Francis

And so the pope has weighed in about climate change, rebuking profit-seekers and the undue influence of industrial advancement and technology on society. He lambastes the effect of these developments upon the poor and upon the planet’s fragility. Man does not have dominion over the earth, he avers, as those who cite Genesis insist, that justifies practices like excessive mining, or fishing with unfair means. In the latter, he specifies gill netting.

Further, Pope Francis brings up two papal predecessors, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, as lecturers on the same theme. Ours is not to till the earth indiscriminately, Francis says, but to conserve. Again and again he goes to the complaint of too many poor who are made to suffer by the desecration of our planet’s atmosphere.

So far so good. Here is where I go off Pope Francis track. All this talk of the overwhelming poor who are the victims of advances in technology points up his glaring avoidance of the matter of helping the poor control their suffering numbers by — perish the notion! — contraception.

Certainly he does not condone the abomination of children born in poverty and growing up stunted from deprivation of proper food and nurturing; naturally, he wouldn’t even approach the topic of contraception for the middle class and wealthy. He does not say: We are all in this together, the desperately poor and the fortunate ones, all should limit their numbers in order to conserve the Earth and thus reduce the degradation of the atmosphere with our smoke and chemicals and overfishing (I wish he could have used the power of his office to mention Japan’s killing of whales for “research” purposes, but then that would have been too specific). Instead, the watchword is, as always, “Human life is precious.” How so? By being born unwanted, unfed, ignored? By being forced into a hostile world?

Instead, the papal blind eye remains turned away from the glaring situation of overpopulation of all quartersP, and remains faithful to Church doctrine appropriate for the time when the Creationist Couple, Adam and Eve, were the only human inhabitants of a pristine Earth.

I can sympathize with Pope Francis. Awkward to alter Church doctrine to suit, isn’t it?


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