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Samizdata quote of the day

But the church has no particular expertise in science… the church has got no mandate from the Lord to pronounce on scientific matters. We believe in the autonomy of science

Cardinal George Pell

23 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Pete

    Who needs a mandate?

    Al Gore and prince Charles don’t.

    Why should the pope?

  • John Galt III

    Well, there’s the Catholic Church and the Environmental Church. Both have their true believers and their fanatics. Neither one has a monopoly on truth or science.

    I am a Catholic by conversion; so by choice. If I want Rome’s opinion on God, Jesus Christ, Catechism and so forth I will listen attentively. When the church becomes the favorite religion of the world’s Marxists, Socialists and Leftists in so far as global warming, I tune them out and pray that God silences them. A 6 meter snowfall over the Vatican this winter will do nicely.

    I am a conservationist. That goes way back in American history. It was Republicans that promoted the first National Parks. I use to teach at Cornelius Hedges School here in Montana. Mr. Hedges proposed Yellowstone NP and was a Republican Montana state legislator. The environmental movement is the Marxist, totalitarian version of conservationism and has ruined it. Screw them and their global warming. I will debate them any time as I have a Bachelor of Science in Geography and a Minor in Climatology. The latter discipline is unrecognizable today in colleges. It’s just propaganda 24/7.

    OK – church tomorrow morning bright and early and I promise to pray for Pope Francis at length.

  • Bogdan from Aussie

    We can certainly expect a TSUNAMI OF HATE unleashed on Pell by the so called “mass media” here in Aussie. It will probably take a form of two or three individuals allegedly “molested” some thirty or twenty five years ago by some priest who is now far too old to remember anything or even dead and who (the prospective accusers) have been keeping strange silence throughout all those long years.
    Pell then shall be dragged out of his bed at 3am to face the gigantic herd of furious (lefty)journalists.

  • mojo

    Anybody else remember the “Ecology” flag? US stripes in green, dark green field with lower-case “e” in green?

    That was when balance was the watchword.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    It’s not expertise that’s in play here, it’s authority. Like it or not, the Pope is the temporal spokesman for the Ultimate Authority and can presumably speak on any subject he wants. (Alternatively, Roman Catholicism is a scam and the Pope has no special authority to opine on anything.)

    But ‘expertise’ doesn’t enter into it.

  • Eric

    It’s not expertise that’s in play here, it’s authority. Like it or not, the Pope is the temporal spokesman for the Ultimate Authority and can presumably speak on any subject he wants.

    Not true, even for Catholics. His authority only extends to spiritual matters.

  • veryretired

    I respected John Paul 2 for his relentless emphasis on the dignity of the person, and his direct challenges to collectivism in Poland and elsewhere on behalf of religious freedom and freedom of conscience in general. I disagreed with him on many issues, but I understood his background and education was not likely to have included any coherent analysis of the moral validity of free market economic ideas, nor much of any deviation from the overall statist mentality of Europe’s intellectual and religious elites.

    I have had little or no similar reaction to any of his successors, and my response to Pope Francis is simply to ignore him about nearly everything he says. When he speaks of the nobility of charitable behavior towards the less fortunate, I accept it as the pastoral voice of a Christian leader urging compassion upon his listeners.

    After that, not interested in another poorly developed bunch of statist, self-sacrificial baloney, no matter who’s speaking.

  • Ljh

    Time was when the practitioners respected evidence and an ugly fact was sufficient to destroy a beautiful theory. Now that careers, pensions and the ear of the political classes, depend on ideological orthodoxy, they have become priests of a new religion. The pope is merely manoeuvring for a share, much like the assimilation of local deities into saints by the early church.

  • The Christian Church, IIRC, teaches stewardship of the planet and pretty much all else. Thus it has responsibility for the balance between all matters affecting such stewardship.

    In particular, blowing lots of money on something that is almost certainly environmentally pointless (such as the CAGW hypothesis), very likely means much less money to spend on the environmentally usefull.

    Best regards

  • Kevin B

    For me the most disturbing facet of Laudato Si is the kind of people Franny has been hanging about with in order to come up with this load of misanthropic garbage.

    Take this guy:

    “Schellnhuber is actually closer to our John Holdren. He is a fanatical Malthusian who believes the carrying capacity of the earth is 1 billion people. He is also very close to Merkel. In my personal experience he is even more dishonest than Holdren – if that be possible. He manages to get into everything. He is a foreign member of the NAS and was immediately placed on the editorial board of the PNAS. He apparently boasted that he was responsible for preventing anyone questioning warming alarms from getting access to the pope. He is (or at least was) on the board of the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia [home of the well known email scandal that was instrumental in discrediting the IPCC]. They have a cooperative arrangement with the Potsdam Institute.”

    So it seems that the Roman Catholic Church has gone from anathemising birth control to being red hot enthusiasts for population control and quite possibly for eugenics.

    I mean, old Jehovah was keen on having as many souls as possible to Lord it over, but Madame Gaia, (the Pope’s latest love), doesn’t want many of those icky humans at all.

  • I’d convert to atheism but I can’t find a suitable church. No matter. Jews are not required to hold any particular view of theology – only be born of a Jewish mother. So conversion is not required. I just change my mind.

  • Francis? Mules can talk.

  • the other rob

    A veryretired – agreed re JP2. I also quite liked Benedict, but that may in part have been because I got to say “… oh, I met him when he was just a Cardinal…”

  • the other rob
    July 19, 2015 at 11:09 am

    Was he ever a warbler or a tit?

  • Rich Rostrom

    Pell is correct. All the Pope has done is endorse what appears to be the program necessary to remedy what appears to be a problem found by science.

    Suppose scientists discovered that an asteroid was going to strike the Earth in 2040 or so, and a massive global effort was proposed to intercept and divert it. Would it be wrong or improper for the Pope to endorse this effort?

    The CAGW scare is, nominally, equivalent. In either case, it’s not in his scope to pronounce on the findings – but there is a moral dimension to actions in response, and that is in his scope.

    I think he’s been fooled by fake science; but it’s not up to him to judge the science.

  • JohnB

    I like this quote attributed to Plato:

    The person of intelligence is the one who always tends to “see things as they are,” the one who never permits his view of them to be directed by convention, by the hope of advantage, or by an irrational and arbitrary authoritarianism. He allows the current of his consciousness to flow in perfect freedom over any object that may be presented to it, uncontrolled by prejudice, prepossession or formula; and thus we may say that there are certain integrities at the root of intelligence which give it somewhat the aspect of a moral as well as an intellectual attribute.

    Which seems to me to be a good approach. One should just seek to see things as they are.

    (I do believe in the Lord Jesus.)

    Most religious structures and systems seem to become diverted into secular / political concerns and priorities whilst maintaining spiritual labels and covers.

    Which is sad and unreal.

  • Julie near Chicago

    John G. III, I am a ’50’s farm girl, and you are absolutely right as far as the man-on-the-farm is concerned. We were all concerned with (but not so hyper about) conservation in general and soil conservation in particular. Our parents and grandparents had seen the dustbowl years, for one thing.

    What follows is the way I remember things as I was growing up, when I was not terribly aware of legal issues involving conservation. But I don’t recall a lot of talk about conservational legalities’ encroaching on the business of farming. The timber and fishing industries were out of my ken….

    Of course All True Libertarians are against the National Parks and National Forests and National Grasslands and so forth, and despise Pres. T. Roosevelt for instituting them. But although I daresay most average Joes then as now applaud their existence, that’s not what Tom-on-the-farm and the rural areas in general saw as the immediate thrust nor importance of conservation.

    Today’s Environmentalism putsch has only a nominal resemblance to that sort of conservation. The method of today’s Environmentalism is so to expand the list of legislative Do’s-and-Don’ts that individuals cannot so much as breathe without breaking the law. And the purpose? Some are nihilists; some are those who preach persuade and philosophize, who coerce and enforce, Because They Can; some lust after status power and gold; and most, I suppose, are mere congregants who get their news from the likes of Maher, Moyers, and The Daily Show. And their general outlook from whatever’s on Mainstream TV and in the movies.

    Conservation in mid-century as understood by the people on the ground was not about writing laws; it was about genuine education, cover crops, crop rotation, fallowing, terracing on hillside fields, nitrogen-fixing, good farming practices, all that. (And most of that stuff was not entirely unknown in practice, if not in chemical theory.) For instance, the FFA — Future Farmers of America — was a national club for kids intending to become farmers, but not a government program, at least not then and I think not now*, at least technically. Naturally, Environmentalism has hooked into it. For the WikiFootia article, its title is

    ” … /National_FFA_Organization “.

    May Nixon and Ruckelshaus rot in Gorbal Worming Hell for instituting the EPA, and the latter for defending and fostering the cancerous thing.

    See, just for a taste,




    . . .

    * The article on the FFA notes that it is a Federally Chartered Organization. One can click on the links in that article, but the article on the Boy Scouts contains a more helpful section of explanation — assuming, as always, that’s it’s accurate. From

    ” … /Boy_Scouts_of_America “:

    Federally chartered corporation

    The BSA holds a Congressional charter under Title 36 of the United States Code,[18] which means that it is one of the comparatively rare “Title 36” corporations in the United States.[19] The 1916 statute of incorporation established this institution amongst a small number of other patriotic and national organizations which are similarly chartered,[20] such as the Girl Scouts of the USA, the American Legion, the Red Cross, Little League Baseball, and the National Academy of Sciences. The federal incorporation was originally construed primarily as an honor, however it does grant the chartered organization some special privileges and rights, including freedom from antitrust and monopoly regulation, and complete control over the organization’s symbols and insignia.[21] The special recognition neither implies nor accords Congress any special control over the BSA, which remains free to function independently.[22]

  • ams

    Reason does not bow to Authority.

    For that matter, authority isn’t an argument. Why do people allow these sort of back-doors into their heads? Why do they accept that anyone has the right to dictate their beliefs to them, or accept any authority as having sway over their thinking?

    The more the current crop of (unbelieving, btw) leftists try to use the pope’s authority to mind control Catholics, the more I appreciate the American Founding father’s Deist attitudes: Why allow *anyone* to speak for God? If God wants us to think something, surely He can arrange the universe so that it is a *plausible* thing to believe!

  • Paul Marks

    Sadly Cardinal Pell is not Pope.

  • veryretired

    It’s always comical to watch progs trying to invest the Pope with moral authority when he says something they like, after denying him any moral authority whenever he says anything they don’t agree with.

    Anything and everything, and anyone, is merely grist for the collectivist mill—make use of it when it advances the collectivist narrative, discard it when the tactical goal is achieved.

    The religious establishment in the west made a faustian bargain with the progressive political movement a long time ago. The religious authorities of the Jewish and mainline Christian churches agreed to support the state as the main actor for social welfare and the relief of the poor, thereby, they believed, gaining a powerful ally against poverty and other human miseries.

    I was always amazed whenever progs demanded some variation of the separation of church and state, usually to delegitimize a religious objection to one of their policies, when their whole movement is a secular christian heresy which simply substitutes the power of the state for the power of god’s grace to inspire people to perform good works.

    In America’s past, the abolition movement, as well as the temperance, anti-war, and civil rights movements, were all driven and energized by religious elements in society, and much of the impetus for the anti-poverty campaigns of the New Deal and Great Society came from the support of religious leaders.

    But over the last few decades, as the bigger social issues were seemingly settled in favor of the progressive viewpoint, emphasis turned to personal moral issues, such as abortion or gay rights, among others. Now, the religious position is deemed to be inappropriate for the public arena, and religious leaders are told to either be quiet because of the separation that wasn’t so important previously, or because their views are actually “hate speech”, a new form of non-pc approved speech that can be suppressed without violating the 1st Amendment.

    Of course, now that the Catholic church’s leadership, as well as many others, has been co-opted by the left, the Pope’s pronouncements about the morality of various economic and climate issues has regained the legitimacy it lost when it was out of step with the progressive agenda on other issues. Whatever the Pope’s moral influence is in the current instance, one can rest assured that it will quickly evaporate if he dares to uphold any of the other traditional values the Church has long proclaimed, especially regarding sexual morals.

    Sic transit gloria, and acceptance at the best cocktail parties.

  • Laird

    @ Rich Rostrom: “I think he’s been fooled by fake science; but it’s not up to him to judge the science.”

    Of course it is “up to him to judge the science.” If he hasn’t “judged” it to his own satisfaction, lending his moral authority (whatever he has) to it is abject malpractice. But frankly, I don’t expect any better from someone as demonstrably stupid as this man.

  • Jacob

    “Like it or not, the Pope is the temporal spokesman for the Ultimate Authority and can presumably speak on any subject he wants.”

    Correct. There is nothing the Almighty cannot speak out about, and the Pope is only His mouthpiece.

    So, it seems the Almighty has embraced the liberation theology a.k.a. Marxism – which is quite fashionable and popular in South America where the Pope comes from, among Catholics and others, there
    Maybe there is some truth in the Marxist dogma that one’s ideas reflect usually one’s class – i.e. the the background in which you were born and raised.

  • Mr Ed

    A perspective on the current Vicar of Christ on Earth, explaining that he is a Peronist, but failing to explain that Peronists are socialists just like Mussolini was.