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« Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J., on "Charity in Truth" | Main | Back in the saddle! »

Thursday, July 09, 2009


Clare Krishan

Thanks for linking - in defense of the Pope's use of "contingent judgement" re: the energy problem (49) may I remind all interested parties that teaching authority isn't based in "10 reasonable suggestions" but the Decalogue: injunctions identifying that which is inimical to Truth. By the law of contradiction, one either waxes or wanes, develops in truth ('wachs' is old german for grow/flourish) or withers (wane from similar old german words for vanish) without it.

Putting aside our "partisan" hats, and put on the mind of Benedict as liturgist, facing East as the sun rises celebrating the Divine Mysteries as gratuitous gift, contemplating energy:

"Energy is like a river; it exists in two ways: flows and stores.

When you store energy, you create a dam to capture it.

What environmentalists call "renewable energy" is really just the stored energy of the sun.

In actuality, there's no such thing as "renewable energy": all energy, even the sun, is limited.

Fossil fuels are energy stores as well — specifically, they are stored solar energy, a process that takes millions of years — and they are highly concentrated, ten times more so than, for instance, wood.

In terms of wind and raw solar energy, the flow is exceptionally diluted: solar is ten to fifty times less concentrated than fossil fuel. When you can't concentrate it, then the only way to harvest it is to use more and more land. That's the limiting factor for both sun and wind energy." Wind or Nuclear? by Ray Harvey @

Our Holy Father calls us to contemplate that the accelerated, one could say concentrated, development we have enjoyed in the West was no accident, it is part of God's plan to endow man's intellect with the creative ingenuity of fashioning instruments of technology to extract resources from the material world our very existence is contingent upon. All our judgments are contingent! But not all our judgments are good ones. The opportunity costs are often discounted as it is not we who carry them. This is where "truth" comes into the judgement, making of it a moral choice (one that must abide by principles of solidarity and subsidiarity to be weighed and valued as meritorious or not, aka a sin against charity) aka grave matter of faith and morals requiring sacramental absolution for those Catholics who choose to act. The Pope is well within his competencies to remind the faithful that in choosing to perpetuate injustice by neglecting to reform the technical systems we construct to manage limited resources selfishly, we commit a sin against charity, that of avarice as Dante pertinently polemicized by putting the profligates in the same ring of Purgatory for their excessive attachment to worldly goods. Their punishment? Lying prostrated face down in the mud, as the Magnificat foretold: "he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. He hath put down the mighty from their seat." The Pope an make his argument without an analyse of "reasons" for the "crisis". Just the mere fact that it came to pass suffices for him to incorporate the reality in his prophetic teachings, for it is as truely predictable now as it was 2,000 years ago when Mary rejoiced in her Lord and Saviour.

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