Cleansing Fire

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Laudato Si – Pantheistic Worship Path to One World Religion – Part IV

July 15th, 2015, Promulgated by Diane Harris

It is absolutely necessary to open this section with a statement that I neither believe Pope Francis is a Pantheist, nor that he has a hidden agenda to cooperate with global forces which are undermining true religion and pushing toward One World Religion.  However, I am of the opinion that such global forces are willingly taking advantage of the Teaching Office of the Church, and using Pope Francis’s sincerity, influence and prestige on their own chessboard.  And in that realm of earthly powers, sadly it appears that our Pope is more of a pawn than a king.  (In a future section, the question of ‘infallibility or not’ will be considered.)

The direct quotes from Laudato Si in this Part IV excerpt the threat and the momentum which are building for pantheistic ‘religion,’ already using the Encyclical as testimony. These quick glimpses of at least the language, if not also the practice, seem to be of a faith tinged with a pantheistic view.  It is a stretching of meaning which could be viewed as poetry but only in a limited sense, and not, it seems, in a document so lacking otherwise in the poetic.  Waiting for the next glimpse of Pope Francis’s own view, peering at us through the paragraphs, is a bit like catching the next quick appearance of the director in Alfred Hitchcock movies.  The following language (framed often as quotes, including Pope Francis’s own) is not offered as comprehensive, but just as examples that need far more explanation than is given in the Encyclical:

“It is our humble conviction that the divine and the human meet in the slightest detail in the seamless garment of God’s creation, in the last speck of dust of our planet.” (#9)

“Because of us, thousands of species will no longer give glory to God by their very existence, nor convey their message to us.  We have no such right.”  (#33)  Isn’t it debatable whether or not, in the rights which God gave to us, we did receive the right to make bad or stupid decisions?

“… humanity has disappointed God’s expectations.” (#61)

“The entire material universe speaks of God’s love, his boundless affection for us.  Soil, water, mountains: everything is … a caress of God.” (#85)

“To sense each creature singing the hymn of its existence is to live joyfully in God’s love and hope…. This contemplation of creation allows us to discover in each thing a teaching which God wishes to hand on to us, since for the believer to contemplate creation is to hear a message, to listen to a paradoxical and silent voice.” (#85)

“Every act of cruelty towards any creature is ‘contrary to human dignity.’”  (#92 — A missed opportunity to witness against abortion.)

“Everything is related, and we human beings are united as brothers and sisters on a wonderful pilgrimage, woven together by the love God has for each of his creatures and also which unites us in fond affection with brother sun, sister moon, brother river and mother earth.”  (#92 – also shows lack of prioritization; i.e. “everything is important.”)

“…each creature reflects something of God and has a message to convey to us, and the security that Christ has taken unto himself this material world and now, risen, is intimately present to each being, surrounding it with his affection and penetrating it with his light.”  (#221)

“Inner peace is closely related to care for ecology ….” (#225)

“In order to make society more human, more worthy of the human person, love in social life – political, economic and cultural –must be given renewed value, becoming the constant and highest norm for all activity.”  (#231)

“When we feel that God is calling us to intervene with others in these social dynamics, we should realize that this too is part of our spirituality, which is an exercise of charity and, as such, matures and sanctifies us.” (#231 – one can also see syncretistic language peeking through, which is covered later in Part V.)

Are we to take these foreboding clouds on the horizon seriously?

Our own naïveté is often a stumbling block for us.  Luke 16:8 states: “…the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light.”  Knowing this, Christ cautions in Matthew 10:16 :   “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”  The question is not so much if the wolves are targeting the sheepfold, but to what extent they are already breaking into it. (This is not inconsistent with Pope Paul VI’s comment on the Smoke of Satan entering the Church.)

Serious as is any attempt to wrest God’s own powers from Him, such as by pursuing the ability to control climate and weather (See Part III), there is an even more catastrophic misuse of the environment, and that is in worshiping it, i.e. idolatry.  Since Pantheism sees the environment as being God, it inevitably speeds forward to acts of worship.  Well documented in biblical history, pantheistic worship is a severe affront to God, who revealed Himself as Creator, and later, in fullness, as Father.  Thus, it is worth revisiting the sad past of humankind.

Inherent Pantheism?

Historic pantheism is not without rationale.  It is almost an inherent response to nature in a spiritual void. If people do not know the True and Saving God, they understandably turn for control of natural forces to various types of pantheism, to the so-called gods of agriculture, water, and harvest to bring blessings and abate disaster.  The Aztecs, for example, pursued human sacrifice to their own cosmological gods to appease a supposed thirst for blood.  Pantheism thus becomes the major source of a multiplicity of gods, so it is difficult to make explicit distinction among the forms.

God clearly speaks His revenge upon those who knowingly replace His rightful role with idol worship.  In Leviticus 26:30, the Lord tells Moses that the punishment will include cannibalization of their offspring, pestilence and sword, and seven times punishments for the sin:  “And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your incense altars, and cast your dead bodies upon the dead bodies of your idols; and my soul will abhor you.”  In Ezekiel 6:6, God promises: Wherever you dwell your cities shall be waste and your high places ruined, so that your altars will be waste and ruined, your idols broken and destroyed, your incense altars cut down, and your works wiped out.”  We need look no further than the Golden Calf incident at Mt. Sinai to realize how quickly human hearts turn to worshiping animal idols. And how influential their religious leader, Aaron, was in the process of their demise (Exodus, Chapter 32.)

Solomon’s downfall was not that he had so many wives, but that he catered to their pagan gods.  In 1 Kings 3:3 we read:  “Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father; only, he sacrificed and burnt incense at the high places.”  Solomon’s love for the Lord did not keep him from sinning in idolatry, a temptation not to be indulged.  Once established, the high places were virtually impossible for even a determined king to destroy, although a few tried.  Whether sources of delightful revelry, or the desolate consummation of the fiery sacrifice of their own children, those worshipers held fast to the pagan incursions which became a repeated future source of contaminating the Chosen People.  Thus we have centuries of proof how, once established, pantheistic worship is difficult to eradicate.  And it is the same reason why we should now, assiduously, guard against its intrusion, from any source.

Christians died for their refusal to sacrifice to the denizens of the Roman Pantheon.  It was not so much because of the Romans’ rejection of Christ, but because His followers would countenance no other God but the One God, and refused to sacrifice to a wide range of “gods” worshiped by Romans.  In Greece, St. Paul found the Agora (marketplace) in Athens filled with “gods,” one of whom he claimed to be the “unknown god,” appropriating it for his own teaching purposes (Acts 17:23.)

Pantheism in Modernity

One can hardly blame those who are ignorant of the true God for their misguided attempts to mitigate disaster.  But, even today, otherwise intelligent people set up sports and movie stars as their own gods, and money and power as well.  They fear rousing the ire of their mini “god” called “luck,” and seek some measure of control, like reading horoscopes, wearing ‘lucky clothing,’ using enneagrams, or ‘knocking on wood.’  The level of such offense may seem minor, until one considers against Whom the offense is committed and how deeply inbred and persistent is the error.

Should we not expect that the modern human would have progressed beyond a worshipful obsession with the environment, especially after 2000 years of Christianity?  In a people to whom God has not been revealed, worship of the environment might be understood, but to those who are highly educated? Technological leaders? Having every modern advantage and benefit of exploring the deepest thoughts and writings? In some ways, it defies imagination!  Still, we must remember that this call to manage weather and climate has not originated among superstitious nth world people, but among those who want to be seen as the intellectual elite.  Greek tragedy must still be in style:  “Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.”  (Euripides.)

The environmentalism/pantheism path to One Worldwide Religion?

Environmentalism today plays to some of the features which made it hard to eradicate the high places and idols. The locales were likely beautiful spots, surrounded by the awesome wonder of what God Himself created. People involved came to feel that they had power in their hands, that they could create outcomes by their own efforts.  The activities had a seeming anointing by at least pseudo religious leaders.  There was a sexual permissiveness, sometimes even at the heart of the worship.  Public opinion held sway, and there was a tolerance based on being mutually tolerated.

It is not so difficult to see some of those factors in today’s  sweeping toward a worldwide religion which ultimately has as its objective gathering into a uniformity of worship, dropping off that which is a source of dissent, having a spirit of rebellion against the previously respected religious authorities and tenets, and attracting to the core those most favoring a permissiveness toward sin, especially sexual sin — permissiveness toward all but those who disagree and hold to higher values, with righteousness now called “intolerance” or “hate” by those pushing forward to a one world view.

Ironic as it may seem, what is most needed to impel a secular crusade for environmentalism with religious intensity, is endorsement by top religious leaders, of whom the Pope would be the most significant, manifested by the high level prominence of an encyclical, and by ignoring moral issues competing for world wide attention, cooperation or repentance.  The culture of death already holds sway, with abortion and euthanasia as modern offerings to the so-called “molech” god.  The endorsement of religious figures for One World Religion would be mandatory, as the gateway to such unification, closing the gates of escape behind those religious leaders and their flocks, paving the way for worldwide persecution.  The good news?  We know that the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church founded by Christ; even if every heretical or spin-off denomination should cave.  But Christ never promised it would be easy.   In Luke 18:8 Christ asks: “when the Son of man comes, will He find faith on earth?”

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3 Responses to “Laudato Si – Pantheistic Worship Path to One World Religion – Part IV”

  1. avatar christian says:

    I have been reading your posts Diane, and I agree with your concerns.

    Since Pope Francis declared the “State of Palestine,” I have not been of one mind with him.

    I am all for preventing pollution and preserving our environment, but “Laudato Si” is completely out of perspective with Catholic Christian priority in addition to the questionable statements and language you have cited.

    I do share his concern for the poor.

    But I am not of one mind with Pope Francis and I do not want someone trying to convince me to be of one mind with Pope Francis.

    I like to attend spiritual offerings, including novenas, in different churches around the Diocese. I am disappointed when I heard the theme for St. Anne’s Novena (July 17-July 25) at St. Anne’s Church on Mt. Hope Avenue – “Pope Francis and the Joy of the Gospel.”

    I have nothing against St. Anne’s Church. I think they have many beneficial events and offerings for the Catholic Community.

    Each night of the Novena begins with prayer at 7 P.M. There is a 20-30 minute talk by the guest speaker and beautiful music from a variety of musicians. The program each night lasts about 1 hour. The topics for the first two nights appear innocuous:

    Friday, July 17th, Sr. Barbara Moore, RSM -“There is an abundance of grace available these coming days…

    Saturday, July 18th, Alice Miller Nation, Chaplain at RIT-Psalm 23 and “Sometimes our Joy is Hidden in Plain Sight”

    Then on Sunday:
    Sunday, July 19th, Joseph Kelly “challenges us “being of one mind with Pope Francis.””

    (They are asking for donors to sponsor the program at a $100 or $300 level. $300 is listed as covering each night).

    I wonder if they are going to include a question and answer period after the talks.

  2. avatar Diane Harris says:

    Even the EWTN Mass this morning (Feast of St. Bonaventure) had a number of encyclical-themed messages in the homily. I hope this trend doesn’t continue. However, if it does, I suggest that the most effective way to stop it is to talk to the priest after Mass and ask: “Have you read the entire encyclical, Father?” And if he says ‘yes’ (surprising with the heavy workload which priests have these days) then ask if he would lead a discussion group with you and a few friends about items of concern or question. (Let me know when, I’ll try to be there!) But I suspect there are many priests who won’t want to lead a discussion group and won’t too readily keep bringing it up if they are asked to be involved in a discussion!

  3. avatar christian says:

    I think that is a very good idea -to ask the priest if he has read the entire encyclical after mass, and if he says yes, ask him if he would lead a discussion group.

    I wonder who originates these themes for parish retreats and novenas. It would not surprise me to find out the pastor has nothing to do with the theme of a retreat or novena and it is a committee from the church and the Pastoral Associate -or-the group of persons presenting the retreat or novena.

    Additionally, I think it is bad theology and spirituality to ask people to be of the same mind as the Pope, whoever that Pope is. All of us, including the Pope, are asked to be of the same mind as Christ Jesus.

    “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,” – Philippians 2:5
    -New American Standard Bible
    “For let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:”
    -same passage in the Douay-Rheims Bible

    and

    “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:2 – New American Standard Bible


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