Does Jesus value demons more than pigs? How do we reconcile Pope Francis’ instruction that we should love and value nature and eschew the demonic with Jesus honoring demons above pigs by giving them permission to indiscriminately slaughter them? From Karl Keating’s endorsed Knox Translation:
[quote=“Knox Matthew 8”]28 So he reached the other shore, in the country of the Gerasenes; and here he was met by two possessed creatures who came out of the rock tombs, so exceedingly fierce that none could pass along that road. 29 And at once they cried aloud, Why dost thou meddle with us, Jesus, Son of God? Hast thou come here to torment us before the appointed time? 30 Some distance away, a great herd of swine was feeding; 31 and the devils asked a favour of him; If thou hast a mind to cast us out, they said, send us into the herd of swine. 32 He said to them, Away with you; and they came out and went into the herd of swine; and with that, all the herd rushed down the cliff into the sea, and perished in its waters. 33 The swineherds fled to the city, and there told all that had happened and the story of those who had been possessed. 34 And thereupon all the townspeople went out to meet Jesus; and when they found him, they entreated him to leave their country.
I’ve tried searching this forum, but the only relevant discussion I’ve found was that Jesus granted their request in order to show the reality of demons, to refute those who think Biblical accounts were a superstitious reckoning of mental illness. Does this fact alone justify the deliberate drowning a great herd of animals? I don’t see how, because today this passage seems to carry no more weight with skeptics than if Jesus had simply taught about demons, so that the pigs’ possibly painful perishing was superfluous to the point.
Isn’t Jesus’ foreknowledge of the demons’ future act, combined with His decision to create the universe in a way that leads to this moment in time, make Him responsible for their drowning? How then are we to reconcile this passage with “Laudato Si” from Pope Francis? To put it bluntly, "Pope Francis, you tell us to respect and to love nature, but Jesus cursed a fig tree from no fault of its own (it was not the time for figs) and drowned a great number of pigs just because demons asked him. What gives?"
Going off the statements about “Legion”, “great herd”, “swineherds” (more than one), “all the townspeople” – perhaps Jesus in fact killed all their city’s pigs. Regardless of the exact number, animal lovers have a problem here (especially if it’s true that pigs are smarter than dogs, which Americans love as pets).
I would appreciate any clarification, explanation, insight, or correction you can give me. Thanks for your time.
 Sorry, sometimes I can’t help a little alliteration.
 This question is perhaps better suited for its own thread. It can be phrased more generally: Doesn’t God’s foreknowledge of evil, together with His decision to create everything as He did, make Him responsible for all of it? This point seems strengthened by Frank Sheed who teaches that since we are made of nothing, God must actively hold us in existence every moment. Sheed says this to underscore God’s love for us, but this implies that God also causes our pain.