The moral voter: Bishop offers guidance to faithful Catholic voters

Check out what Jimmy Akin has had to say about Pope Francis’s environmental encylical.

Bishop McElroy:

it is a far greater moral evil for our country to abandon the Paris Climate Accord than to provide contraceptives in federal health centers.”

There is an assumption that McElroy is making regarding the Paris Accord: That it is actually was doing something good. If climate change truly puts lives at risk, then any accord that would allow the largest carbon producer to continue to build coal plants at the rate China does, isn’t really a good accord.

McElroy seems to be making a political judgment and then calling it a moral judgment.

Umm…I still don’t agree with the bishop…at all!

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Abortion is covered under the headline of Thou shalt not kill. The commandment covering the most severe of sins.

Can’t remember Jesus or Moses or any New Testament apostle equating pulling out of a political agreement to the selfish murder of an innocent party … ever.

If we come before the throne of justice and District Attorney Satan accuses us of hardly doing anything to stop the killing of millions of innocents in our country … :unamused: - “but I backed the Paris Climate Accord …”
is a mighty small loincloth to try to cover oneself with.

:thinking: In fact being lukewarm, or even ONLY typing out a 30 second objection to the most hideous deadly sin of abortion (as I’m doing) may not be a passing grade either.

Great moogly googly. How bad IS the weather in San Diego? Or Rome for that matter.

The Lord knows when a sparrow falls. Sometimes he’s used BAD weather to help people consider repentance.

At least one Old Testament Prophet commanded a drought and ended it through prayer (instead of say, helping King Ahab distribute some committee’s climate notions), raising taxes, and leaving notions of God and morality out of it.

I’m glad of sites like Catholic Answers for spiritual insights … the Weather Channel is ok for things in its area of expertise.

Babies … as you and I were … are formed by the hand of God. Their selfish destruction for profit cannot be shilly shallied into a virtue … nor can weather warriors expect to be taken seriously when equating
opposing their dubious politics as an evil on the same plane (so one might just as well do one thing as the other … preferably the wrong one in the end IMO).

This Sunday’s Liturgy ought to make such things clear.

Google USCCB readings of the day 2/16/2020

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Well, for what it’s worth I agree with you. But just to let you know there is a lot of anger out there. I don’t know if you’re an American or what region of America you are in but based on what I read online there is a lot of anger out there.

Depending on who the next Pope is, there may be a schism. I loved Pope John Paul and I love Pope Francis, less than John Paul but having been to Italy, Spain, and Austria I feel he is in line with his authority as Pope. Given those are Catholic countries they view Catholicism differently; there is no Protestant or government berating you about your beliefs.

Benedict was fine, but he stepped down. He could be popular to a certain part of American Catholics, but I feel in the whole Catholic world he wasn’t as popular.

So, we as Catholics can disagree upon politics. But as a Catholic from a Blue State I know there are regional differences across America. So, don’t let it get you down. I wouldn’t vote for Trump, although I would vote for a Republican. However, I am not angry at Trump or Trump Supporters.

The media is the worst enemy, liberal or conservative because it function only for the sake of ratings. Strong emotions keep people glued to the tv screen. I don’t watch tv anymore, much less cable news. On a typical day I play piano, listen to jazz, read. I’m waiting for Baseball season to start now that Football season is over. So, don’t let it get you down, follow your heart, the Bible, the Saints and always pray.

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There’s also a downplaying of the pro-life issue - as if it centers on contraception as opposed to abortion.

It is deceptive to phrase the pro-life position as revolving around contraception.

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While I was a little disappointed in Jimmy’s language in the beginning of the article that made Pope Francis’ emphasis on climate seem more personal than an inspired message from God, I found the vast majority of his article both fair-minded and appropriate, and completely respectful of all Catholic voters no matter what their conscience tells them concerning global warming. Excellent article.

I agree, and Bishop Elroy did not say that.

Do you think the “as if” part of that evaluation is a possibly a bit uncharitable?

And as we get closer to the election, our prayers should be even more fervent. Let’s pray for unity, forgiveness among all people, for the end to the pandemic, for an end to prejudice.

While the Paris Accord is not perfect, it is a step in the right direction. Getting out of the accords when our global climate is getting worse is not a step in the right direction. Making the Paris Accords better by addressing exactly what you are saying would definitely be the right step.

Well, you didn’t answer a challenge to your unfounded assertion, so I hope you have reconsidered. Here on the CAF, we are dedicated to speaking truth.

I do believe that you are saying what you think is best, but berhaps you might consider the possibility that your own statement “publicly misleads”? Where is your source of truth?

There are absolutely moral choices concerning the stock market, as well as climate change. From where comes the opposite opinion?

Perhaps you might consider reading Jimmy Akin’s article as well as Laudato Si. These are indeed both core life issues.

It’s not what he said, so I hope that helps!

He wasn’t “telling you how to vote”, friend. Catholic hierarchy can legitimately speak out on social justice issues, and both abortion and climate change are those types of issues, as well as runaway capitalism (greed, hoarding of wealth).

Is it a sin to believe that the science behind the theory of AGW is inadequate? Is it a sin to believe the proposed solutions will have disastrous consequences and have no positive effect? Where specifically is the moral choice involved here?

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Of course not, but it is immoral to continue to exacerbate the problems leading to global warming, which threatens human life and all created species. Our Church has a history of paying attention to science when making decisions about justice, and Pope Francis’ acknowledgment of the science behind his words is no different. This is what makes it a morality issue, not that a contrary belief is sinful.

What is your source of truth?

Of course it is not sinful. Again, in the Church we rely on the Spirit to guide the Church hierarchy on matters of what is scientifically accurate. Do you share this faith in the Spirit and Church?

Again, the morality is not focused on the sin of a particular belief, the morality comes into play concerning inaction when the condition of creation is going downhill.

The choice is to do all we can to reverse the current climate trend, which is seriously affecting ecosystems all over the world, ecosystems, including ocean ecosystems, that humans rely on for resources. We also rely on stable weather in order to produce food, so climate stability is an extremely important social justice issue, a moral issue.

What is your source of truth concerning moral decisions?

No, it would only be immoral if one believed global warming threatened all life, and that man was responsible… and then did nothing about it. I don’t believe either is true so where is sin involved for me?

Our Church has a history of paying attention to science when making decisions about justice, and Pope Francis’ acknowledgment of the science behind his words is no different.

The history of the church’s involvement with science (Galileo) is not actually very convincing. The science stands on its own merits.

This is what makes it a morality issue, not that a contrary belief is sinful.

If it is not sinful to have a contrary view of the science then how can this be a moral issue? Where is the sin involved?

Again, in the Church we rely on the Spirit to guide the Church hierarchy on matters of what is scientifically accurate. Do you share this faith in the Spirit and Church?

We absolutely do not rely on the Spirit to guide the church on matters of science. I do not share your belief that it does.

Much less do we dream of teaching that he is infallible, or in any degree superior to other men, when he speaks on matters that are scientific, or historical, or political, or that he may not make mistakes of judgment in dealing with contemporary events, with men and things. (Cardinal Raphael Merry del Val, The Truth of Papal Claims, 1902, p.19)

The choice is to do all we can to reverse the current climate trend, which is seriously affecting ecosystems all over the world, ecosystems, including ocean ecosystems, that humans rely on for resources.

I just told you I don’t believe any of this is true, so where is the moral issue for me?

What is your source of truth concerning moral decisions?

The church is my source for truth about moral acts. She is largely irrelevant regarding the truth of scientific questions.

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I don’t see any sin on your part, not that it is my right to judge. You are using a different source as truth than the Church hierarchy. All sin involves people who do not know what they are doing.

Whenever a moral action involves economic consequences, there will be those who will pay to contest the findings. For example, black people are just people like you and I, but there was plenty of “science” around in the 19th century that said otherwise, perpetuating the economic engine of slavery.

Note: Galileo’s science did not present moral dilemmas.

The sin involved is a sin of inaction, as I mentioned above. It is a sin of omission. If a person or group is a big polluter, it can also be a sin of commission, but in this case we are talking about the Paris Accords.

We rely on the Spirit to guide the Church on issues involving moral behavior. For example, we know through science that the week-old embryo has the same genetic material as the soon-to-be-born child, and that life is precious. We use same reputable, uncompromised sources of science to make conclusions about climate also. The Church isn’t going to look at studies funded by the solar energy industry, for example, nor would they consider a study funded by the fossil fuel industry.

There is broad agreement about climate change among Church leadership, and the bulk of the scientific community. What is your source of truth?

I am with you on this.

And when the moral act involves knowing the best science, we can trust that the hierarchy is committed to prayerful consideration of the source of truth.

What is your source of truth, such that it seems to be different than that of Church leadership and most world leaders? Has the Spirit guided you in your search, such that we should listen to you instead of the Church?

If there is no sin involved how can this be called a moral issue? That’s my question: what makes this a moral issue?

You are using a different source as truth than the Church hierarchy.

The church has its hierarchy of moral truth; for science the criteria are entirely different. This is a scientific question, not a moral one.

All sin involves people who do not know what they are doing.

I think this usually leads to error, not sin.

Whenever a moral action involves economic consequences…

The consequences of an act do not determine its moral nature. It can increase or decrease ones culpability, but it cannot change a moral act into an immoral one or vice versa.

Note: Galileo’s science did not present moral dilemmas.

Neither does the science of global warming.

The sin involved is a sin of inaction, as I mentioned above.

You just said there was no sin on my part for disbelieving the threat of global warming, and since I disbelieve it I would not take any action to “remediate” it. Now you’re saying that inaction would be a sin. Which is it?

We rely on the Spirit to guide the Church on issues involving moral behavior.

The issue is the validity of the science behind AGW. That is not a moral question, and we do not rely on the Holy Spirit to guide us in such matters.

We use same reputable, uncompromised sources of science to make conclusions about climate also.

If you want to argue the science behind AGW that is a reasonable thing to do. What is not reasonable is to assert (or imply) that we have some sort of moral obligation to accept it.

There is broad agreement about climate change among Church leadership, and the bulk of the scientific community.

I doubt that either statement is accurate, but the position of clergy on a matter of science is irrelevant.

What is your source of truth, such that it seems to be different than that of Church leadership and most world leaders? Has the Spirit guided you in your search, such that we should listen to you instead of the Church?

Well, my “source of truth” is not the unformed opinions of non-scientists, and no, the Spirit has provided me with no guidance on this issue. On the other hand I’m reasonably certain the Spirit doesn’t guide the church on this matter either. Christ never promised to explain the workings of the universe to us.

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Pope John Paul II 1990

15. Today the ecological crisis has assumed such proportions as to be the responsibility of everyone . As I have pointed out, its various aspects demonstrate the need for concerted efforts aimed at establishing the duties and obligations that belong to individuals, peoples, States and the international community. This not only goes hand in hand with efforts to build true peace, but also confirms and reinforces those efforts in a concrete way. When the ecological crisis is set within the broader context of the search for peace within society, we can understand better the importance of giving attention to what the earth and its atmosphere are telling us: namely, that there is an order in the universe which must be respected, and that the human person, endowed with the capability of choosing freely, has a grave responsibility to preserve this order for the well-being of future generations. I wish to repeat that the ecological crisis is a moral issue .

Even men and women without any particular religious conviction, but with an acute sense of their responsibilities for the common good, recognize their obligation to contribute to the restoration of a healthy environment. All the more should men and women who believe in God the Creator, and who are thus convinced that there is a well-defined unity and order in the world, feel called to address the problem. Christians, in particular, realize that their responsibility within creation and their duty towards nature and the Creator are an essential part of their faith.

The Church teaches that the ecological crisis is a moral issue. We are obligated to regard ecological health as a prolife necessity.

5. These biblical considerations help us to understand better the relationship between human activity and the whole of creation . When man turns his back on the Creator’s plan, he provokes a disorder which has inevitable repercussions on the rest of the created order. If man is not at peace with God, then earth itself cannot be at peace: “Therefore the land mourns and all who dwell in it languish, and also the beasts of the field and the birds of the air and even the fish of the sea are taken away” ( Hos 4:3).

Got to question your standards of valid science when the proposition that “man walked with dinos” is made.

Sin involves either commission or omission of act. Belief in itself is not an act, so not in itself a sin.

Morality:

It may be defined as human conduct in so far as it is freely subordinated to the ideal of what is right and fitting.

https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10559a.htm

And “what is right and fitting” is that which is done with mercy as the primary guide. This is a moral issue because human lives are being negatively affected by climate change, as I said earlier.

And thanks to @Motherwit:

I wish to repeat that the ecological crisis is a moral issue . - Pope John Paul II

It is a moral question that relies on the facts presented by science, but we can all observe the signs of global climate change.

Incorrect. As we put more CO2 in the atmosphere, as well as other compounds, our atmosphere traps more heat. As heat increases, we have serious climactic consequences, that compromise human well-being in ways I have already stated. Now, if you are contesting this, I ask again, what is your source of truth?

It’s not for me to say what compromises a sin for you. Hoarding wealth is a sin. Contributing to climate change is a sin, but there are degrees of sinfulness. I drive a car, so that contributes to the problem and can be seen as sinful. I also vote for leaders who are dedicated to making changes that will limit human contributions to climate change.

It can be either, or both.

“Moral” has to do with what is right. It is wrong to harm people, so if an act is harmful to people, it is indeed immoral.

No, that is not the issue. The issue is that you do not believe that Church leadership’s source of truth is valid, which indicates that you think you have a more accurate source of truth, whatever that source is, which you seem to refuse to reveal.

When it comes to global climate change, you are obviously in disagreement with the Church. Pope Francis wrote the encyclical, he obviously saw it as relevant, as does the rest of Church leadership.

What source are you using to state that their position is irrelevant? You seem to be unable to answer the source question, so is your claim that you have a special line to God?

Again, what is the source of this “reasonable” certitude that the Spirit does not guide the Church on this matter?

What is your source of truth?

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