Cursory Reflections on Laudato Si – Part 3

Art. 30 registers a Magisterial teaching on the right of access to water. This teaching is by no means something one can “dodge” because the Pope isn’t a scientist:

Access to safe drinkable water is a basic and universal human right, since it is essential to human survival and, as such, is a condition for the exercise of other human rights. Our world has a grave social debt towards the poor who lack access to drinking water, because they are denied the right to a life consistent with their inalienable dignity.

But someone will object: If this were true, our infrastructure and laws would have to change. Exactly!

Art. 33 laments the human-induced loss of species:

The great majority become extinct for reasons related to human activity. 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.

Amen! The “book of nature” is, as St. Bonaventure taught, the first revelation of God to man. We are enabled to read the “Book of Scripture” only because we first have access to the “book of nature” written both on the tablets of our hearts and also in the face of the world.

I hope good Catholics who may work at companies such as Monsanto will read and take to heart art. 34:

many birds and insects which disappear due to synthetic agrotoxins are helpful for agriculture: their disappearance will have to be compensated for by yet other techniques which may well prove harmful. We must be grateful for the praiseworthy efforts being made by scientists and engineers dedicated to finding solutions to man-made problems. But a sober look at our world shows that the degree of human intervention, often in the service of business interests and consumerism, is actually making our earth less rich and beautiful, ever more limited and grey, even as technological advances and consumer goods continue to abound limitlessly. We seem to think that we can substitute an irreplaceable and irretrievable beauty with something which we have created ourselves.

Does any of this have to do with moral teaching? Indeed it does. Art. 36:

We can be silent witnesses to terrible injustices if we think that we can obtain significant benefits by making the rest of humanity, present and future, pay the extremely high costs of environmental deterioration.

The pope is indeed making a multi-faceted theological argument against all of this Big Corporation and greed based devastation of the environment. The first is that God gives things natures, so that each thing has its natural tendencies (ends) and its elemental constitution (atomic and molecular, etc., ingredients). When we “sculpt” these through our artistry, we must do so in such a way as to draw out, harmoniously with these natures, those possibilities that add beauty to the world and render service to us – the noblest creatures and those for whom the world was made. If we think very narrowly with our artistry, we might ignore these natures and bend certain properties to our seeming advantage, while in the end setting these things on a course of destruction. How much prudence must be exercised before any attempts at Genetic Modification is undertaken! And how little prudence actually is exercised. The second is that the multifarious hierarchies in the order of creation attest to the glory of God. They sing his praises. The biologist who catches a glimpse of these is invited to see God “through a mirror darkly,” as I (the layman) am invited to see God darkly in the Grand Canyon. Nor is human provision opposed to these two God-endowed marvels. The opposite. Good human grooming of the environment adds another dimension: For man, cooperating with God, brings the world to an even greater beauty. God, through man, renders glory to God in the gardens, in the farms well maintained (with proper bio-diversity and complementarity).


But someone objects: None of this has anything to do with the Gospel!

Response: On the Contrary! Christ cares about man. Christ came to give life to man, and the Glory of God is man fully alive. No that was not a modernist theologian. That was St. Irenaeus of Lyons! The pope teaches:

43. Human beings too are creatures of this world, enjoying a right to life and happiness, and endowed with unique dignity. So we cannot fail to consider the effects on people’s lives of environmental deterioration, current models of development and the throwaway culture.

We have settled for this. We have settled into this. We are like frogs boiling in the stew of our own unwitting device. Yet we were not meant for this. WHO that has worked in a nature program, that has seen inner-city boys go out to a marvelous camp in Wisconsin or Wyoming or Colorado, and seen them de-stress, de-tox, grow calmer and more natural – I say WHO that has seen this can possibly contend with the pope when he protests:

We were not meant to be inundated by cement, asphalt, glass and metal, and deprived of physical contact with nature (art. 44).

Indeed, we were not! O Lord – a healthy world is not our salvation. And yet, a sick world is our devastation. It brings no glory to you to see a planet sooted with the greed of tyrants. And should one of them, should one of the CEO’s ruling a mega-corporation that has its footprint on this environment, like a boot to the neck of a poor, downtrodden man, should I say such a one read the pope’s prophetic lament: May he repent of his company’s ills, and take firm measure to change them!

24 thoughts on “Cursory Reflections on Laudato Si – Part 3

  1. Thank you for taking me back to the 70’s! It is right that you are a college professor saying these things. I remember them so well. The air, water, soil, sun, trees, all the earth would disappear by the year 2000. Man would die out. Oil would be gone. The sun would be blocked out by the smog. It would be the ice age all over again. Yada yada yada. And here I am today. Man seems to be doing very well. Problems? Sure, we will always have them. And we will always have people like Pope Francis and you. As long as you and the pope are around, we will never run out of hot air. And that’s good in the winter time. As for the summer time, we have air conditioning. Life is good. God is great.

    1. Alright, man! Groovy.

      Is your syllogism running off the fumes of this proposition: “Everything that was stated by the men of the 70’s is sheer lunacy”?

      Indeed, many went overboard. Those who lament the state of affairs in the Church (the liturgy, the character and preaching of bishops, etc.) sometimes go overboard. That does not mean there is no problem now with the (leading) members of the Church. Nor is there no problem with the environment.

      1. It’s more like the Jehovah Witness. The predictions for the end of the world come and go. They are made so often that they become irrelevant. The same for you, Pope Francis, and all the others that make false claims that mankind is destroying the world. Because you base your claims on emotional science, your predictions of demise come and go. Stick with theology. Let’s save souls. The world is a tough sister. She’ll be around when the real end comes. And it won’t be the environment that will bring the end of the world.

  2. The most serious environmental problemas the world face are caused by poverty, not by wealth. Environmental degradation is far greater in Third World countries than in Europe or USA. Just travel around and compare.

    Big Business does some bad things now and then, but I’m sure we’d much worse without plant breeding, agrochemicals, fossil fuels and so forth.

    I understand your criticisms but if you want go deeper than an inch you have also to present alternatives. I doubt we could feed 7 billion+ people without some heavy use of technology and even if we could that would probably meant to crop every acre of land in the planet with a proportional loss of natural habitats and land degradation.

    1. 1. The poor are not saints: I agree. In fact, they often are more greedy than the actually wealthy, since greed is measured by the degree of disorder in the love of money not by one’s actual wealth. Just as, the teenage boy who wants to fornicate but is unlucky might have more lust than an active fornicator.
      2. The powerful and wealthy are better able to determine where they get their resources and where the refuse goes. It is not the practice of most such persons to dump their refuse near their houses and to pluck the resources from nearby.
      3. The not-wealthy but actual consumers of a wealthy nation love to buy cheap, even if, all things being equal, they’d prefer higher quality. (We all desire to do this; there is something natural in this desire, given the FALL.)
      4. Hence, the owners seek labor markets that are cheap, where the laborers have less say, etc.
      5. This is often the Third World or something similar. Resources are then those lying nearby, so that the degradation is in the Third World but not for the Third World. Or else resources are offered by the Third World in the manner of Prostitution (where, as Hugo said: The destitute make a desperate proposal, and the rich affirm it), as the only means of keep on going on.

      Meanwhile, our modern techniques, which give immediate “yields” are depleting the nutrients and offering a future that is bleaker and bleaker.

      The response is obviously not obvious. However, it must indeed concern the CROSS and SIMPLICITY of LIFE. Thus, it WILL hurt, if it is at all to be successful. Hurt because our ‘habits of life’ are weak and effeminate. It is not for no reason – ironically – that the spiritual masters say that a life of luxury yields effeminacy. They do not mean “quid pro quo” in exact measures and determinate results. If I live luxuriously, I am unlikely to withstand, bravely, the future invasion of the US by tyrannical marxists. If I live luxuriously, I contribute to a culture that breads effeminate men. If I extort from nature in order to live according to my weak and luxurious tastes, it is no wonder that our children are confused as to their gender, etc.

      1. Just this morning, I saw a report on the news that the Mayor of Philadelphia along with the Archbishop and others are in Rome to iron out further planning details for the upcoming Papal trip to Philly. So, more travel. The media surely will travel over to cover the trip, too. Indeed, media in Philly is over in Rome right now simply to cover this ironing out the details visit.

        But, the environment. Simplicity. And remember, very early on I believe in his papacy, Pope Francis: I do not want “airport bishops”! Be among the people in your dioceses. Smell of the sheep. The truly poor could no more afford a plane ticket let alone one of the jacked up hotels in downtown Philly so as to be a part of the action this coming fall.

        JPII, in my understanding, travelled more than any Pope in history. So is this encyclical a papal self-fulfilling prophecy?

      2. Things are indeed very complex.

        In third world countries, major, foreign companies tend generally to be more environmentally-friend (and law abiding) than local companies, particularly if you make it proportional to the output.

        Most environmental pollution in the world comes not from excess consumption of industrial goods but from massive use of production techniques that are obsolete and due to lack of technology to deal with urban wastes.

        Calling for a more plain, simple, lifestyle is obviously effective in gathering sympathies. Who could be against it?

        Nevertheless, it remains highly unrealistic as it never happened voluntarily, not at nationwide scale let alone worldwide.

      3. 1. Italy was once ruled by thugs and feuds. A daring little man of God changed it – voluntarily.
        2. All activity must be governed, unless it is the activity of the One Who Governs All.
        3. But there is activity that is not governed. Hence, the Natural Law calls on us to seek governance for the activity of international commerce.
        4. I don’t disagree that the Third World is often enslaved by its own more than by foreigners. So, the Africans upon a time. So, others now. Part of that is the degradation fostered by their own rulers seeking immediate gratification.
        5. We can, and we must, call for simpler lifestyles. It is, I would argue, only becoming. Prudence here is the measure, and chances are that we who swim in luxury have not our compass aligned well. But if it is not heeded, and it probably won’t be heeded, the devastation will continue. Ultimately, there will be an “event” or sets of events that do not allow for a “voluntary” response but demand immediate action. Enter the Japan reactor stupidity.

        I think I would argue in a totally naive way that we need to look less at an “international governing” solution and more towards the model of the Benedictines and smaller scales and simplicity of life.

  3. “The great majority become extinct for reasons related to human activity. 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.”

    So we’re to sound the alarm on this and yet, the Pope stated before that it’s not necessary to talk about certain issues all the time (abortion being one of them). He more recently stated that “three is enough” and proceeded to judge publically a woman’s imprudence in her rabbit-breeding.

    I cannot believe that otherwise intelligent men are falling over themselves with Pope Francis.

    1. There is much about which to be critical concerning this Pope. Much indeed. His remarks in interviews etc. are often absurd and certainly damaging and confusing. God’s permission is the only explanation. That does not mean every word out of his mouth is bad. I’m only at about par. 35 or so. The theology of creation here is so far very rich. His comment about the woman was a total insult and reprehensible, as was his “Who am I to judge” etc. etc. etc. That said, if we had only an ounce of the “spirit of poverty” we would not be up in arms against this encyclical. Ergo, we have not one ounce.

      1. I would argue that if we had but an ounce of that serpentine wisdom that we ought to have in our discernment, we would see this for what it is: a diversion, a quasi-religious pseudo-crusade inspired by humanism, not by God. I would also argue that true poverty of spirit would realize that we need God – that the true crisis today is that man is utterly, practically without God. Indeed, that is what poverty of spirit implies: that one needs God. NEEDS God. Instead, we’re fed alarmist moralizing that we must mine through for the “good parts”. And the Pope appoints atheists and anti-Catholics as advisors to join their wisdom to his, united in their Quest. So what is ultimate is subordinated to what is, and the question itself of whether there is any real need for dire concern over the state of the environment it itself up for debate, merely temporal and passing. Our Lord can tell us plainly that we ought to fear the death of our souls more than that of our own bodies and yet we have a world, spiritually dead and mired in the worst sins – a world in which “Catholic Ireland” can approve “gay marriage” and do so with SILENCE from the Pope on the matter not to mention approval by the Bishop – that is being painted as the most pressing concern imaginable.

        And Catholics follow suit and moralize against those “up in arms” for lack of “humility”.

      2. Again, the negligences are horrific. Agreed completely.
        Also, you make the very good point that I should also have made that poverty of spirit is oriented first to God, our need of Him. Amen to that. (How easy it is to forget or omit something in this life filled with so much! Say one thing; another goes unsaid.)

        However, that the environment has a problem is debatable only by the insensate. Whether the problem is “climate change” is a totally other matter. The pope may perhaps be utterly and entirely mistaken and hoodwinked on this particular. But THAT there is a problem no one could possibly deny. Just pay attention to the health of those around you. Critically match that with the health in the good old 70’s when we were young and went to school. The number of kids who had the sniffles and asthma was minimal. Now it is rather common. Think of the number of people with digestive issues: Gluten and dairy “thenthitivities”. It is not insignificant, and it is growing. Much of this in the US is of course probably simply poor dietary habits. Just look at Lake Erie for crying out loud. Is this all “gloom and doom”? No. Lake Michigan improved very quickly after some measures were taken to clean it up. “For all that, there is the dearest freshness deep down things.” Nature is powerful, for it comes from the hand of God!

        Now for the links. We are living under an anti-natural paradigm concocted by probably atheistic — certainly not seriously Christian, must less seriously Catholic — philosophers. That is our paradigm. Not the Benedictine stewarding of nature towards marvelous farmlands, good cheese, great wine and beer, etc. That is good technology. Rather, we are living under — instruments of and also agents of — an anti-natural paradigm of extortion of nature for man’s immediate gratification. We are belching out the sacraments of our immoderation.

  4. What does it profit a man to clean up the whole world and deny God, offend Him, act as if He has given no commandments? What does it profit a Pope to gather all the world’s attention to the problems with the environment while the world is utterly lost in moral and religious confusion and indifferentism? Do you not see that this is precisely the tactic Satan uses to tempt even our Lord? Be more earthbound. Do what the moralists and secular humanists expect from you – those without faith, those who have not the eyes to see who you really are – what of them? Will you let them down? Will you not be their Messiah? Divorce your mission from the supernatural.

    Our former Pope Benedict understood this. His first volume of Jesus of Nazareth is a masterful elucidation of what Satan tried to do; how, appealing to good things, he attempted to subvert what is ultimate. Because if you lose what is ultimate, nothing else matters. The entire world could be cleaned up, in theory. Let’s say it is. God will one day destroy it regardless. (And no, of course, that doesn’t give us license to destroy it for Him.) But a new heavens and a new earth. We have here no lasting city. This is a place that is ultimately for something eternal. A truly Catholic sensibility would stress such a thing in an encyclical.

    And truly, theory aside, have there not always been diseases and sicknesses? I honestly do not know if things are getting better in this sense or worse. Modern allergies? Ancient plagues. Along these lines, would it not have been quite a statement for the Pope to make to point out that while the world moralizes and guilt-trips everyone into their “cause” mentality year in and year out to “end” the demon of Breast Cancer, that that same world, which has denied God, may well be responsible for it in the first place; for there is a link, is there not, between contraception and cancer in women?

    1. Such things should also have been said. Yes indeed. Estrogen in the water. Yet another thievery of manhood. Contraception and cancer. When we go against nature, she rears up in revolt. She will spew us out of the land.

      Your point really only addresses the negligences. I complete concur. As future posts will indicate, however, there is a rich theology of creation here that indeed invites this completion and balance.

      The takeaway line is this: 1) What profit it me if I give all I have to the poor but have not love? Nothing! 2) Yet, to those who speak only of love of God and do not follow Jesus’ call to give all of self to him, and hence in the measure of calling and response to respond generously by allowing my “private” property to enter the flow of the universal destination of goods, have indeed the true faith – perhaps – but shall be addressed by Christ either (a) merely in the mild rebuke of Purgatory or (b) severely in the rebuke of condemnation.

      Hence, what is not a sufficient condition for salvation might be a necessary one.

      1. Indeed. As Pope Francis states:

        218. In calling to mind the figure of Saint Francis of Assisi, we come to realize that a healthy relationship with creation is one dimension of overall personal conversion, which entails the recognition of our errors, sins, faults and failures, and leads to heartfelt repentance and desire to change. The Australian bishops spoke of the importance of such conversion for achieving reconciliation with creation: “To achieve such reconciliation, we must examine our lives and acknowledge the ways in which we have harmed God’s creation through our actions and our failure to act. We need to experience a conversion, or change of heart”.[153]

        However, that “love” you speak of – “charity” actually, communion with God via supernatural grace, that is the line that is blurred. For just ten paragraphs later, we hear:

        228. Care for nature is part of a lifestyle which includes the capacity for living together and communion. Jesus reminded us that we have God as our common Father and that this makes us brothers and sisters. Fraternal love can only be gratuitous; it can never be a means of repaying others for what they have done or will do for us. That is why it is possible to love our enemies. This same gratuitousness inspires us to love and accept the wind, the sun and the clouds, even though we cannot control them. In this sense, we can speak of a “universal fraternity”.

        Let us recall that this encyclical is addressed to the whole world. But the whole world is not baptized. Indeed, the Pope has suggested elsewhere that attempting to convert is not needed. Thus, we are not all God’s children, with Him as our Father, for this denies the doctrine of divine adoption, possibly only through Christ and the need of baptism and repentance, the need to confess Christ. So conversion to Christ is downplayed in favor of a universal fraternity, entirely consistent with Francis’ statements and actions elsewhere.

        That is the tragedy. One gets the sense that what ultimately matters, “religious differences” or one’s personal religious “tradition” aside (the “Judea-Christian tradition” is mentioned many times throughout this as a sort of possibility for wisdom in our united search to better take care of our common home), is such common fraternity for, after all, the environment, our common home, is crying in pain.

        So, no, I will not be celebrating this document nor feasting on its supposed richness. For to me, it is thin gruel. It contains elements that cut to my heart and conscience and which I must heed. But those elements are part of an overall context that is, at bottom, false. It reads practically as a mere Christian humanism. And that is not enough. That is not our Catholic Faith.

      2. < >

        Your point about an insufficiently clear and robust doctrine of charity is well taken. Nonetheless, consider this:
        1. St. Thomas Aquinas says that everyone is a member of the body of Christ, at least “in potentia”.
        2. Neighbor and brother are often synonyms. But any man living is my neighbor.
        3. You might also add this incisive criticism: We cannot “love” the wind in the same way as we love even our enemy. I will my enemy’s good, his union with God; hence, his repentance etc. But I do not will “air” to see God.

        On the other hand, when I have love of God, enter into the filial spirit that he is trying to infuse into my cold heart, I can begin to see everything – even the “blister beetle” so intriguing to my oldest son – as a sign of God’s mysteries and decrees, in some way. God is speaking. The book of the world helps us open the book of Scripture. The book of Scripture helps us read the book of the world. Have we a contemplative heart, ready to read? Or have we that acquisitive edge that reads it all mechanistically, and as oriented to my LOWER goods.

  5. As I have read some of your other work, I know your thought is not such that you would pin the “contemplative” or “book of the world” against the seeming cold rigidity of doctrine or Scripture, though I could see how one may get that impression in reading your last comment here. I agree with your point about the various ways God speaks. Yes, we need to have such a heart. I think this is often a valid critique of “Traditionalists”: that in their doctrinal fidelity, they can seem one dimensional. I think there is a danger for them here with this document of missing the moral call that you have been pointing to. To ignore that call would be quite unwise. Unfortunately, some may not even hear it at all due to the needless distractions that pinning this call to “global warming” has created.

    As to the other points:

    1) Yes, “in potentia”, but never would that override the need to convert. The fact that there is the potential implies that there is something to be actualized. My doubt is that Francis would agree.

    2) Any man living is my neighbor, true, but never can that become the basis for a substitute for the Church’s mission, whereby our common humanity and the call to “fraternity” is the be all and end all. That is precisely the danger as I see it. It is putting something lower first and doing so in a way that can deceive. We can never do anything good without God. That ethos of the world today could not be further from that realization. And once we take the bait for that humanistic morality, we lose all.

    3) Good point.

    1. 1. You are right that I in NO way oppose this contemplative outlook to a notion of dogma as “rigid”. Dogma is foundation. Absolutely necessary foundation. I am always startled, however, in visiting monasteries (those that are not floundering without direction) that the monks are pretty reserved, quite, slow to speak, etc. They are, well, “contemplatives”. They wish to receive existence as from God, be it suffering (the Cross) or joy (a gift). This is all that I am pointing out. This “sensibility” is deeply human, and quite at odds with an excessively “active / lay” mentality. If this is so, then, one of my additional points is that the LAY spirit must be chastened by the TRADITIONAL MONASTIC spirit. The active by the contemplative. And ultimately, as you rightly indicate: REGARDING THE ONE THING NECESSARY.

      2. Of course mission and evangelization are top priority. “Hey man, dig thy bro” is not going to get the Church off the ground. We must preach the Gospel, with charity and tact but really. And again you are correct: No one who is not Catholic is a member of the body of Christ. Such a one may indeed enjoy the Spirit of Christ, if he is invincibly ignorant of the necessity of the Catholic Church (Holy Office, Letter to Archb. of Boston, under PIUS XII), but he is not a member of the one body that is the Church. Or rather, as the ORTHODOX theologians say, he is a member “in voto (in desire)” but not “in re”.

      Evangelization is needed, and to denounce “proselytism” as “nonsense” while not promoting evangelization is, indeed, utterly reprehensible.

  6. It’s sad to see many good catholics following this “Eco-trap”. I can’t help but recommending the reading of the book: “Liberalism is a sin” by Father Sardá and Salvany. It will give you many clues to understand what’s happening in the Church since the CVII.

    I will leave this comment box with a quote from the 70’s very telling of our current set of events. Note: The “Akas” are from me:

    “Please take into consideration that there are only few voices that speak up with courage to stop this divisiveness. Some talk about unity but then let the wolves scatter the sheep, talk about peace and then introduce in the Church even from official departments, the Marxist categories of Class Struggle (aka rich vs poor?) or the materialistic analysis of social events (aka earthbound analysis of global warming?), talk about freeing the Church from any temporal power and they don’t spare any sympathies to those who oppress the consciences (aka abortion and sodo-rights enforced by the UN?), talk about seeking a more deep Christian life and they allow any kind of abuses on liturgical matters and the administration of the sacraments, without any public authority (from the church) cutting off the abuses, sometimes truly sacrileges, in liturgical matters. (Aka beach ball in the altar?), finally they talk about respecting the dignity of the human life and in doing so, they discriminate the faithful employing tactics used to create political divisions.”

    (Letter from St. Josemaria Escrivá de Balaguer in Rome, 3-28-1973)

  7. I meant to mention this, from article 27: “The exploitation of the planet has already exceeded acceptable limits and we still have not solved the problem of poverty.”

    Let that sink in for a moment. Solving the problem of poverty. This is the mindset of the Pope, Christ’s Vicar. Christ said, scandalously, that we will always have the poor with us. He said that. But His Vicar thinks that poverty is something that can be solved.

    1. A good point: Poverty cannot be solved and to think that it can leads to evil. (On that, the pontificate of JPII.)

      On the other hand, I think a basic point one can at least associate with this statement is that “We still have yet to fight poverty to the best of our ability. Or, in a way that could be called sufficient.” In short, we are still tasked on that front.

      1. I do not know what it means to “fight poverty.” It’s sounds like a Democratic talking point. As Catholics, we are called to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, etc. The works of mercy. Never in my consideration of these works did I get the sense of a “fight” in that, given sufficient attention, it could be “overcome.” Instead, and ironically, given the “Christian personalism” that the Pope is seemingly striving for, when the Church calls us to works of mercy, it is ultimately about the love of neighbor and love of God – our love of God as evidenced by our love of neighbor and our love of neighbor as a genuine concern of them due to the love of God that dwells within us. But again, it is a different thing to talk about “solving” poverty. That is a secular humanist’s dream.

        Further, the way it is expressed in the encyclical, it sounds communal ultimately: “we” solve the problem of poverty. But that is not a true moral call as I understand it. There are no “social sins”. Individuals sin. Society cannot sin. Perhaps that is what the Pope meant by “we” – all of us as individuals, we neglect the poor still. Yet given the larger context, I am not sure such a generous reading is justified.

      2. Well, precisely here we have need of another, separate post.

        It is true that the only agents that sin are individual persons. Nonetheless, it is not true that patterns of action cannot emerge from collaborative endeavors. They can. Further, it is not true that none of these patterns can be disordered. They can. The result: What John Paul the Saint (I do not say Great) dealt with as “Social Sins”.

  8. Dear Chrismalloy: Your treatment of the Pope´s encyclical on the environment is naive, to my opinion. What you shoul be on guard is the fact that this Pope is a magalomaniac, as shown by the use of the first singular “I” in many of his statements. While vaious paragraphs are sound from a strictly Catholic view, the majority of it is an exercise in self complacendy. No encyclical has ever been addressed in the first singular person, except by Francis the Greattest.

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