Back in 2006, Cardinal George Pell believed that calling for reductions in man-made carbon emissions was part of a new paganism. Now that the Pope is calling for reductions in carbon emissions, and a stepped up fight against environmental destruction by man, has Pell pulled him aside in Sydney to warn him of the invasion of paganism into the Catholic Church?
Cardinal Pell knows The Greening is real competition for the Catholic Church in the recruitment of the fresh hearts and minds of youth :
"I'm a bit of a sceptic about the claim that human activity is likely to produce a man-made catastrophe."Lack of religious beliefs amongst youth is not the key threat facing the popularity and longevity of the Catholic Church, it's the faith and belief system attached to environmental conservation that is proving to be far more appealing to youth around the world. You can have sex with whoever you like, as long as you also take action to lower your carbon emissions.
"Jesus Was A Greenie" was a shortly popular chant at rainforest saving protests in the early 1980s. The Catholic Church are only now coming around to the idea, and marketing potential, of 'Green Jesus.'
The Pope has used his visit to Australia to get the word out that the Catholic Church is down with the fight against climate change. The Pope is re-branding the Catholic Church as true believers in the doctrine that humans are bringing on their own Apocalypse because they think electric lighting is pretty cool, they like warm homes and they prefer to drive cars that grunt, not hum :
"We have to give impulse to rediscovering our responsibility and to finding an ethical way to change our way of life."Pell knows his skepticism must not go too far :
He said politicians and experts must be "capable of responding to the great ecological challenge and to be up to the task of this challenge".
"I'm well aware that over the years, there have been great changes in the climate."
Cardinal George Pell has actually wound back his rhetoric on the fight against climate change being comparable to a new pagan religion. That is, a far more attractive religion for the youth now peeling away from the Catholic Church in favour of saving the world through The Greening. Here's Pell in May, 2006 :
"We have an obligation to care for our environment, a moral obligation," he said.
"We also very clearly have a moral obligation not to damage or destroy or ruthlessly use the environment at the expense of future generations."
Some of the hysteric and extreme claims about global warming are also a symptom of pagan emptiness, of Western fear when confronted by the immense and basically uncontrollable forces of nature. Belief in a benign God who is master of the universe has a steadying psychological effect, although it is no guarantee of Utopia, no guarantee that the continuing climate and geographic changes will be benign.
So according to George Pell, the Catholic Church has, by embracing a world rallying fight against climate change, become a pagan religion.
In the past pagans sacrificed animals and even humans in vain attempts to placate capricious and cruel gods. Today they demand a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.
UPDATE : During his official welcome in Sydney tonight, the Pope expanded his rebranding pitch on how the Catholic Church is now the house of Green Jesus, to the hundreds of thousands of youth gathered in the city for World Youth Day (Week) :
"God's creation is one and it is good. The concerns for non-violence, sustainable development, justice and peace, and care for our environment are of vital importance for humanity," Pope Benedict said.
"Perhaps reluctantly, we come to acknowledge that there are also scars which mark the surface of our earth - erosion, deforestation, the squandering of the world's mineral and ocean resources in order to fuel an insatiable consumption.
"Some of you come from island nations whose very existence is threatened by rising water levels, others from nations suffering the effects of devastating drought.
"God's wondrous creation is sometimes experienced as almost hostile to its stewards, even something dangerous."
Maybe all those devastating earthquakes, hurricanes and tsunamis have something to do with that.