John-Henry Westen, Editor,
NEW YORK, May 24, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com)
- On May 10, Archbishop Celestino Miglioore, the Vatican's representative at the
United Nations, addressed the Economic and Social Council of the UN on the hot
topic of climate change. His comments were disturbing to many since he
seemed to indicate the Vatican was taking sides in the contentious debate around
the causes of climate change.
Furthermore, by failing to
clarify that the Vatican does not support population control as a means to
address global warming his use of the terminology employed by groups advocating
population control as the primary solution to avert disaster is also raising
stated, "The scientific evidence for global warming and for humanity's role
in the increase of greenhouse gasses becomes ever more unimpeachable . . . and
such activity has a profound relevance, not just for the environment, but in
ethical, economic, social and political terms as well."
While debate among climate
scientists rages about the human contribution to climate change and global
warming, many are concerned that the Vatican ambassador has chosen to take sides
on this controversial issue.
A few months ago the
Evangelical leadership of the United States ventured into similar territory when
the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) published the Evangelical Climate
Initiative. The statement claimed that "climate change" is
"human-induced" and would result in the deaths of "millions of
people…most of them our poorest global neighbors," through climatological
disasters such as hurricane Katrina.
spokesmen, including Focus on the Family founder Dr. James Dobson, and the
Southern Baptist Convention's Richard Land called on the NAE to back down from
its controversial stand "We believe there should be room for
Bible-believing evangelicals to disagree about the cause, severity and solutions
to the global warming issue . . . Global warming is not a consensus issue, and
our love for the Creator and respect for His creation does not require us to
take a position," Dobson, Land and others wrote.
In language that could be
equally addressed to the Vatican, Dobson told the NAE that certain individuals
"are using the global warming controversy to shift the emphasis away from
the great moral issues of our time, notably the sanctity of human life, the
integrity of marriage and the teaching of sexual abstinence and morality to our
Another concerning comment
in the Archbishop's address to the UN was a glowing reference to
"sustainable development", UN lingo which has long been associated
with population control. "There is still time to use technology and
education to promote universally sustainable development before it is too
late," he concluded.
Those in the pro-life
community who have been following developments at the United Nations for the
past decade are well acquainted with the language employed by Archbishop
Migliore. It is the same as that which has been spouted by those seeking
to force population control on developing nations by inciting fear of climate
disaster and false promises of prosperity with from depopulation.
Joan Veon, a veteran UN
expert who has reported on about 100 United Nations conferences explained what
UN policy-makers mean when they use the term sustainable development. In
1992 during the UN World Summit on Sustainable Development Veon observed:
"Sustainable development basically says there are too many people on the
planet, that we must reduce the population."
Not only UN experts but
also national leaders have admitted publicly that population control lies at the
heart of plans to combat global warming.
Last month China boasted
that its one-child policy, which has been criticized by many nations for
including forced abortion and sterilization, had reduced greenhouse gases.
Speaking at a meeting in Oslo on the UN's Kyoto Protocol, Hu Tao of China's
State Environmental Protection Administration said the one-child population
control policy has slowed "global warming" by limiting the population
to 1.3 billion. "This has reduced greenhouse gas emissions," he
In 2004 Russian
presidential economic advisor Andrei Illarionov called the Kyoto Protocol - a UN
sponsored treaty to reduce greenhouse gases - an "undeclared war against
Russia" since it required depopulation. Quoting a British team of
scientists and government officials Illarionov said, "As long as you reduce
your population, you can meet the Kyoto Protocol requirements."
control advocates have become more open about their agenda. A report
published May 7 by the Optimum Population Trust declared that the best
"carbon-offset strategy" was to reduce the number of human beings and
thus defeat the "global warming" phenomenon.
limitation should therefore be seen as the most cost-effective carbon offsetting
strategy available to individuals and nations," read the report, A
Population-Based Climate Strategy. "The most effective personal climate
change strategy is limiting the number of children one has," the report
says. "The most effective national and global climate change strategy is
limiting the size of the population."
The stance of most of the
pro-life movement regarding the environment was recently expressed by Czech
President Vaclav Klaus in March of this year. "All of us are very much in
favour of maximum environmental protection and protection of nature," he
said in an interview with the Cato Institute. "But it has nothing in
common with environmentalism, which is ideological and practically attacking our
Environmentalism is, he
said "a way of introducing new forms of statism, new forms of masterminding
human society from above."
Should the Vatican wish to
get into the game of prediction of man-made climate disasters perhaps they
should revisit Biblical interpretations of natural disasters resulting from the
sinfulness of mankind. The Biblical account of Noah's Ark describes the
whole known population of the earth being drowned in a flood except for Noah and
his family, who were faithful to God.
To say nothing of the
destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the flood was caused, teaches the Church, not
by global warming, but by global sinning.
See the full text of the
Vatican address to the UN: http://holyseemission.org/10May2007.html
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What is Mysticism?
Question: A man at work claims to
be a “mystic.” What exactly is “mysticism.”
Answer: From the Catholic perspective, a working definition of
“mysticism” would be “seeking to be closely associated with God.”
The Catholic Encyclopedia gives this more detailed definition:
Mysticism is either a religious tendency and desire of the human soul towards an
intimate union with the Divinity, or a system growing out of such a tendency and
desire. As a philosophical system, Mysticism considers as the end of philosophy
the direct union of the human soul with the Divinity through contemplation and
love, and attempts to determine the processes and the means of realizing this
end. This contemplation, according to Mysticism, is not based on a merely
analogical knowledge of the Infinite, but as a direct and immediate intuition of
the Infinite. According to its tendency, it may be either speculative or
practical, as it limits itself to mere knowledge or traces duties for action and
life; contemplative or affective, according as it emphasizes the part of
intelligence or the part of the will; orthodox or heterodox, according as it
agrees with or opposes the Catholic teaching.”
Mysticism is absolutely not an attempt to control God or His
heavenly creatures—mysticism is not magic, and never seeks to
gain power over God or the angels or the devils. There are no mystical
“spells” or “incantations.” In the relatively rare cases where
mystics are associated with miracles, those miracles are worked freely by God
because He finds the prayers of the mystic in keeping with His own plans.
If there have been a few mystics who levitated or bilocated, it was only because
God determined that such phenomena were beneficial in the eternal scheme of
things. Often the miraculous phenomena associated with mysticism are
inconvenient, and not beneficial for the mystic.
At the most basic level, man can seek to associate himself with God through
natural reason. The ancient Greek philosophers made a significant
contribution, recognizing that man is a rational creature, capable of examining
his relationship to his surroundings, capable of recognizing a transcendent God,
above and beyond the furnishings of nature. Men like Plato were wise
in comparison with the “foolish” described in the Book of Wisdom, “who
from the good things seen did not succeed in knowing Him who Is, and from
studying the works did not discern the artisan; but either fire, or wind,
of the swift air or the circuit of the stars, or the mighty water, or the
luminaries of the heavens, the governors of the world, they considered gods.”
The Greeks reasoned to realities beyond the appearances of the world; to
knowledge rather than opinion.
On His part, God reached out to those willing to approach Him. The
Old Testament is filled with the account of the relationship of God and mankind.
It begins with man being created with the special graces necessary to approach
God, describes how those graces were lost, and narrates God’s efforts to
repair that damage. Often it speaks of the Jews as His especially chosen
people, but there is mention of other people as well: Job and the
Mesopotamians of Ninive, and the Arabian sons of Ishmael to name a few of the
more obvious. In the Old Testament there is a heavy emphasis on obedience
to God’s Law, and on the offering of ritual sacrifices to Him. But God
was truly present with His people, in a way that the Greeks probably never
imagined to be possible.
“In the fullness of time, God sent His only-begotten Son” to complete
the work of repairing man’s relationship with Him. We find the emphasis
of the New Testament shifted from servile obedience to the possibility of
becoming the adopted sons and daughters of God. Man must still keep the
Commandments, to be sure, but his approach to God is rewarded with sanctifying
grace which makes him pleasing to God as a son rather than as a servant.
The life of heaven begins here in this life on earth. The ultimate
end for those who persevere will be happiness in Heaven in the direct beatific
vision of God. The Catholic seeking God will frequent the Mass and
Sacraments, uniting himself with the prayer life of the Church. Some will
seek God in seclusion, but the Church has known many mystics who lived the
active life. All live in imitation of Christ. With grace God has
elevated the human soul to a supernatural state—to some souls He gives the
gift of experiencing His presence even in this life through mystical
contemplation of the Divinity.
You might want to be wary of self proclaimed mystics. Generally
speaking, true mystics are humble people who don’t go around talking about
themselves—certainly not in a boastful way. Even Saint Paul, inspired by
God to write of his mystical experiences, remained quite modest about the whole
thing, insisting that it was nothing more than the filling up of God’s
strength in Paul’s lowly weakness.
Our Catholic Studies Group will be making a study of Mysticism.
meet Tuesday evenings at 7:00 PM at the Rectory.
Why not join us?
BIBLICAL "SNIPPET" SCHOLARSHIP
Protestant friend says that 1 Thessalonians iv: 17 proves that
Christians will be “raptured before the tribulation.” How do you
Answer: First of all, the Bible is the Catholic Church’s book, set
down under God’s inspiration by the men who had been appointed by Christ to
baptize and “teach all nations to observe what [He] had commanded.”
The Evangelists who were not also Apostles, wrote under the direction of
Apostles—Mark under Peter and Luke under Paul. Any interpretation of the
Bible must then be in accord with the teachings of the Catholic Church.
The “rapture” (at least as it is understood as the removal of the just from
harm’s way), and the “millennium” reign of Christ on earth following a
resurrection of the just, are ideas that have been weighed and rejected by the
But, even if one were to pick a topic about which the Church had no
explicit teaching, the method of picking a single verse out of the Bible and
claiming that it supports a particular doctrine is fallacious. Certainly,
one ought to read—at least—the rest of the chapter, and not just a single
“snippet! Had your friend done this he would have realized that Saint
Paul was describing what would happen to those who died before our Lord’s
second coming. They were to rise from the dead and be taken up to
heaven—a fact which Saint Paul assumed would be of comfort to those who had
lost their loved ones, “lest they should grieve, even as others who have no
hope” (v.18, v.13). Following the resurrected dead, the living, “we
who live, who survive, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to
meet the Lord in the air, and we shall ever be with the Lord” (v.17).
This is not the stuff of the Left Behind fiction.
To be thorough, a self guided scripture student would have to consider not
only what the rest of the book had to say, but also what is written in other
books of the Bible. The Bible doesn’t contradict itself, but it
sometimes requires careful reasoning to fit passages from several books together
in a unified whole—another reason why ultimate interpretations must be left to
The “snippet” method of interpretation can be reduced to absurdity by
noting that the phrase “there is no God” is found in at least a half dozen
places in the Bible. True, it is “the fool” who says it; or God
Himself saying “there is no God beside Me”; or Solomon saying “there is no
God like Thee”—but why would that bother anyone who wants to find a
convenient “snippet” on which to hang his hat?
One is reminded of the “snippet” taken from Saint John’s Gospel,
“search the scriptures” (5:39). Many “snippet” scholars are
convinced that this constitutes a command by our Lord, urging them on toward
their private interpretations—failing to read the context, which was a
reproach to our Lord’s listeners, who “searched the scriptures” but did
not find Him in them, and “would not come to Him that they might have life”