The Pope’s Green Anti-Capitalism Will Hurt The Poor

  • Date: 04/05/15
  • Melanie Phillips, The Times

Anglican and Catholic Churches are wrong to see climate change as today’s biggest moral issue

Sceptics of man-made global warming theory often observe that it resembles religious faith. Now it is turning into one. A Vatical official, Cardinal Peter Turkson, has called for a “moral awakening” on climate change ahead of a widely expected papal encyclical reflecting the Pope’s belief that anthropogenic global warming is destroying the planet.

In similar vein, Anglicans are selling off their fossil fuel investments. The Rt Rev Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury and the Church of England’s environment spokesman, has said: “Climate change is the most pressing moral issue in our world.” This is absurd. Global temperatures have flatlined for a decade. As many scientists have attested, much of the “science” behind the theory is ambiguous at best and bogus at worst.

Heaven knows there is no shortage of pressing moral issues for the Church. The harm to children caused by mass fatherlessness. The slaughter of Christians in the developing world. People trafficking. The subjugation of women.

Or how about the systematic replacement of biblical moral codes, which tell us how we should behave, with the pursuit of impossible social utopias which deliver personally irresponsible, sanctimonious posturing? Like, ahem, the campaign against “climate change”?

This misjudged positioning shows how badly the Church has lost its way. In the aftermath of the Second World War, theology gave way to sociology as the churches progressively caved in to secularism. God was replaced by Marx. Led by Latin America, the World Council of Churches embraced liberation theology, or the use of religion to bring about revolution. Anglicans fell into line. Priests turned into social workers preaching the gospel of poverty. The pews emptied, however, as the charge against capitalism failed to stick.

Now, however, “climate change” has given the Churches a new weapon. As Pope Francis has said: “An economic system centred on the god of money needs to plunder nature to sustain the frenetic rhythm of consumption that is inherent to it.” For Francis is a revolutionary Pope, dedicated to ending the capitalist order. He has called capitalism “an economy of exclusion by an idolatrous system of money”. This tends to “devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits. Whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenceless before the interests of a deified market”.

This radical message may destroy the West and will hurt the poor. His agenda of “social justice” is the twisted contemporary euphemism for coerced economic redistribution, aka soaking the better-off to keep the poor trapped in dependency.

This deification of poverty is a formula for human stagnation and the destruction of political freedom. It repudiates the core understanding of western modernity, that empowering every individual to achieve wealth is the essence of collective prosperity and liberty.

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