It appears the Vatican City State has just become another European vassal state climbing aboard the Global Warming Gravy Train.
23. The climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all.
At the global level, it is a complex system linked to many of the essential conditions for human life.
A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system.
101. It would hardly be helpful to describe symptoms without acknowledging the human origins of the ecological crisis.
Encyclical Letter: Laudato si’ on Care for our Common Home
Vatican City, officially the Vatican City State is a walled enclave within the city of Rome.
With an area of approximately 44 hectares (110 acres), and a population of 842, it is the smallest internationally recognized independent state in the world by both area and population.
A vassal state is any state that is subordinate to another.
The vassal in these cases is the ruler, rather than the state itself.
Being a vassal most commonly implies providing military assistance to the dominant state when requested to do so; it sometimes implies paying tribute, but a state which does so is better described as a tributary state.
In simpler terms the vassal state would have to provide military power to the dominant state.
Today, more common terms are puppet state, protectorate or associated state.
I suppose anyone interested in The Power and The Glory wouldn’t worry about minor details like data tampering and the derailment of the Global Warming Gravy Train in 1998.
A global warming hiatus, also sometimes referred to as a global warming pause or a global warming slowdown, is a period of relatively little change in globally averaged surface temperatures.
In the current episode of global warming many such periods are evident in the surface temperature record, but they do not negate the robust evidence of the long term warming trend.
It has been hypothesized that such a period began in about 1998 – an El Niño year of record warm temperatures.
Similarly, anyone interested in “the human origins of the ecological crisis” wouldn’t worry about [let alone mention] minor details like the ongoing Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster.
In autumn 2013, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared in his 2020 Olympics bid speech that the situation was “under control.”
Since then, it has become abundantly clear that the situation is anything but under control, and that the previous decommissioning road map failed to accurately assess the high level and extensive spread of radiation contamination.
No more half-baked plans for decommissioning Fukushima reactors – 17 June 2015
The Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission found the nuclear disaster was “manmade” and that its direct causes were all foreseeable.
The report also found that the plant was incapable of withstanding the earthquake and tsunami. TEPCO, regulators Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) and NSC and the government body promoting the nuclear power industry (METI), all failed to meet the most basic safety requirements, such as assessing the probability of damage, preparing for containing collateral damage from such a disaster, and developing evacuation plans.
Fukushima Daiichi: From Nuclear Power Plant to Nuclear Weapon – Anthony Hall
Global Research, June 13, 2012 and Veterans Today 13 June 2012
Likewise, anyone interested in “excessive consumption” and “polluting gases” wouldn’t worry about [let alone mention] minor details like affordable heating and Excess Winter Deaths.
171. The strategy of buying and selling “carbon credits” can lead to a new form of speculation which would not help reduce the emission of polluting gases worldwide.
This system seems to provide a quick and easy solution under the guise of a certain commitment to the environment, but in no way does it allow for the radical change which present circumstances require.
Rather, it may simply become a ploy which permits maintaining the excessive consumption of some countries and sectors.
Encyclical Letter: Laudato si’ on Care for our Common Home
The cold weather death toll this winter is expected to top 40,000, the highest number for 15 years.
The figures were described as a “tragedy for the elderly” by campaigners who warned that not enough was being done to protect pensioners from unnecessary deaths in cold weather.
Winter death toll ‘to exceed 40,000’ – Victoria Ward – 1 Feb 2015 – Daily Telegraph
The number of excess winter deaths rose 25% last winter to over 31,000, mostly pensioners.
It’s long past time for Cameron to
pull his thumb out of his arsewake up, smell the coffee and get to grips with the reality of the results of his government’s ‘Vote blue – Go Green – Turn Blue’ policies.
Ofgem has no power to regulate the prices charged by ‘the big six’ energy companies.
The profit they are making per household has doubled as temperatures have fallen and they have increased prices.
In addition, ‘Green Taxes’ are now up to 10% of peoples fuel bill.
Death toll rises to 31,000 as UK Govt. Dithers over Fracking
However, someone who was interested in establishing “enforceable international agreements” might just publish a befuddling 106 page New Age diatribe a few months before they flew off to meet the UN General Assembly.
We need to strengthen the conviction that we are one single human family.
There are no frontiers or barriers, political or social, behind which we can hide, still less is there room for the globalization of indifference.
The problem is that we still lack the culture needed to confront this crisis.
We lack leadership capable of striking out on new paths and meeting the needs of the present with concern for all and without prejudice towards coming generations.
The establishment of a legal framework which can set clear boundaries and ensure the protection of ecosystems has become indispensable; otherwise, the new power structures based on the techno-economic paradigm may overwhelm not only our politics but also freedom and justice.
54. It is remarkable how weak international political responses have been.
173. Enforceable international agreements are urgently needed, since local authorities are not always capable of effective intervention.
Relations between states must be respectful of each other’s sovereignty, but must also lay down mutually agreed means of averting regional disasters which would eventually affect everyone.
Global regulatory norms are needed to impose obligations and prevent unacceptable actions, for example, when powerful companies dump contaminated waste or offshore polluting industries in other countries.
174. Let us also mention the system of governance of the oceans.
International and regional conventions do exist, but fragmentation and the lack of strict mechanisms of regulation, control and penalization end up undermining these efforts.
The growing problem of marine waste and the protection of the open seas represent particular challenges.
What is needed, in effect, is an agreement on systems of governance for the whole range of so-called “global commons”.
Encyclical Letter: Laudato si’ on Care for our Common Home
The Pope will address the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 25, meet with U.N. leadership and participate in a town hall meeting with U.N. staff, according to a statement issued Wednesday by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s office.
Pope Francis Will Speak at the U.N – Tessa Berenson – 19 March 2015 – Time
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Bergoglio worked briefly as a chemical technician and nightclub bouncer before beginning seminary studies.
He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1969 and from 1973 to 1979 was Argentina’s Provincial superior of the Society of Jesus.
He was accused of handing two priests to the National Reorganization Process during the Dirty War, but the lawsuit was ultimately dismissed.
He became the Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998 and was created a cardinal in 2001 by Pope John Paul II.
He led the Argentine Church during the December 2001 riots in Argentina, and the administrations of Néstor Kirchner and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner considered him a political rival.
Personally, I have no problem with the religious beliefs of consenting adults providing they respect the religious freedom of [all] others.
However, I get worried when religious leaders start talking about “obstructionist attitudes”, “denial of the problem” and “universal solidarity”.
Regrettably, many efforts to seek concrete solutions to the environmental crisis have proved ineffective, not only because of powerful opposition but also because of a more general lack of interest.
Obstructionist attitudes, even on the part of believers, can range from denial of the problem to indifference, nonchalant resignation or blind confidence in technical solutions.
We require a new and universal solidarity.
I get very worried when religious leaders start talking about “the common good” and the “precautionary principle” because these excuses can be [and have been] used to suppress [and eradicate] freedom and democracy.
We need only look around us to see that, today, this option is in fact an ethical imperative essential for effectively attaining the common good.
161. Doomsday predictions can no longer be met with irony or disdain.
186. The Rio Declaration of 1992 states that “where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a pretext for postponing cost-effective measures” which prevent environmental degradation.
This precautionary principle makes it possible to protect those who are most vulnerable and whose ability to defend their interests and to assemble incontrovertible evidence is limited.
The separation of church and state is a description for the distance in the relationship between organized religion and the nation state.
It may refer to creating a secular state, with or without explicit reference to such separation, or to changing an existing relationship of church involvement in a state (disestablishment).
The degree of separation varies from total separation mandated by a constitution, as in India and Singapore; to an official religion with total prohibition of the practice of any other religion, as in the Maldives.
The Constitution of Australia prevents the Commonwealth from establishing any religion or requiring a religious test for any office:
The Church of England, a part of the worldwide Anglican Communion, is an established church, and the British Sovereign is the titular Supreme Governor, and cannot be a Roman Catholic.
Until the Succession to the Crown Act 2013, the monarch could not be married to a Catholic.
In England, senior Church appointments are Crown appointments, the Church carries out important state functions such as coronations, and 26 diocesan bishops have seats in the House of Lords, where they are known as the Lords Spiritual as opposed to the lay Lords Temporal.
The links between church and state in the UK are, nowadays, mostly a formality and the governance of the UK is relatively secular, although the Lords Spiritual have a significant influence when they vote as a bloc on certain issues, notably abortion and euthanasia.
“Separation of church and state” (sometimes “wall of separation between church and state”) is a phrase used by Thomas Jefferson and others expressing an understanding of the intent and function of the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
Since the First Amendment clearly places the restrictions solely on the state, some argue a more correct phrase would be the “separation of state FROM church”.
Either way, the “separation” phrase has since been repeatedly used by the Supreme Court of the United States.
Freedom of religion in Canada is a constitutionally protected right, allowing believers the freedom to assemble and worship without limitation or interference.
I really don’t want to experience roaming bands of UN Stormtroopers in pale blue berets mixed with a liberal sprinkling of medieval Pontifical Swiss Guards in fancy dress dragging me off in the middle of the night to some torturous dungeon to confess because I hadn’t paid my carbon dioxide tithe.
There is an urgent need to develop policies so that, in the next few years, the emission of carbon dioxide and other highly polluting gases can be drastically reduced, for example, substituting for fossil fuels and developing sources of renewable energy.
Call me paranoid [if you like] but this organisation has plenty of form.
The Roman Inquisition, formally the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition, was a system of tribunals developed by the Holy See of the Roman Catholic Church during the second half of the 16th century, responsible for prosecuting individuals accused of a wide array of crimes relating to religious doctrine or alternate religious doctrine or alternate religious beliefs.
A tithe is a one-tenth part of something, paid as a contribution to a religious organization or compulsory tax to government.
Today, tithes are normally voluntary and paid in cash, cheques, or stocks, whereas historically tithes were required and paid in kind, such as agricultural products.
Several European countries operate a formal process linked to the tax system allowing some churches to assess tithes.
For Catholics, the payment of tithes was adopted from the Old Law, and early writers speak of it as a divine ordinance and as an obligation of conscience, rather than any direct command by Jesus Christ.
As Michael Munger notes in my colleague’s post, Catholic tithes were collected on pain of prolonged suffering in purgatory.
The church had convinced everyone that if they didn’t pay, they would suffer in the afterlife.
My question, for a libertarian like Mr Munger, is: is this coercive, in the sense that libertarians generally hold taxation to be coercive?
The Pope wasn’t actually going to do anything to you, physically, if you didn’t tithe.
But according to the ideology that both you and he held to be true at the time, a failure to tithe would result in prolonged suffering.
So if you convince someone that a failure to pay you money will result in pain for them, due to the agency of a third party (viz God), is your demand for money then coercive?
The answer here seems deceptively obvious: yes, of course.
Both the Pope and the faithful believe the demand for tithes to be backed by a threat of pain, so the demand is coercive.
But in fact I think that opening up the definition of “coercive” to include situations where you convince someone else that they will inevitably suffer at the hands of third-party agents for a refusal to accede to your demands raises some pretty interesting issues.
Taxation and the church – Tithe or suffer by M.S – 28th July 2011 – The Economist
Greedy commissaries sought to extract the maximum amount of money for each indulgence.
Professional “pardoners” (quaestores in Latin) – who were sent to collect alms for a specific project – practiced the unrestricted sale of indulgences.
Many of these quaestores exceeded official Church doctrine, whether in avarice or ignorant zeal, and promised rewards like salvation from eternal damnation in return for money.
With the permission of the Church, indulgences also became a way for Catholic rulers to fund expensive projects, such as Crusades and cathedrals, by keeping a significant portion of the money raised from indulgences in their lands.
There was a tendency to forge documents declaring that indulgences had been granted.
Indulgences grew to extraordinary magnitude, in terms of longevity and breadth of forgiveness.
FOOTNOTE 20th June 2015
It is important to note that many people in Spain may find the observation that “we are one single human family” very insensitive and deeply troubling.
We need to strengthen the conviction that we are one single human family.
Outstanding among those groups is the family, as the basic cell of society.
Up to 300,000 Spanish babies were stolen from their parents and sold for adoption over a period of five decades, a new investigation reveals.
The children were trafficked by a secret network of doctors, nurses, priests and nuns in a widespread practice that began during General Franco’s dictatorship and continued until the early Nineties.
Hundreds of families who had babies taken from Spanish hospitals are now battling for an official government investigation into the scandal.
Several mothers say they were told their first-born children had died during or soon after they gave birth.
But the women, often young and unmarried, were told they could not see the body of the infant or attend their burial.
A Spanish judge charged 10 Catholic priests over the alleged sexual abuse of a teenage altar boy, court papers showed Wednesday, in a case in which Pope Francis intervened.
Their accuser, now aged 25, says he was raped and made to perform sex acts with priests at a villa with a swimming pool, according to a written ruling by the judge in the southern city of Granada.
It is the latest in a series of pedophilia scandals involving members of the Catholic Church, and the biggest such legal case known so far in Spain.
It is also important to note that the Catholic Church in Spain is a deeply divisive political issue.
Although Franco himself was previously known for not being a very devout Catholic, his regime used religion very often as a way of increasing its popularity throughout the Catholic world, especially after World War Two.
Franco increasingly portrayed himself as a fervent Catholic and staunch defender of the Catholic world.
During the whole extent of Franco’s regime, Catholicism was the state religion.
Thus the regime favoured a very conservative Roman Catholicism, and reversed the secularization process that had taken place under the Second Republic and ‘the symbiosis of religion, fatherland and Caudillo’ saw the Church assume great political responsibility, ‘a hegemony and monopoly beyond its wildest dreams’ and play ‘a central role in policing the country’s citizens.’
The Law of Political Responsibility of February 1939 gave the Church the chance to become an extralegal body of investigation with each parish in charge of policing its parishioners at the same level as the local government officials and local leaders of the falange.
Some official jobs required a “good behavior” statement by a priest.
According to historian Julian Casanova, “The reports that have survived reveal a clergy that was bitter because of the violent anticlericalism and unacceptable level of secularization that Spanish society had reached during the republican years.”
The law of 1939 made the priests, in communion with government officials, investigators of peoples ideological and political pasts.
Catholicism was made the official religion of the Spanish State, which enforced Catholic social mores.
The authorities encouraged denouncements in the workplace.
Barcelona’s city hall for example obliged all government functionaries to “tell the proper authorities who the leftists are in your department and everything you know about their activities.”
A law passed in 1939 institutionalized the purging of public offices.
The poet Carlos Barral recorded that in his family “any allusion to Republican relatives was scrupulously avoided; everyone took part in the enthusiasm for the new era and wrapped themselves in the folds of religiosity.”
Only through silence could people associated with the Republic be relatively sure of avoiding imprisonment or unemployment.
Even with the death of Franco, the price of the peaceful transition to democracy would be silence and ‘the tacit agreement to forget the past.’
Civil marriages that had taken place under Republican Spain were declared null and void unless validated by the Church. Divorces that took place during that period were invalidated, and those affected found themselves again married to their previous spouses.
Divorce, contraceptives, and abortion were forbidden.
However, the enforcement of this was inconsistent.
Children born had to be given Biblical names.
Franco was made a member of the Supreme Order of Christ by Pius XII whilst Spain itself was consecrated to the Sacred Heart.
The American president, Harry Truman, himself a Baptist and Freemason, had little time for Franco and noted that a Baptist could be buried only at night in plowed ground.
His administration struck Spain from the list of potential recipients of the Marshall plan.
The Catholic Church’s ties with the Franco dictatorship conferred it control over the country’s schools.
Crucifixes were reestablished in schoolrooms.
After the war, Franco chose José Ibáñez Martín, part of the National Catholic Association of Propagandists (AcNdP) to lead the Ministry.
He occupied the post for 12 years, in which he finished the task of purging the ministry begun by the Commission of Culture and Teaching which was headed by José María Pemán.
Pemán led the work of Catholicizing state-sponsored schools and allocating generous funding to the Church’s schools.
Romualdo de Toledo, head of the National Service of Primary Education was a traditionalist who held as his model school “the monastery founded by St Benedict.”
The clergy in charge of the education system sanctioned and sacked thousands of teachers of the progressive left and divided Spain’s schools up among the families of falangists, loyalist soldiers, and Catholic families.
In some provinces, like Lugo, “practically all the teachers were dismissed.”
At the university level this process also prevailed, as Ibáñez Martín, Catholic propagandists, and the Opus Dei ensured professorships were offered only to the most faithful.
Has the Church abandoned its historical role as moral guide and sole guardian of “traditional Spanish values”?
Events in the 1980s and 90s showed a deep rift between State and Church, especially after the election of Socialist governments in 1982, 1986, and 1989.
Issues such as divorce (legalised in 1981), abortion (legalised in 1985), and the decriminalisation of birth control brought accusations from the bishops that the Socialists were destroying the moral fibre of the nation (Gibson 70).
A new Education Act, passed in 1990, removing the compulsory teaching of Ethics and Religion (i.e. Catholicism) from State schools, was condemned by Church leaders for leading the country down the path to secularisation.
The Act would, they argued, destroy young people, who will be brought up with neither morals nor feelings (Gibson 68).
Predictably, the Church vigorously opposed same sex marriage (passed in July 2005), despite strong popular support for the Act.
The Church is still struggling to retain its power and influence, but in a secular society it is finding the fight increasingly difficult.
There are far fewer priests and nuns, seminaries are closing and Spaniards are by and large suspicious of allowing the Church to regain the control it once enjoyed over their lives.
Franco and the Catholic Church
Violence flared last night as a demonstration against the Pope’s arrival in Madrid turned ugly.
Anti-Pope protesters marched on the Spanish capital’s central Sol plaza to voice their concerns about the 50 million euro price tag of the four-day trip.
Pilgrims v protesters: Violence breaks out on Madrid’s streets on eve of Pope’s visit
Lee Moran – Daily Mail – 18 August 2011
Barcelona, Spain (CNN) — Pope Benedict XVI defended religion from critics Sunday as he dedicated the Sagrada Familia church, a still-unfinished emblem of the Spanish city of Barcelona.
“This is the great task before us: to show everyone that God is a God of peace not of violence, of freedom not of coercion, of harmony not of discord,” he said.
And he pushed back against what he sees as increasing secularism in the world, saying, “I consider that the dedication of this church of the Sagrada Familia is an event of great importance, at a time in which man claims to be able to build his life without God, as if God had nothing to say to him.”
Pope urges Spain to shun secularism – CNN Wire Staff