One Simple Way to Follow Laudato Si

faith reason


mankind, universe,

The new Encyclical Laudato Si is being widely discussed, and obviously contains some controversial sections. I would like to draw attention to a totally positive point, which easily escapes attention.

Here’s the final part of paragraph 26:

“Investments have also been made in means of production and transportation which consume less energy and require fewer raw materials, as well as in methods of construction and renovating buildings which improve their energy efficiency. But these good practices are still far from widespread.”

Energy efficiency is something everybody can readily agree with. There is never a need to waste energy, but often the incentives to save energy are insufficient to get people’s attention.

The phrase here about renovating buildings is a particular case in point. A big project like pouring insulation into walls is beyond the scope of most people’s thinking. But on the other hand, putting weatherstripping around a door is easy, cheap, and quick (any 11-year-old can do it). Think of a 1/16″ gap around a standard door. The net area of the aperture is the same as a hole 4″ in diameter! If you had a hole in your wall like that, you’d patch it. So why not close the gap with weatherstripping? Because people simply don’t know how much heat (and dollars) they’re losing. But through inattention, they’re very much engaging in the “throw-away culture.”

So here’s a simple, positive suggestion: to be a faithful follower of the Pope’s encyclical, start doing things to save energy, such as weatherstripping.

Then go do the same for your neighbor next door. Next, look around your house a little more and find another simple way to save energy (windows, etc.)  Inflate your car tires properly to get better gas mileage.

There are a huge number of painless no cost/low cost things you can do to enjoy an energy-efficient lifestyle. Of the money you’ll save, give 10% to church if you like.

The bottom line is that energy efficiency is a win-win proposition. Everybody can do it, and thus follow the intent of the encyclical.

sheahenDr. Thomas P. Sheahen is a professor of theology and science at Holy Apostles College and Seminary. He holds a Ph.D. in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is Director of the Institute for Theological Encounter with Science and Technology (ITEST). To learn more about the Institute, visit the website and consider becoming a member.

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31 thoughts on “One Simple Way to Follow Laudato Si”

  1. so this encyclica is totally about pantheism and pagan doctrines of holism and the article highlights positive aspects of it? What we are witnessing is the last great apostasy in the church, coming from the top as prophecized, as the majority of catholics are blind and oblivious to this fact. Bergoglio as an ecclesiastical freemason follows gnosticism, meaning, he promotes the doctrines of the jewish cabala disguised with catholic terminology..this is called, semantics deception !!! Mother earth is a term exclusively used by pagans; bergoglio once again defends the theory of evolution and even says that our church, over time, stopped believing the earth to be divine !!! I have lost count of the grave heresies this impostor has said. Our pope is Benedict XVI, according to the visions of st francis, st anne catherine emmerich or pope pius x, who saw a successor of him, with the same name (joseph) crying and praying alone in the vatican and would be martyred towards the end of tribulations…Now Benedict is of advnced age, so tribulations are knocking at our door…Look at what is happening in the middle east and the harrassment the US is making on russia. Pay attention to china, very attention !!!

  2. I’m sorry Dr. Sheahen but the ways in which many people in the developed world have conserved energy is so vast, that we Catholics don’t need an unqualified opinion on what we should be doing. If we love Christ and follow His teachings, we know that we are stewards of his Creation and have always tried to take care of the very small portion of His beautiful creation that we inhabit as best we can.
    In fact, it is insulting that the Vicar of Christ would dare address the whole world and promote the ideas and ideals of the Communist/Masonic manifesto’s which are enemies of our Lord, Jesus Christ, so blatantly evident in the world organizations such as the United Nations, and actually call for a greater authority over and control of mankind than what these organizations already have.

  3. Saving energy is good. And there certainly are things in “Laudato Si” that are Catholic teaching.

    However, we all must be aware that supporting a ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT with the authority to make world wide laws, world wide policing, and world wide taxation – is NOT Catholic Teaching.


    # 164 “…… Interdependence obliges us to think of one world with a common plan….”

    # 164 ” ……. A global consensus is essential for confronting the deeper problems …….”

    # 167 ” …… its accords have been poorly implemented, due to the lack of suitable mechanisms for oversight, periodic review and penalties in cases of non-compliance.”

    # 167 …… Convention on international trade in en-dangered species of wild fauna and flora, which includes on-site visits for verifying effective compliance…. ”

    # 170 ……. Some strategies for lowering pollutant gas emissions call for the internationalization of environmental costs, …..”

    #173 ……. “Enforceable international agreements are urgently needed…..”

    # 173″…….”Global regulatory norms are needed to impose obligations……”

    # 175……” it is essential to devise stronger and more efficiently organized international institutions, with functionaries who are appointed fairly by agreement among national governments, and empowered to impose sanctions.”

    # 175……” for all this, there is urgent need of a true world political authority.”

    1. Francis thinks this world authority would not demand abortion for all countries. The clerical state militates against realism because their world where no one gets fired is that of an adolescent and because it becomes a clique of inter personal flattery of odd ideas. Witness Catholic Moral Theology website or Vox Nova….non realism but strong herd mutual protection and conformism to liberal mantras. E.G….the UN lists Catholic Latin America as the highest murder rate region of the world in its northern countries which are non death penalty almost perfectly. East Asia, non Christian and death penalty is the safest region in the world despite having a billion poor. None of that matters to the Popes who actually probably never looked at any stats. None of it matters to the Catholic profs at CMT or Vox Nova. They take an oath to submit to the non infallible. They are about to get thousands killed per year jst in the Phillipines alone through non deterrence of murder….Phillipine murder rate is 8x that of China meaning China’s system could have saved 7000 lives in the Phillipines in 2013 e.g.
      Benedict did the identical world authority thing as Francis in Caritas in Veritate….it was non infallible there and it is non infallible here in LS.

    2. The Pope needs to clean up the Church from within as a primary job since no one else can;
      and remove any Clergy who do not adhere and teach 100% – Sacred Scripture and the Doctrine of the Faith (CCC);
      and remove those Bishops who do not stop heresy and scandal within their own Diocese by teaching, correcting and if necessary excommunicating.

    3. You are correct but such people do not get elected to the papacy. JPII and Benedict fired a decimal of a decimal of problem people. Neither was a rotweiler in the real world sense. A friend of mine just got fired in sales after decades selling furniture which is an area of corporate life where firings are monthly if one is not producing…unfortunately that also furthers the liklihood of lying salespeople. But the modern Church in an effort to be the non inquistion….fires rarely. Hence our boys and teens were molested for decades…thanks to that new mercy emphasis.

    4. Where is our Pope when we need him ?
      We need(ed) a short, concise ENCYLICAL on MORALS:
      Homosexual Acts and homosexual marriage;
      Adultery (sexual acts with the valid spouse of another);

      We did not need an encyclical on climate control, or the Pope recommending a one world authority with the power to: make laws, police and enforce, and tax (unlimited funding).

    5. Marybeth Groves

      Mike, you are exactly right.
      I hoped LS would be something else. The first few pages had me super hopeful.
      Rather, it is -ugh- New World Order drum beating.
      Dear God help us.
      A holy priest says God sends the pontiff the people deserve.
      ugh. sigh.
      After yesterday’s horrible SCOTUS oligarchy ruling, and what most of the rest of the western world has given into, I guess we got what we had coming to us.
      But it’s not over. The worse is still coming.
      Mama Mary, please put peace in our souls and obtain the grace of final perseverance for your faithful children. Amen.

    6. The SCOTUS ruling seems to protect freedom of speech only regarding Religion and homosexual marriage. (Pg 27).

      Now, all US taxpayers will be financially supporting the mortal sins of others through benefits paid to “married homosexuals”,
      and costs of all products purchased (due to government requirements in order to stay in business in the USA).

  4. Americans (at least in the US) have been doing conservation from the very beginning. Have you ever heard of “rag paper” or paper with a high rag percentage? This represents the re-use of material from at least as the far back as the 17th century. Then the common clothing material was linen. And when the clothes were worn out they took the linen cloth and used it to make paper. And that paper was of greater durability than parchment. Americans have always behaved in this way.

    1. United States of America – – –

      1955 Air Pollution Act, followed by the Clean Air Act of 1963 updated with regulatory controls in 1970, 1977 and 1990.

      Noise Pollution and Abatement Act of 1972.

      Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1948, Clean Water Act of 1977, and the Water Quality Act of 1987.
      Safe Drinking Water Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

      All can be found on the internet.

  5. Thanks for a fine article–you’ve manage to find something good in the Encyclical and that’s to be commended. However, most of us have been following energy conservation and recycling practices for some years now, and we did not need an Encyclical to push us to do this.

    I have read the Encyclical (which I don’t think most of the people who have either praised or criticized it have done). While one cannot disagree with the principles of stewardship and charity set forth in the Encyclical, it is, in my opinion, indelibly marred by His Holiness’s willingness to accept uncritically the Anthropic Global Warming thesis. Like many absent-minded scientists and academics I occasionally put an uncapped pen into my shirt pocket. Although the resulting ink-stain is small, the shirt is ruined.

    In previous posts here and in my blog I put forth my ideas of when the Church should meddle in science.
    (See “Galileo Redux: when should the Church meddle in science”}

    so I’m not going to enlarge on that topic in this comment. The Church should have views on applications of SETTLED SCIENCE that impinge on moral issues, but it should not make judgments about science where it has neither knowledge nor discernment. For example, the Church can judge (as it has) that gene therapy and modification is permissible if it is used to cure a disease, but it is not warranted to get super-babies. What Pope Francis should have done is to call in a Devil’s Advocate, an AGW skeptic, to see what the science really has to say about this.

    I’m also not going to rebut the points made by Pope Francis about global warming. That has been done most excellently in a number of blog posts, amongst which I’ll cite posts and links within them by William (Matt) Briggs, in his blog

    1. Well and properly said, Mr. duhem, Another consideration that needs to be made relates to the veracity of the adviser to Pope Frances. This I have learned and indeed the veracity of the adviser seriously speaks to the veracity of the ones who rely on him in their own speech or writings. . “RUSH L. : “My friends, not one to let things go, I have dug deep, and I have found out practically everything there is to know about the science advisor to Pope Francis on this encyclical. And the main thing you need to know, the guy’s an atheist.
      “The word for it in the story that I found, one of the most credible stories, is a pantheist, which is a variation of atheist. A pantheist is somebody that believes the earth is a living organism that has the equivalent of a brain and reacts to horrible things done to it by humans.
      “Not by lions and not by tigers and not by chimpanzees or any other animal or plant, but only humans. And the earth compensates for all of the rotten, horrible things. The primary belief of a pantheist is that everything that happens in climate or weather is the earth intelligently reacting to egregious acts and behavior by man, and, of course in this view, the earth becomes the deity and there is no God.
      “The earth is an intelligent living and breathing organism with self-protection built in to compensate for the daily destructive tendencies of humanity. This is the guy who was the lead science advisor for Pope Francis on the global warming and climate change aspects of his encyclical.”

    2. At what point in time has it been established that you have to be a Catholic to research the veracity of climate change and global warming and it’s effect on the planet. As for your definition of pantheism spend some time reading Fr. Pierre Teillard de Chardin, a Jesuit paleontologist and his concept of noogenisis which was referred to positively by B16.

    3. Did you read the second paragraph in your reference at traditioninaction?

      “Teilhard is quoted by the Pope in his homily as if his doctrine were a spring of pure waters that the faithful could approach and drink without any vigilance. The opposite instead is true, since the theological work of the controversial Jesuit-such as his teaching on evolution-was condemned by the Holy See in the past.”

    4. I with the theologian pope…the Holy See had problems with deCardin, but the mindset had changed as the Pope emeritus said…we can no longer be stuck in the bog of comfortable nostalgia. If I had to chose between the theology of Ratzinger vs the ramblings of Larson, I would choose the Pope. De Chrdin was vindicated by the See as was Galileo. Evolution, noogenesis….we cannot be stuck in old non-productive thinking.

      Also from wiki, Francis is a fan. “Many of Teilhard’s writings were censored by the Catholic Church during his lifetime because of his views on original sin. However, Teilhard was praised by Pope Benedict XVI, and in July 2009, Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi said, “By now, no one would dream of saying that [Teilhard] is a heterodox author who shouldn’t be studied.”[1][2] He was also noted for his contributions to theology in Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical Laudato si’.[3][4] ” Google wiki for the references on Fr deChardin… my friend, are absolutely out of step with the last two Popes.”

    5. mate, do you really believe wensites such as wiki whatever? Don’t you know it is filled with opinions and arguments of people who are not qualified to opinate on issues? bergoglio is an ecclesiastical freemason, therefore his system of belief is gnosticism, aka, the jewish cabala doctrines disguised with catholic terminology. This is gnosticism !!! Laudato Si is a holistic, pantheistic and marxist encyclica..remember jews created communism, therefore communism is not dead, it just changed names..sustainability, ecology, environment, sustainable communities, etc

    6. Obviously you have no respect for the Pope! I am a former Catholic but I have a profound respect for both his encyclical and earlier apostolic exhortation. And the source of your claim that he is an “ecclesiastical freemason” is substantiated just where?

    7. no he wasn’t. That is slander. How come B16 be a fan of an apostate catholic priest who advocated holism and pantheism? Either you don’t know the works of Chardin or you don’t know the writtings of B16, or both. Be careful, because condenation without investigation, is the height of ignorance.

    8. Please read the article in the following link. In B16’s book “Introduction to Christianity” he quotes from five of Teilhard’s works.
      Click on January 2012 article entitled “A Living Host Part II” by James Larson.

    9. B16 never was a fan of such an apostate as teilhard de chardin. I do not know where did you get this idea from….Have you read the writting of both B16 and Chardin? Seems not…

    10. The Pope is still responsible for everything he says, does, whom he appoints to commissions and committees, and papers he signs.
      He is not stupid.

      We are all responsible for our actions.

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