In the zany 1970s hit comedy series, “Monty Python’s Flying Circus,”popular on both sides of the Atlantic, one of the best-loved sketches was “Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition!”
Nature imitates art. Last week, Bishop Sánchez Sorondo, prefect of the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and of Social Sciences at the Vatican, issued a bull whose name epitomized its content.
Sorondo is an irreformable true-believer not so much in the Christian religion, which he is very seldom heard to mention, but in the new religion – or, rather, the new superstition – of climastrology. A religion may or may not be true; a superstition is demonstrably untrue. Climastrology is a superstition because it is bull.
Sorondo, in his more than usually half-witted statement proclaiming that the “teaching” of Pope Francis on climate change stands sacrosanct in that it is as much part of the magisterium or teaching authority of the Church as the teachings of earlier popes on the wickedness of abortion, has achieved something rare in the history of human thought (or, in his case, thoughtlessness).
Sometimes, as when Urban VIII allowed the Roman Inquisition to put Galileo under a loose form of house arrest for having suggested that the Earth goes around the sun and not vice versa, folk get the science wrong. The sun appears to circumnavigate the Earth, but in truth the Earth rotates as it circumnavigates the sun.
At other times, as when the left deny there is any God but the Communist Party line, folk get the religion wrong.
Sorondo, though, has achieved a rare double-fault. He simultaneously gotten his science and his religion 180 degrees plumb wrong.
As they say in New York, Francis knows from nothing about climate science. Nor, as l’affaire Galileo ought to have reminded the hapless Sorondo, is it any part of the mission or teaching authority of the Church to make pronouncements on whether industrial civilization will cause dangerous global warming, or on any other scientific matter.
As it happens, Pope Francis’ encyclical, which – albeit at turgidly prolix length – restated the environmental theology that had already been stated more succinctly and far more beautifully in the Book of Genesis and in the sayings of his name-saint, Francis of Assisi, succeeded in outdoing even the Inquisition of Urban VIII in getting the science wrong.
Francis made seven scientific points about climate change, each of which was entirely, irremediably false.
What is more, Sorondo knows this perfectly well. For, after I had received my advance copy of the pope’s encyclical letter earlier this year, I wrote to the Holy See pointing out each of the seven errors made by Pope Francis – or, rather, made by Herr Schellnhuber of the neo-Communist Reichsklimapropagandaamt in Potsdam,who did the sciencey bits for him.
I recommended that, before the Vatican allowed this half-baked document to be issued, it should consult experts on each of the seven issues.
I even provided names, brief biographies and contact details of the experts with whom the Holy See should consult, one or two for each issue.
The Holy See, however, loftily refused to have anything to do with mere objective scientific truth. It had decided to throw in its lot, albeit belatedly and me-tooishly, with the rest of the governing class worldwide, which has naïvely, unquestioningly followed the party line on climate, and continues to do so even though each passing month provides yet further evidence that what was predicted and what has happened are clean different things.
At a recent Senate hearing on climate change, Sen. Ted Cruz, chairman of the Space, Science and Competitiveness Committee (not sure why Competitiveness belongs with Space and Science, but there you go), prominently displayed the graph I sent to the Holy See, which now shows there has been no global warming for 18 years and nine months. The “Democrats,” whose political and anti-scientific beliefs are remarkably similar to those of the Reichsklimapropagandaamt, were visibly discomfited.
No matter how much Sorondo whinnies, it is neither possible nor acceptable for the Church to make pronouncements on scientific questions, for that is not her function; and it is neither justifiable nor permissible for her to make pseudo-scientific statements that, on a few moments’ enquiry, are shown to be self-evidently false, for that is to tell a lie, and to tell a lie is a sin.
On behalf of the Catholic Church worldwide, therefore, and with the full majesty of her teaching authority, I now formally repudiate Sorondo’s remarks to the effect that Francis’ false statements on the climate are to be regarded by Catholics as true; I designate Sorondo’s remarks as anathema;and I proclaim that no Catholic is under any obligation, legal, moral, social, religious, or other, to pay any heed whatsoever to Sorondo’s openly heretical remarks.
Lest you wonder whether a mere layman has the power to exercise the teaching authority of the Church, wonder no more: Any layman, faced with any departure from the Church’s teaching so monstrous, so public, so flagrant that it constitutes outright heresy, not only has the power but also the duty to speak. Let Sorondo take heed, and desist.
There have been heretics at the Holy See before, and, no doubt, there will be heretics there again. However, as Cardinal Newman discovered during the process of enquiry that led him to join the Church, even when a pope himself declares as a matter of faith that which is not a matter of faith, his aberration is soon forgotten, for it is contrary to what was handed down to us – and is, therefore, wrong – so we will not accept it.
But it is Christmas. Let us forget the useless Sorondo and his pathetic, whining heresies. Instead, let us remember the tiny little child whose blessed mother did not have Him aborted. Let us celebrate the joy and the truth that no amount of custard-faced heresy, no amount of scientific fraud, can eradicate.
In my beloved Scottish Highlands, at this time of year, it is the custom to play the wee bairns to sleep with a unique rendering of a suite of six Ecossaisen der ehemaligen by Schubert. These Scottish dances are normally played briskly, but at Christmas we play them andante and in a hauntingly beautiful quasi campanile style, so the notes resonate like bells in a bell tower.
My Christmas e-card to all my kind readers this year is the following recording, made by me with a whisper of backing from the Fiddles o’ the Hielan’s in Dunkeld Cathedral a couple of months ago. It will send any child, however excited by the merriment of Christmas, peacefully to sleep within minutes. A happy Christmas and a roarin’ Hogmanay to one and all.
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