Tuesday, February 11, 2020


Soteriology is the study of salvation, redemption, deliverance from the fires of hell, the ultimate global warming. Jesus cools it down and opens the door to salvation through His passion, death and resurrection, the Paschal Mystery. 

No where are we hearing from those concerned about conversion to ecology, soteriology. No where are we hearing from this progressive drivel the fact that every human being, past, present and to come is terminal, will die and by extension, the earth that sustains the temporary temporal life of the  human being, any other creature and plants themselves is terminal too. There will be a final consummation of the world at the Second Coming according to orthodox soteriology of the Catholic Church.

Just as we are terminal, so too is the earth. Yes, individuals can speed up their terminal condition by smoking, overeating, driving too fast and recklessly and in general not taking care of themselves or simply by suicide. 

The same is true of the earth which is terminal. We can speed it up or slow it down in terms of how we treat the earth and yes, Catholic theology says we must take care of our minds, souls and bodies just as we must take care of the good earth in the best way we can. But whether we do or don't delay or speed up the terminal nature of things points to our true hope and our true home which isn't this temporary temporal place we call earth. 

Heaven is a true home and Catholic Church leaders who ignore this, do not preach about the eternal warming of the fires of hell and the soteriology of the Catholic Church that conserves our souls through Jesus Christ who restores sanctifying grace to us by His passion, death and resurrection, then we are truly being burned by their malfeasance and malpractice of their high calling as Catholic leaders. 


Anonymous said...


Misusing God's gifts, whether these are human sexuality or natural resources, can be sinful.

The person who misuses the gift of sexuality is sinning, imperiling his or her eternal salvation.

The person who misuses the gift of natural resources is sinning, imperiling his or her salvation.

When the Church challenges people to use well all God's gifts, then the Church is speaking to the matter of salvation.

There's the soteriology in all of this.

I imagine the Last Judgment will sound something like this: Jesus will ask, "What did you do with the gifts that I gave you?"

The person who answers, "I used them with respect and according to the will of the Creator," will enter heaven.

The person who says, "I misused these gifts, treating them as my own possessions and not as the temporary gifts they truly are," will not enter heaven.

There's the soteriology in all of this.

Victor said...

Anonymous @8:09:
Exactly what is misusing "the gift of natural resources"? How do I treat these gifts "as my own possessions and not as temporary gifts"? I have had a lot of things made from natural resources that I no longer have.... Please give examples.

Dan said...

Geez Anonymous, you must really watch your diet and get plenty of exercise, elsewise you might be accused of misusing the gift of your body.

Anonymous said...

Vic - Examples:
◾Only wash full loads of laundry.
◾Fill a bucket while showering and use it to water plants.
◾Run the dishwasher only when full.
◾Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth.
◾Create a lawn watering schedule using a watering calculator.
◾Harvest rainwater.
◾Install water-efficient appliances and showerheads.
◾Plan your weekly meals to waste less food.
◾Only buy food on your shopping list.
◾Start a compost pile.

Geez, Dan - I do.
◾Cut down on processed foods in your cupboards.
◾Pack your lunch with reusable containers.
◾Skip fast food.
◾Reuse water bottles and plastic bags.
◾Use less straws, plastic silverware and paper plates.
◾Start a community garden
◾Turn your engine off when idling longer than 15 minutes.
◾Use ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft.
◾Take public transportation like buses or trains.
◾Carpool to work.
◾Consider buying an electric vehicle if your budget allows.
◾Walk or ride your bike.
◾Pump regular fuel, unless your vehicle requires premium.
◾Avoid idling in fast-food lanes.
◾Keep tires fully inflated for better fuel economy.
◾Only use A/C in your car when necessary.
◾Switch to online bill pay.
◾Opt out of junk mail subscriptions.
◾Think before you print.
◾Recycle according to your local guidelines.
◾Subscribe to digital magazine subscriptions.
◾Donate boxes from online shopping or after moving.
◾Unplug chargers and appliances when not in use.
◾Open your windows instead of running the A/C.
◾Close shades during sunny hours.
◾Turn lights off before leaving your home.
◾Install timers or motion detectors on indoor and outdoor lighting.
◾Replace your light bulbs with LEDs.
◾Plant flowers for birds, bees and other pollinators.
◾Eat less meat or find meat from local farms.
◾Plant a garden to harvest your own food.
◾Plant and maintain trees, and harvest their fruit.
◾Buy or sell furniture, clothing and household items using LetGo, Craigslist or your local thrift shop.
◾Purchase products made in the USA.
◾Measure your detergent for laundry. Don’t overload.
◾Shop yard sales, garage sales and estate sales instead of large department stores.
◾Use sustainably sourced beauty products.
◾Buy ethically grown/harvested coffee and chocolate.
◾Donate old appliances, tools or equipment when replacing, if in good condition.
◾Join a local nonprofit focused on sustainability.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Bishop McElroy has joined the commenters.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

A@11:10 am, is it a genial or mortal sin to choose, with full consent of the will and with forethought and planning, not to do any of these things? Is it a mortal or venal sin to choose to smoke?

What do any of these things do for one’s eternal salvation? Could a priest use these things or one or some of them as a penance?

Are there plenary indulgences attached to any of these to wipe out one’s need for purgatory?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Not genial, venial sin

Dan said...

I'm pretty sure it was just a genial sin when Jesus purposely killed the fig tree by cursing it.

Dan said...

So many commandments. Humans have a hard enough time with just ten. Maybe if we all place ourselves under a UN kind of super-ultra social justice monitoring system, we will be able to accomplish some of Anonymous' 'Francis commandments.'

Anonymous said...

"A@11:10 am, is it a genial or mortal sin to choose, with full consent of the will and with forethought and planning, not to do any of these things? Is it a mortal or venal sin to choose to smoke?"

Whether the misuse of resources is a venial or mortal sin depends, as is often the case with making this distinction, on the circumstances.

"What do any of these things do for one’s eternal salvation?"

If the misuse of the natural resources is a mortal sin, it has the same consequence as any mortal sin.

"Could a priest use these things or one or some of them as a penance?"

No a priest cannot assign a sinful act as a penance. (You're supposed to be a priest - why don't you know this already?)

"Are there plenary indulgences attached to any of these to wipe out one’s need for purgatory?"

There are, to my knowledge, no plenary indulgences attached to any proper use of God's gifts.

rcg said...

There are no sustainable beauty products. Everybody eventually gets ugly.

Fr Martin Fox said...


Most people, I think, can be persuaded that needless waste is bad, that our natural environment ought to be treated with respect, and that when we don't treat our environment well, there are likely to be negative consequences. In that context, then, issues like possible global warming are legitimate causes for concern.

However, what too few advocates fail to realize is that people have common sense, and they know when they are being sold a bill of goods; or at least, their BS-detectors start to vibrate. So, for example:

- They can't help noticing the hypocrisy of global-warming alarmists, such as Senators Sanders and Warren both flying back from campaign events in New Hampshire to Washington, within minutes of each other, on separate private jets. As Instapundit Glenn Reynolds observes, "I'll believe it's a crisis when those who say it's a crisis start to act like it's a crisis."

- So many of the proposed solutions don't really solve anything, and may make things worse. For example, banning single-use plastic grocery bags. Our friend, Anonymous, above, gave a long list of things s/he does and advocates others do. Many of them seem common-sensical and practical, but it's hard to see how many of them are actually necessary or even related to a healthy ecosystem.

- What's more, it occurs to me that there is a troubling theological inference to be drawn when all the various recommendations for personal and social change overlook one key factor: the well-being of the human being!

So, for example: re-using plastic containers and water bottles and grocery bags sounds great, till you consider that it means replacing completely sanitary containers with vessels that are far more likely to spread infections. Air conditioning may seem a luxury to some, but it can be a life-saver. People leave lights on in their homes when they are away because they want to be able to enter their homes safely, both to avoid tripping, and also to avoid confronting an intruder.

- A lot of what more environmentally-conscious folks would like to see happen in our societies -- and which has happened in many places -- has the net effect of making things cost much more, work less well, and making ordinary life more expensive overall. In other words, human flourishing becomes secondary to the natural environment -- assuming, of course, that the natural environment actually requires these changes.

Anonymous said...

Senators Warren and Sanders are two of a handful of celebrities who are taken to task for not practicing what they preach about climate change.

There are, on the other hand, thousands upon thousands, millions upon millions, of people who are equally, if not more, concerned about the harm being done to our environment by our unnecessary waste and misuse of resources. Pointing out the few who may not seem to practice what they preach is like pointing out the handful of priests who have committed sexual abuse in an attempt to discredit the whole. It is a bogus argument against the need for better stewardship of our resources.

Switching to LED lighting uses less electricity which reduces the amount of carbon based fuel that must be burned to produce electricity which reduces the amount of carbon that may be emitted into the atmosphere. Running a dishwasher only when full uses less water, detergent, electricity, and extends the life of the appliance.

Using less electricity is the end result of over half of the suggestions listed above. None of those suggestions make life more expensive; in fact, they reduce costs. One reusable lunch container replaced thousands of single-use plastic bags, saving the hungry worker serious money.

Reusable containers are items that can be washed and sanitized in that fully loaded dishwasher. As for the "dangers" of spreading infection use through reusable food containers, the Japanese have been sing bento boxes for their food for over a thousand years. It seems they have done quite well in maintaining their health and well-being.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

A@3pm, you strike me as being as scrupulous about all this as some are about sex. Of course there are more sexual teachings in Scripture than ecological teachings. You also strike me as a bit pedantic, anal retentive and obsessed. Not to poo-poo what you are saying, but just saying...

Anonymous said...

As a husband, I do not flirt with women who are not my wife, I don't look at racy "men's" magazines, I don't watch movies that glamorize adultery, I am respectful in the way I treat my female employees, and I offer the same dignity to women that I offer to my sisters.

Am I being "scrupulous?" Hardly. I am respecting the gift of God that is my wife and marriage.

Neither am I being scrupulous about treating natural resources with the respect they deserve as gifts from God.

Mark Thomas said...

Pope Benedict XVI:

World Day of Peace Message, “If You Want to Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation” (2010):

“Respect for creation is of immense consequence, not least because “creation is the beginning and the foundation of all God’s works”, and its preservation has now become essential for the pacific coexistence of mankind. (…)

"Can we remain indifferent before the problems associated with such realities as climate change, desertification, the deterioration and loss of productivity in vast agricultural areas, the pollution of rivers and aquifers, the loss of biodiversity, the increase of natural catastrophes and the deforestation of equatorial and tropical regions?

"Can we disregard the growing phenomenon of “environmental refugees”, people who are forced by the degradation of their natural habitat to forsake it – and often their possessions as well – in order to face the dangers and uncertainties of forced displacement? (…)

"A greater sense of intergenerational solidarity is urgently needed. Future generations cannot be saddled with the cost of our use of common environmental resources. (…)

"The Church has a responsibility towards creation, and she considers it her duty to exercise that responsibility in public life, in order to protect earth, water and air as gifts of God the Creator meant for everyone, and above all to save mankind from the danger of self-destruction.”


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Pope Benedict XVI, Angelus- November 27, 2011 A.D:

"The Convention of the United Nations Organization on climate change and the Kyoto Protocol will begin tomorrow in Durban, South Africa.

"I hope that all the members of the international community will agree on a responsible, credible and supportive response to this worrying and complex phenomenon, taking into account the needs of the poorest populations and of the generations to come."


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Pope Benedict XVI, September 1, 2007:

"Preservation of the environment, promotion of sustainable development and particular attention to climate change are matters of grave concern for the entire human family."


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

I have encountered online right-wingers who insisted that "Bergoglio's" belief that climate change is real has marked him as a fanatic...a promoter of the New World Order.

I guess that Pope Benedict XVI was a "fanatic" and New World Order promoter as he insisted that climate change is real.

Pope Benedict XVI, 2010 A.D:

"Can we remain indifferent before the problems associated with such realities as climate change..."


Mark Thomas

JR said...

What I found ironic was the picture I saw of a gasoline powered truck hauling a diesel powered generator on a small trailer, to recharge an electric car which had to pull over when it drained its batteries.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, I already do much of what you suggest.

However, the below could be problematic for producers and those whose occupations depend on consumer purchases.

◾Buy or sell furniture, clothing and household items using LetGo, Craigslist or your local thrift shop.
◾Purchase products made in the USA.
◾Shop yard sales, garage sales and estate sales instead of large department stores

Dan said...

But wait! Doesn't Anonymous posting comments here mean he has given into the vice of 'consumerism' and is using a phone, or tablet, produced by the exploitation of persons? Using devices causing untold amounts of environmental harm due to mining for rare earth elements? Don't these devices contain toxic batteries requiring recharging by the environmentally harmful electrical system? OMG!!! The horror!

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:22 - Almost every producer, and everyone who works in production, has an occupation that depends on consumer purchasers.

When automobile manufacturers decided to stop putting running boards on cars, running board builders lost their jobs. Thousands of coal miners have lost their jobs as electricity producers switched to cheaper, cleaner natural gas. Everyone who worked for DeLorean, Trump Steaks, Philips Laserdiscs, and the Ayds Weight Loss Candy Company are no longer employed producing those things.

Purchasing used products - furniture for example - reduces the amount of resources that have to be gathered and processed. Does that mean that a worker in a furniture factory may lose his/her job? Probably. But that's the process we've lived with since we first started making things.