Where the Pope errs
The Pope’s Encyclical is chock full of criticism and anti-liberal distortions. The good of the industrial present hardly gets mentioned.”
This is quite a comment for Germany’s leading political daily, which has been consistently green and a devoted purveyor of climate alarmism.
Grossarth is not the first to criticize the Pope’s massively one-sided, über-pessimistic position outlined in the Encyclical. Other journalists and observers have done so as well.
Increasingly it is growing clearer with each passing day that Pope Francis has made a fatal miscalculation in allowing certain alarmist, extremist scientists to dictate the Encyclical’s tone. They have rendered it a grotesquely flawed document.
The FAZ’s Grossarth cannot understand why the Pope is coming down so hard on modern society and its many virtues:
For many, and not by a long shot only those in the Northern World, capitalism is a paradise: Hunger is receding, more and more people are going to school, are getting older, and don’t have to work as long or as hard.”
In a nutshell, most things that earlier popes and Catholics requested in former times have been expediently delivered by free market systems. Much misery, squalor and suffering have been alleviated. Ehrlichian visions of doom from just 40 years ago never came to pass – due to modern industrial progress.
Grossarth thinks the Pope is overly “pessimistic” – someone who is way out of bounds in equating “capitalism to greed”. He characterizes Pope Francis as a person who has an incurable, chronic habit of presenting only the very ugly side of things. He writes:
In the Encyclical there are so many examples of one-sided negative perceptions that in summary a distorted depiction of civilization is the result.”
This should not be a surprise as the lead contributor to the Encyclical was German alarmist scientist Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber. It’s truly a pity the Pope did not have the wisdom to recognize the document for what it was: a power-grabbing instrument by extreme environmental activists masquerading as scientists. Under John Paul II or Benedict such a polarizing and distorted encyclical would have never seen the light of day.
Grossarth also makes the point that Francis is extremely adversarial to free-market systems, that he is someone who defines them as the world’s evil.
Instead, all the abstract talk is about ‘refraining’, and the ‘common good’, or of ‘irrational trust in progress’. For the Pope, man’s intervention in nature leads to a vicious circle.
Economic liberalism (symbolized by Adam Smith’ s ‘invisible hand’) is named in the same breath along with sickness, forced labor, slavery or child abuse.”
Grossarth also sharply criticizes Pope Francis for making claims “without any evidence”. He writes that the “Pope leaves the facts aside.” The FAZ journalist thinks that the Pope’s vision of an exodus back to an agrarian world of more natural, pre-industrial living is totally misguided. On the Pope’s vision, Grossarth writes:
Thus here the pre-industrial times are revered as a time when ‘man and things’ were still ‘in friendly harmony’. The return to that time is a frightening idea.”