“The contemporary world, so apparently connected…”

(emphasis added) –Papa Francesco to the UN.

A more successful trip than the Redskins had
A more successful trip than the Redskins had

I am glad you are connected to me, dear reader–and genuinely, I hope. The Pope reads these posts, too, I see, since he made a point of declaring this morning:

The common home of all men and women must continue to rise on the foundations of a right understanding of universal fraternity and respect for the sacredness of every human life, of every man and every woman, the poor, the elderly, children, the infirm, the unborn, the unemployed, the abandoned, those considered disposable because they are only considered as part of a statistic.

(emphasis, once again, added)

…For those of us familiar with Pope Francis’ encyclical letter Laudato Si’, this morning’s UN talk contained no surprises. For those of us familiar with the speeches of Papa Benedetto XVI at the UN and German parliament, this morning’s UN talk contained no surprises. For those of us familiar with the magisterium of JPII–no surprises. Beautiful (to me anyway) how Pope Francis lavishes love on Paul VI, quoting him extensively at crucial moments, like:

The real danger comes from man, who has at his disposal ever more powerful instruments that are as well fitted to bring about ruin as they are to achieve lofty conquests.

The fundamental idea of this morning’s talk: God does indeed rule the world. Law–that is, what is right, the checking of absolute human power–law proceeds from God. Justice entails submitting oneself to law, submitting oneself to the order inherent in things as God has made them, giving everyone and everything their due. The Creator has given us the earth as a gift, so that we could flourish and give Him glory. Papa F. adds the novel idea: The environment, too, has rights.

In my little book, His Holiness made an enormously important point this morning when he noted that war causes the worst pollution and environmental degradation. Any student of war knows this painful truth. Battle tacticians regularly employ ordnance detonation for the sake of desertification as a means of military victory. This happened over and over again during the Civil War, and it took the earth decades to recover.

…Now, regarding the joy of the Gospel, Cardinal Dolan has my vote for Man of the Papal Visit. I carried the Timothy-Dolan-Fan card while reading Priests for the Third Millennium fifteen years ago. Then I let my membership lapse. But now I have the card back in my pocket. Here’s the best moment of the Holy Father’s visit so far:

New Yorkers who actually go to Mass having their moment to love on our Papa. Thank you, Cardinal Dolan.

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