Pave Frans ønsker å stanse fremskrittet, er verden klar?

Jeg presenterer her enda et annerledes perspektiv på pave Frans’ encyklika, skrev av Matthew Schmitz, assisterende redaktør i First Things. Han skriver bl.a.:

Laudato Si, Pope Francis’ encyclical letter on the environment, is the work of a profoundly pessimistic man. John Paul II may have spoken of the “culture of death” and Benedict XVI of the “dictatorship of relativism,” but not since the publication of the Syllabus of Errors in the nineteenth century has a leader of the Catholic church issued a document so imbued with foreboding. Critics will seize on his dark tone, but Francis’ letter offers a challenge worthy of serious consideration.

“People no longer seem to believe in a happy future,” he writes. “They no longer have blind trust in a better tomorrow based on the present state of the world and our technical abilities. There is a growing awareness that scientific and technological progress cannot be equated with the progress of humanity and history.”

Despite these portents, we “do not grasp the gravity of the challenges before us,” nor the “spiral of self-destruction which currently engulfs us.” “We stand naked and exposed in the face of our ever-increasing power, lacking the wherewithal to control it.” There are no clear solutions. “Halfway measures simply delay the inevitable disaster.”

… As evidence of the coming disaster, Francis adduces environmental calamities—climate change, pollution, deforestation, monoculture, extinction — and yet he leaves no doubt that the crisis is fundamentally a spiritual one. Its source is our desire to master and manipulate nature, which leads us to use technology that ends up mastering us.

Francis’ broadsides against technology are loaded with quotations from “The End of the Modern World,” a book written by the midcentury German priest Romano Guardini. Francis has a longstanding love of the German thinker who, like him, was the son of Italian émigrés and studied chemistry. Drawing on Guardini, the pope denounces the excessive use of air-conditioning, broods over genetically modified crops, worries about automobiles “causing traffic congestion, raising the level of pollution, and consuming enormous quantities of non-renewable energy,” and pans “megastructures” that express “the spirit of a globalized technocracy.”

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