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Vatican Official: Environmental Sustainability Creates ‘Real’ Happiness

In a remarkable new statement from the Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, “encroaching environmental stress” is leading to mass displacement of peoples and causing “the greatest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War.”

Plugging an upcoming Vatican conference bearing the provocative title “Youth as Stewards of Our Planet for a More Fraternal and Supportive Society,” Argentinian Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo states that the key challenge facing the world today is how to reorganize social and economic life within and between nations to better inculcate higher values.

These values, “contemplation, prayer, community, equity, solidarity, fraternity, trust, and environmental sustainability,” Sanchez writes in the brochure outlining the conference, are “the values that create real rather than deceptive happiness.”

The Bishop does not reveal how he believes one ought to “reorganize social and economic life within and between nations” to better inculcate the values of contemplation and prayer, which might seem to many to be beyond the purview of social and economic “reorganization.”

He also fails to elaborate on how environmental sustainability creates “real” happiness.

This conference organized by Bishop Sanchez Sorondo is only the latest in a long string of such events, which regularly deal with related topics such as biodiversity, population and global warming.

Earlier this year, for a workshop on biological extinction, Bishop Sanchez invited renowned population hoaxer Paul Ehrlich, who gained celebrity status through the publication of his 1968 doomsday bestseller, The Population Bomb.

The book generated mass hysteria over the future of the world and the earth’s ability to sustain human life, as Ehrlich launched a series of frightening predictions that turned out to be spectacularly wrong, creating the myth of unsustainable population growth.

Among his predictions, Ehrlich prophesied that hundreds of millions would starve to death in the 1970s, that already-overpopulated India was doomed, and that odds were fair that “England will not exist in the year 2000.”

In his announcement for the new Vatican Youth Symposium, Bishop Sanchez says that the present era “is one of great tension and anxiety,” due in no small part to new populist movements that favor national sovereignty over globalist homogeneity.

“With multilateralism on the wane, narrower visions of nationalism, exclusivism, and even xenophobia are on the rise,” Sanchez grimly proclaims. “International law is increasingly derided and disrespected, with the rise of political bullying and a ‘might is right’ attitude.”

Sanchez goes on to say that “encroaching environmental stress,” together with the “third world war” being fought piecemeal, “is leading to mass displacement of peoples and the greatest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War.”

“On the economic front, a technocratic paradigm in tandem with an individualistic ethos has given rise to a global economy driven by greed and lust for profit,” the bishop adds, “leading to massive social exclusion and environmental degradation.”

What is clear through all these, he says, “is that the current crisis is a crisis of values,” rather than a lack of financial or technical capacity.

And thus, “our fourth Youth Symposium” intends to address the challenge of how to reorganize social and economic life within and between nations in order to better inculcate the values of contemplation, prayer, community, equity, solidarity, fraternity, trust, and environmental sustainability, Sanchez says, which would seem no small task.

The conference, he says, “will focus on the key word that expresses better than any other the need to overcome our current malaise and dysfunction: fraternity.”

“Young people all over the world today must reconsider this crucial value. They must see it as their birthright and their legacy,” he said.

The “main moral issue” for young people today, he announces, is “how I should lead my life to achieve happiness before God, myself, other people, and the environment.”

Curiously, for an event organized by the Vatican, the brochure cites Aristotle and Pope Francis, and references Immanuel Kant, but never mentions Jesus Christ—perhaps because he never taught about “environmental sustainability.”

Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter

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