Falling into the Pit
I didn't have Archbishop Anders Wejryd in mind when I wrote my column interpreting Cardinal Biffi's comments on pacifists, ecologists and ecumenists. (Biffi used these "ists" as examples of how the Antichrist manifests himself in our times.) No, Archbishop Wejryd, the head of the Swedish Lutheran Church, appeared on the radar screen only after I had gone to press.
But talk about digging yourself into a hole. Never mind that Wejryd doesn't know me, hasn't read my column, and is very probably completely unaware of Cardinal Biffi's stinging remarks (see Pacifists, Ecologists and Ecumenists: Antichrist at Work). The Lutheran archbishop came innocently to Rome as the head of an ecumenical delegation to meet with Pope Benedict XVI. Naturally he spoke about ecumenical relations. As it turns out, he also spoke about ecological concerns and the role of religious bodies in protecting "the future of this earth".
Archbishop Wejryd believes that both the evidence for and causes of global warming are so clear that "we will have to change our ways of life". He also believes that religious leaders, such as himself and Pope Benedict, have an obligation to help people to make those changes. This is the message brought by the leader of the Swedish Lutherans to Rome.
It is a message which perfectly illustrates Cardinal Biffi's thesis that the Antichrist is present whenever we divest religion of its supernatural content and substitute a mere "set of values". We end up with a religion with neither crucifixion nor Resurrection, a religion that offers instead a purely natural passion to save the planet: in a word, a religion no longer concerned with saving man himself.
Is it the Pope's role to claim universal expertise in the science of global warming? Should the curia advise us on how to live to cool the planet? Is it any part of the office of religion to offer sacrifice on the altars of terrestrial preservation? Global warming, if it exists, might well take care of itself if we all lived less for ourselves and more for God. Religion has some authority to guide us along those lines. But a religion motivated and shaped by the things of earth is no religion at all.
Ecology and ecumenism. Two out of three. I'm sorry, but I have to know: Is Archbishop Anders Wejryd also a pacifist?
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