Cardinal Burke warns faithful about calls for ‘ecological conversion’
LA CROSSE, Wisconsin, January 3, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Raymond Burke, known for his outspoken faithfulness to perennial Catholic teaching, is warning Catholics about recent calls from the Vatican and top Church leaders for “ecological conversion.” Behind this concept, he said, lurks an “insidious” agenda of idolatry and one-world government.
“With regard to ‘ecological conversion,’ what I see behind this is a push for worship of ‘Mother Earth,’” said Cardinal Raymond Burke in a wide-ranging interview with The Wanderer published Dec. 26.
The cardinal, who is the patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Prefect Emeritus of the Vatican's highest court (known as the Apostolic Signatura), said that Catholics honor the Virgin Mary as mother.
“In truth, our mother is not the earth — our mother is the Blessed Virgin Mary in the sense that she gave birth to our Savior. We do not have another mother, certainly not a pagan idol like the Pachamama, which is very revelatory of what is behind this whole business,” he said.
The cardinal’s mention of “Pachamama” refers to the October 2019 Amazon Synod in Rome, where a statue of a naked pregnant woman was set up for veneration in the Vatican gardens during a tree planting ceremony which Pope Francis attended. The statue was later brought into St. Peter’s Basilica with pomp and ceremony, and was again venerated.
Burke said that “ecological conversion” is also being used as “an argument for a one-world government.”
“This is a masonic idea, an idea of completely secularized people who no longer recognize that the governance of the world is in the hands of God, Who entrusts it to individual governments, nations, and groupings of people according to nature itself,” he said.
“The idea of a one-world government is fundamentally the same phenomenon that was displayed by the builders of the Tower of Babel who presumed to exercise the power of God on earth to unite heaven with earth, which is simply incorrect,” he continued.
“What we truly need is a religious conversion, in other words, a strong teaching and practice of faith in God and obedience to the order with which He has created us,” he added.
Burke called “ecological conversion” a “very insidious” phrase that is being used to “promote a certain agenda which has nothing to do with our Catholic faith.”
“As far as the environment and ‘ecological conversion’ goes, the Church has always taught respect for nature. This is why it is taught that man is the steward of God’s creation and that he will have to render an account of the creation for which he has been entrusted. God created man in His own image and likeness, that is with intelligence and free will, precisely for the mission of stewardship of the earth. This is what should be taught to people, not a so-called ‘ecological conversion.’”
Pope Francis brought the term “ecological conversion” into vogue in his 2015 encyclical letter on the environment Laudato Si’, in which he made use of the phrase five times. He said that people who “choose not to change their habits” with regard to the “ecological crisis” are in need of an “’ecological conversion’, whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them.” The phrase was first used by Pope John Paul II during a General Audience in January, 2001. The late pope said that he must “encourage and support the ‘ecological conversion’ which in recent decades has made humanity more sensitive to the catastrophe to which it has been heading.”
In his 2016 message for the celebration of World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, Pope Francis called on Catholics to have an “ecological conversion” and go to confession for sins of not being respectful of creation, giving examples of examination of conscience such as “avoiding the use of plastic and paper,” “separating refuse,” and “turning off unnecessary lights.”
The concept of “ecological sin” was formally introduced to the Church at the October, 2019 Pan-Amazonian Synod.
“We propose to define ecological sin as an action or omission against God, against others, the community and the environment. It is a sin against future generations and manifests itself in acts and habits of pollution and destruction of the harmony of the environment, transgressions against the principles of interdependence and the breaking of solidarity networks among creatures (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 340-344) and against the virtue of justice,” stated the synod’s final document.
In November, the Pope said he was thinking about adding “‘ecological sin’ against our common home” to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
"We have to introduce―we are thinking about it―to the Catechism of the Catholic Church the sin against ecology, the 'ecological sin' against our common home, because a duty is at stake," he said in a speech given at the 20th World Congress of the International Association of Penal Law in Rome.
Later in the interview with The Wanderer, Cardinal Burke criticized the notion of “ecological sins.”
“In the same way, there are no new ‘ecological sins.’ The same Ten Commandments that the Lord God gave us on Mount Sinai are in force today. We have to respect nature as well as our own human nature. So, I do not know what this can mean,” he said.