You know what they say, “As a dog returneth to his vomit, a fool returneth to his folly” (Proverbs 26:11). Thus the Pope, in the tradition of all religious leaders throughout human history, returneth to the usual folly of making stuff up.
“The holy scripture teaches us that the fulfillment of this wonderful design also affects everything around us,” said the Holy Father.
Relying heavily on St Paul’s letters to the early Christian communities, Pope Francis reminded everyone that a “new creation” lies ahead.
He added, “It is not an annihilation of the universe and all that surrounds us. Rather it brings everything to its fullness of being, truth and beauty.”[/ref]
Italian daily Corriere della Sera was in no doubt about his meaning. • • •
“What a book a devil’s chaplain might write on the clumsy wasteful, blundering, low, and horribly cruel works of nature!” wrote Charles Darwin to a friend in 1856. It was the cruelty and suffering in nature, contradicting the idea of the universal goodness of the Creator, which contributed to Darwin’s loss of faith and added to his conviction of a naturalistic explanation for creation.
A being so powerful and so full of knowledge as a God who could create this universe, is to our finite minds omnipotent and omniscient, and it revolts our understanding to suppose that his benevolence is not unbounded, for what advantage can there be in the suffering of millions of the lower animals throughout almost endless time?
The default monotheistic position denies animals a significance in themselves and enforces an imaginary gulf—spiritual and moral—between humans and the natural world. When it comes to that divide, modern theologians are as hard line as ever. They see any compromise as a threat to self-identity, the idea of human dignity, and a sense of significance in the world. So nothing is outlandish or extreme enough for modern religious apologists opposed to animal advocacy in the larger defense of an inflated sense of human importance and their own fragile insecurities. • • •