Ross Douthat, one of the most sensible and credible voices on Right which is ready to engage with Left, faults Pope Francis for:
- not acknowledging that more global poor are coming out of poverty and
- not acknowledging how technological advances are helping humanity to sustain more bodies on mother earth.
There may be so truth to what Ross Douthat is saying. But he is missing the 'elephant' in the room. Essentially this Papal encyclical is to bring 'shame' to those Republicans who still stick to fossil fuels all the while irresponsibly ignoring all kind of scientific evidence. The papal encyclical is about Koach Brothers of the world, it is about Sen. McConnell of the world, it is about Russia, it is about Saudi Arabia and it is about Australia; all those who support burning carbon fuels to generate green house gases without bothering to pay any coast while doing so.
Pope Francis is also poking holes in underlying assumptions behind the relentless propagation of Global Capitalism as 'the' solution for prosperity of all. But he is not alone, Thomas Piketty has already done that in Economics. Pope Francis is picking up the leftover part of Moral Case against Global Capitalism. Too bad that no political force in Western Democracies (including USA) has articulated any coherent case to go beyond the current Global Capitalism which is vulnerable to give us Financial Crisis as well as gaping inequality while leaving behind many people of this planet in poorer conditions.
Criticism of contemporary consumerism should not be any surprise to Ross Douthat. Many Conservatives can readily understand that 'excess consumption hardly leads us to human happiness'.
When Vatican speaks all this, it is not that Papacy gets exposed for weaker reasoning; rather it is the Papacy which joins the Moral Force needed 'here and now' to keep prodding Humanity to undertake what is imperative. Any other interpretation of Catholic Encyclical is missing the point.