OnePeterFive-Gaia Church: Love the Earth, Heaven Can Wait

Hi all, I’m back!

What makes for a better re-entry post than a review of an apocalyptic article from OnePeterFive? Because if there is one thing that I have learned in my years of quiet reading, it would be that everybody loves a good apocalypse story. Amiright America?

The article is a review of this month’s prayer intention video – part of a series that the Pope has apparently been producing. I read the article before watching the video. This is significant, because 1P5 terrified me in their description. At first, a mild “We have a pope who takes great pains to avoid ever speaking about eternal things, but constantly beats the drum about what is temporal and transient.”

Ok, I’ll grant that. And their point about the previous video being, at best, confusing, and at worst, just stopping short of heresy.

But then, “What should be made of that?”

Through a series of, admittedly, disturbing quotes from some heavy-hitting Church leaders, among them Archbishop Fulton Sheen about how the antichrist is coming preaching peace and ecology and unifying persons and religions and how he will just simply leave Christ out of the equation, their conclusion is thus: we’ll stop just short of saying Pope Francis is the antichrist, but we’re pretty convinced that IF he’s not, he sure looks a lot like him.

I was terrified to watch the video. I prayed. I thought my soul would get sucked in like in the Ring (actually I never saw that one because I was afraid my soul would get sucked in). But, then I watched it, expecting the worst.

What a great video! Ok, so the magical background music when they show a bike as an alternative to pollution was a little hokey. But nowhere was there mention of Gaia, like the title said. A commenter mentioned the background music might be New Age (but honestly where else are you going to get earth-y music?).  But in my book, praying that people find solutions to pollution and the poverty ecological disasters cause is actually a really good, timely thing. How is it different than praying that the people of Flint, Michigan, can reverse the damage done to them? And does anybody remember the Fukushima nuclear disaster? How real people died there? I prayed for them. Is that ok?

I think it’s clear to most reasonable people that praying for these things isn’t bad, and I even think the authors of 1P5 would agree. Where we differ most, I think, is the ease in which they suggest our Pope Francis “might” be the antichrist. To me, this is something VERY VERY serious and- even if one has a personal belief it might be true- to blog about it can put other souls in danger by leading them to leave the Church, or to disrespect the institution of the papacy, or to doubt their own faith. End-of-world stuff is only going to come around once, EVER. If 1P5 is wrong, they may have things to answer to God.

Moment of truth. Could it be that Pope Francis stops just short of heresy (because it’s wrong to preach heresy) in the same way 1P5 stops just short of calling Pope Francis the antichrist (because it’s wrong to call your Pope the antichrist)?

If so, then we’re all on the same side.



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