Times letters: Biden Shells For The Pope,Solutions to the energy and Climate crisis as prices rise, Energy investments of the U.S. Catholic Church

Saturday April 02 2022, 12.01am BST, The Times

Sir, In his analysis of the future electricity sector, my friend Andrew Warren (letter, Apr 1) has forgotten the net-zero economy target that is enshrined in law for 2050. If we electrify both heat and ground transport we will need much more electricity, reversing the decline seen over recent years. In the absence of any means of storing electrical energy at the metropolitan scale for months, we will need something to back up when there is no wind or sun, and if not fossil fuels, then nuclear.
Michael Kelly FRS FREng
Emeritus professor of technology, University of Cambridge

Sir, We are seeing the results of more than 20 years of disastrous decisions made by politicians and civil servants concerning our vital energy infrastructure…

RPT-FACTBOX-Energy investments of the U.S. Catholic Church

(Repeats factbox from earlier Wednesday with no change to text)Aug 12 (Reuters) – Some of the largest American Catholic dioceses hold millions of dollars invested in energy companies, from hydraulic fracturing firms to oil sands producers, U.S. records show.Below is a selection from dioceses that make disclosures:ADVERTISEMENTArchdiocese of Boston: Held $4.6 million in energy stocks in 2014, equal to 5.9 percent of its equities holdings. In total, the archdiocese had $190.9 million in investments, 60 percent of which was in equities, with much of the rest in fixed income. Archdiocese of Chicago: Under 8 percent of the archdiocese’s $1.65 billion portfolio was invested in fossil fuels in 2014, according to a spokeswoman. That included some $18.7 million in energy and commodities alternative investments held through hedge funds and limited partnerships. The archdiocese did not provide a breakdown of its equities holdings. Diocese of Rockville Centre (Long Island): Held $6.3 million in energy company shares, representing 8 percent of its equities holdings in 2013. The diocese had a total $220 million invested, of which $80 million was in equities. Archdiocese of Baltimore: Held $6.9 million invested in “commodities and natural resources” in 2014, representing 6.3 percent of its overall $110 million portfolio. Diocese of Toledo Held $52.2 million in mutual fund investments in 2014. According to an asset allocation summary issued by the diocese in January 2015, the holdings include S&P500 energy companies through mutual fund World Asset Management and companies like BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Suncor, Exxon, Chevron, and CNOOC through funds offered by DFA. Minnesota: The Catholic Community Foundation of Minnesota, which invests for Catholic dioceses in Minnesota, reported investments totalling $260.2 million in 2014, $18.6 mln of which was in the energy-heavy Prudential Jennison Natural Resources Fund. That’s about 7 percent of its portfolio. S&P 500 index: Energy makes up 7.1 percent of the S&P 500 index.Sources: annual financial reports. (Reporting by Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Mary Milliken)

Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city BABYLON, that mighty CITY! for in one hour is thy judgment come. And the MERCHANTS of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and OIL, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and SLAVES, and SOULS OF MEN.Revelation:18:10-11,13, These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.
2 Peter:2:17,19

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Laudato Si Movement

Building back better from the pandemic. Will more Catholic institutions divest from fossil fuels and invest in clean energy?

by Guadalupe López Aguilar | Jun 11, 2021 | BlogNews and Updates

The G7 Summit of the world leaders starts today, June 11. Every year, starting from the 70s, the political leaders of the most industrially developed countries meet to discuss the geopolitical issues of the first importance. 

This June they plan to develop a strategy to “build back better from coronavirus and create a greener, more prosperous future”. 

This goal is highly ambitious in comparison to what has been already achieved in terms of a green recovery from climate and pandemic crisis. Just 18% of recovery spending globally is green”, a UN report “Are we building the back better?” found. Despite pledges to ‘build back better’, governments have propped up fossil fuels, aviation and roads. 

For the countries with emerging and developing economies, in some ways this isn’t about building back better, it’s about building. This building and a projected infrastructure devastates the lands and destroys the habitat for spices, world biodiversity and livelihoods for thousands of locals in the countries of Africa, Latin America, Asia. Companies, originated in Global North, widely explore for new sources and amounts of energy, neither clean nor renewable but conventionally dirty coal, oil and natural gas. 

According to the IEA report World Energy Investment 2021, the USD 750 billion that is expected to be spent on clean energy technologies and efficiency worldwide in 2021 remains far below what is required in climate-driven scenarios. Clean energy investment would need to double in the 2020s to maintain temperatures well below a 2°C rise and more than triple in order to keep the door open for a 1.5°C stabilisation. As emphasised in the new IEA Roadmap to Net Zero by 2050, policies need to drive a historic surge in clean energy investment this decade. The 457 investors, who hold almost a third of the world’s assets under management, signed a joint statement calling for governments to “significantly strengthen” their plans to cut carbon emissions in the next decade. This is an impressive move and the next one should be to end the expansion of the fossil fuel industry, including financial, and enable just transition for the developing countries. 

As Pope Francis stated in his message to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund earlier in April, we need a global recovery plan. A spirit of global solidarity also demands at the least a significant reduction in the debt burden of the poorest nations, which has been exacerbated by the pandemic.  Relieving the burden of debt of so many countries and communities today, is a profoundly human gesture that can help people to develop, to have access to vaccines, health, education and jobs.

And the G7 meeting on June 11-13, is a promising opportunity to find policy solutions for both green recovery and green investment. GCCM has signed the CSO letter to the G7 signed by 353 organisations from 53 countries calling for climate justice, an end to fossil fuel extraction and debt cancellation. 

Worsening climate crisis, rising inequality, food and water insecurity and global poverty require governments to take immediate action towards building back better. And Global North impliedly becomes a space where solutions to end fossil fuels are a slow but unswerving reality. 

Under the climate movement pressure, Dutch court ruling requiring Shell to dramatically cut emissions by 45 % till 2030. That was a warning sent through the fossil fuel industry with the hint in a court decision that not only Shell but all fossil fuel companies need to cut their emissions in the nearest future. Activist shareholders won spots on ExxonMobile Board as demand for climate action and energy transition at a board level. Chevron investors voted by 61 percent of shares in favor of a proposal asking the oil major to cut its total greenhouse gas emissions, including customers’ emissions, a category known as Scope 3, in addition to its own operations and supply chains. The federal court of Australia has obliged the acting environment minister with a duty of care to protect young people from the climate crisis. The World Bank has released the Toolkits for policymakers to green the financial system on June 2. IEA commissioned another important report, World Energy Investment 2021 . 

Every single step in ending fossil fuels this decade is extremely  important. 

Faith institutions starting from 2016, were actively divesting from fossil fuels. After “Journeying Towards Care for Our Common Home: five years after Laudato Si’”, 36 faith institutions from 11 countries announce their divestment from fossil fuels for just recovery ahead of G7 and COP26 this May. The announcement came from institutions in Brazil, Argentina, India, the Philippines, Uganda, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Ireland, the UK and the United States.  The May announcement came from Anglican, Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian and Baptist institutions, among others. 

The group includes the Church in Wales, with more than £700 million ($975 million) of assets under management, which voted to divest from fossil fuels at its Governing Body meeting in April. It also includes the Diocese of Bristol and the Diocese of Oxford, the first Church of England dioceses to announce their divestment from fossil fuels, as well as seven Catholic dioceses from the UK and Ireland and several religious orders from around the world. The global divestment announcement, which took place as the UK prepares to host the G7 Summit in June and the UN climate summit (COP26) in Glasgow in November, demonstrates the leadership of faith organisations highlighting the urgent need to divest from fossil fuels and invest in clean alternatives in response to the growing climate crisis.

The announcement takes place during Laudato Si’ Week, a celebration of the progress the Roman Catholic Church has made on its journey to ecological conversion following Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change and ecology.

Faith communities have long been at the forefront of the global divestment movement, and have contributed the single greatest number of commitments. Out of the global total of over 1,300 divestment commitments made to date, more than 450 are from faith institutions. 

“We do not have the luxury of waiting for others to step forward or of prioritizing short-term economic benefits. The climate crisis requires our decisive action, here and now,” Pope Francis said in 2020 after calling on Catholics to divest from fossil fuels.

A full list of the 36 institutions divested from fossil fuels this May, can be found here.

You or your faith institution can divest from fossil fuels too. Join our Catholic Divestment Program and next divestment announcement in mid October 2021! Let the world know that you are not supporting the dirty fossil fuel industry and walk the talk on a pathway to a green and inclusive economy and green recovery for all.   

Marvelous in her shrewdness and cunning is the Roman Church. She can read what is to be. She bides her time, seeing that the Protestant churches are paying her homage in their acceptance of the false sabbath and that they are preparing to enforce it by the very means which she herself employed in bygone days. Those who reject the light of truth will yet seek the aid of this self-styled infallible power to exalt an institution that originated with her. How readily she will come to the help of Protestants in this work it is not difficult to conjecture. Who understands better than the papal leaders how to deal with those who are disobedient to the church?
The Roman Catholic Church, with all its ramifications throughout the world, forms one vast organization under the control, and designed to serve the interests, of the papal see. Its millions of communicants, in every country on the globe, are instructed to hold themselves as bound in allegiance to the pope. Whatever their nationality or their government, they are to regard the authority of the church as above all other. Though they may take the oath pledging their loyalty to the state, yet back of this lies the vow of obedience to Rome, absolving them from every pledge inimical to her interests.


History testifies of her artful and persistent efforts to insinuate herself into the affairs of nations; and having gained a foothold, to further her own aims, even at the ruin of princes and people. In the year 1204, Pope Innocent III extracted from Peter II, king of Arragon, the following extraordinary oath: “I, Peter, king of Arragonians, profess and promise to be ever faithful and obedient to my lord, Pope Innocent, to his Catholic successors, and the Roman Church, and faithfully to preserve my kingdom in his obedience, defending the Catholic faith, and persecuting heretical pravity.”—John Dowling, The History of Romanism, b. 5, ch. 6, sec. 55. This is in harmony with the claims regarding the power of the Roman pontiff “that it is lawful for him to depose emperors” and “that he can absolve subjects from their allegiance to unrighteous rulers.”—Mosheim, b. 3, cent. 11, pt. 2, ch. 2, sec. 9, note 17. (See also Appendix note for page 447.)


And let it be remembered, it is the boast of Rome that she never changes. The principles of Gregory VII and Innocent III are still the principles of the Roman Catholic Church. And had she but the power, she would put them in practice with as much vigor now as in past centuries. Protestants little know what they are doing when they propose to accept the aid of Rome in the work of Sunday exaltation. While they are bent upon the accomplishment of their purpose, Rome is aiming to re-establish her power, to recover her lost supremacy. Let the principle once be established in the United States that the church may employ or control the power of the state; that religious observances may be enforced by secular laws; in short, that the authority of church and state is to dominate the conscience, and the triumph of Rome in this country is assured.


God’s word has given warning of the impending danger; let this be unheeded, and the Protestant world will learn what the purposes of Rome really are, only when it is too late to escape the snare. She is silently growing into power. Her doctrines are exerting their influence in legislative halls, in the churches, and in the hearts of men. She is piling up her lofty and massive structures in the secret recesses of which her former persecutions will be repeated. Stealthily and unsuspectedly she is strengthening her forces to further her own ends when the time shall come for her to strike. All that she desires is vantage ground, and this is already being given her. We shall soon see and shall feel what the purpose of the Roman element is. Whoever shall believe and obey the word of God will thereby incur reproach and persecution. GC 580.1 – GC 581.2

Through spiritualism, Satan appears as a benefactor of the race, healing the diseases of the people, and professing to present a new and more exalted system of religious faith; but at the same time he works as a destroyer. His temptations are leading multitudes to ruin. Intemperance dethrones reason; sensual indulgence, strife, and bloodshed follow. Satan delights in war, for it excites the worst passions of the soul and then sweeps into eternity its victims steeped in vice and blood. It is his object to incite the nations to war against one another, for he can thus divert the minds of the people from the work of preparation to stand in the day of God.
Satan works through the elements also to garner his harvest of unprepared souls. He has studied the secrets of the laboratories of nature, and he uses all his power to control the elements as far as God allows. When he was suffered to afflict Job, how quickly flocks and herds, servants, houses, children, were swept away, one trouble succeeding another as in a moment. It is God that shields His creatures and hedges them in from the power of the destroyer. But the Christian world have shown contempt for the law of Jehovah; and the Lord will do just what He has declared that He would—He will withdraw His blessings from the earth and remove His protecting care from those who are rebelling against His law and teaching and forcing others to do the same. Satan has control of all whom God does not especially guard. He will favor and prosper some in order to further his own designs, and he will bring trouble upon others and lead men to believe that it is God who is afflicting them.
While appearing to the children of men as a great physician who can heal all their maladies, he will bring disease and disaster, until populous cities are reduced to ruin and desolation. Even now he is at work. In accidents and calamities by sea and by land, in great conflagrations, in fierce tornadoes and terrific hailstorms, in tempests, floods, cyclones, tidal waves, and earthquakes, in every place and in a thousand forms, Satan is exercising his power. He sweeps away the ripening harvest, and famine and distress follow. He imparts to the air a deadly taint, and thousands perish by the pestilence. These visitations are to become more and more frequent and disastrous. Destruction will be upon both man and beast. “The earth mourneth and fadeth away,” “the haughty people … do languish. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.” Isaiah 24:4, 5.
And then the great deceiver will persuade men that those who serve God are causing these evils. The class that have provoked the displeasure of Heaven will charge all their troubles upon those whose obedience to God’s commandments is a perpetual reproof to transgressors. It will be declared that men are offending God by the violation of the Sunday sabbath; that this sin has brought calamities which will not cease until Sunday observance shall be strictly enforced; and that those who present the claims of the fourth commandment, thus destroying reverence for Sunday, are troublers of the people, preventing their restoration to divine favor and temporal prosperity. Thus the accusation urged of old against the servant of God will be repeated and upon grounds equally well established: “And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim.” 1 Kings 18:17, 18. As the wrath of the people shall be excited by false charges, they will pursue a course toward God’s ambassadors very similar to that which apostate Israel pursued toward Elijah.
The miracle-working power manifested through spiritualism will exert its influence against those who choose to obey God rather than men. Communications from the spirits will declare that God has sent them to convince the rejecters of Sunday of their error, affirming that the laws of the land should be obeyed as the law of God. They will lament the great wickedness in the world and second the testimony of religious teachers that the degraded state of morals is caused by the desecration of Sunday. Great will be the indignation excited against all who refuse to accept their testimony.
Satan’s policy in this final conflict with God’s people is the same that he employed in the opening of the great controversy in heaven. He professed to be seeking to promote the stability of the divine government, while secretly bending every effort to secure its overthrow. And the very work which he was thus endeavoring to accomplish he charged upon the loyal angels. The same policy of deception has marked the history of the Roman Church. It has professed to act as the vicegerent of Heaven, while seeking to exalt itself above God and to change His law. Under the rule of Rome, those who suffered death for their fidelity to the gospel were denounced as evildoers; they were declared to be in league with Satan; and every possible means was employed to cover them with reproach, to cause them to appear in the eyes of the people and even to themselves as the vilest of criminals. So it will be now. While Satan seeks to destroy those who honor God’s law, he will cause them to be accused as lawbreakers, as men who are dishonoring God and bringing judgments upon the world.
God never forces the will or the conscience; but Satan’s constant resort—to gain control of those whom he cannot otherwise seduce—is compulsion by cruelty. Through fear or force he endeavors to rule the conscience and to secure homage to himself. To accomplish this, he works through both religious and secular authorities, moving them to the enforcement of human laws in defiance of the law of God.
Those who honor the Bible Sabbath will be denounced as enemies of law and order, as breaking down the moral restraints of society, causing anarchy and corruption, and calling down the judgments of God upon the earth. Their conscientious scruples will be pronounced obstinacy, stubbornness, and contempt of authority. They will be accused of disaffection toward the government. Ministers who deny the obligation of the divine law will present from the pulpit the duty of yielding obedience to the civil authorities as ordained of God. In legislative halls and courts of justice, commandment keepers will be misrepresented and condemned. A false coloring will be given to their words; the worst construction will be put upon their motives.
As the Protestant churches reject the clear, Scriptural arguments in defense of God’s law, they will long to silence those whose faith they cannot overthrow by the Bible. Though they blind their own eyes to the fact, they are now adopting a course which will lead to the persecution of those who conscientiously refuse to do what the rest of the Christian world are doing, and acknowledge the claims of the papal sabbath.
The dignitaries of church and state will unite to bribe, persuade, or compel all classes to honor the Sunday. The lack of divine authority will be supplied by oppressive enactments. Political corruption is destroying love of justice and regard for truth; and even in free America, rulers and legislators, in order to secure public favor, will yield to the popular demand for a law enforcing Sunday observance. Liberty of conscience, which has cost so great a sacrifice, will no longer be respected. In the soon-coming conflict we shall see exemplified the prophet’s words: “The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 12:17. GC 589.1 – GC 592.3

By Svitlana Romanko
Zero Fossil Fuels Campaign Manager
Global Catholic Climate Movement

Guadalupe López Aguilar

Guadalupe López Aguilar

Copywriter
Guadalajara, Mexico
Convinced that sustainability is the only way to continue our existence and take care of our common home, she joins LSM to achieve it.

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