On December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception as well as the opening of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, Pope Francis allowed climate-change partisans, including some well-known supporters of population control, to project a light show onto the façade and cupola of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome — the most important church in the Catholic world — so as to “inspire change around the climate crisis.”
The show titled “Illuminating Our Common Home” projected onto St. Peter’s “images of our shared natural world” in order to “educate and inspire change around the climate crisis across generations, cultures, languages, religions and class,” states a press release about the event put out by one of the sponsors.
The Vatican’s spokesperson for the event, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, the president of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, called the event “unique…for its genre and for the fact that it is being displayed for the first time on such a significant backdrop.”
“These illuminations will present images inspired of Mercy, of humanity, of the natural world, and of climate changes,” Fisichella said.
Fisichella said that the light show on the Vatican was meant to link Pope Francis’ environment encyclical Laudato si’ with the United Nations Climate Change Conference (Cop21) currently underway in Paris. The Vatican has shown strong support for the conference. Having the show conclude the opening Year of Mercy celebrations also links the pope’s message about “mercy” to fighting “climate change.”
Many Catholic leaders and laity have have expresed serious reservations the use of the most important church in the Catholic world to promote a divisive, secular political message sponsored by radical environmentalists one one of the most imporant spiritual feast days in the Church.
Robert Royal, president of the Washington-based Faith and Reason Institute and a prominent Catholic commentator, called it “seriously wrong” to have a “radical environmental message” projected onto St. Peter’s.
“This is the kind of thing ideological politicians do, like President Obama’s rainbow projection onto the White House after the Supreme Court approved gay ‘marriage.’ The White House is the people’s house, all the American people’s. St. Peter’s is even far more universal than that.”
“Projecting onto it a radical environmental message — and one that has no chance of actually resulting in an international agreement, given the unreality of the approach — seems to make the Church just one more international NGO, something Pope Francis has explicitly warned it should not be,” he told LifeSiteNews.
Catholic commentator Fr. John Zuhlsdorf wrote on his blog that the event was “irreverent” and even a form of “sacrilege.”
“St. Peter’s is, without question, a sacred place and object (a very large one, too!). It is, without question, dedicated by the Church to sacred purposes. The use of this sacred building and place (where St. Peter was martyred and buried, a pilgrimage place, etc. etc. etc.) as a projection screen for mere secular purposes is irreverent treatment,” he wrote.