California Gov. Jerry Brown—a one-time Jesuit seminarian from a one-party state—said the dangers posed by climate change required a radical “transformation” in the world’s response.
“It’s not just a light rinse” that is needed, he added. “We need a total, I might say ‘brain washing.’”
Brown raised the idea of “brainwashing” during a speech that also recalled the ascetic formation he experienced as a Jesuit seminarian. He suggested that a similarly demanding regime was needed today to root out the greed and consumerism that have helped drive climate change.
“The problem … is us. It’s our whole way of life. … It’s the greed. It’s the indulgence. It’s the pattern. And it’s the inertia,” said Brown, according to the Sacramento Bee’s news report on the Vatican conference. It was one of several stops for Brown, who has challenged President Trump’s response to climate change issues.
Pope Francis, in his encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si, also called for Church leaders and the faithful to take action on climate change. The pontiff has grounded his message in an explicitly Christian vision of life that affirms the dignity and the sanctity of human life, the needs of the poor, and the gift of creation.
Francis made clear that “a sense of deep communion with the rest of nature cannot be real if our hearts lack tenderness, compassion and concern for our fellow human beings.”
It is “clearly inconsistent” to combat the trafficking of endangered species while remaining indifferent toward the trafficking of persons, to the poor and to the decision of many “to destroy another human being deemed unwanted,” the Pope stated….
During his address at the Vatican conference, Brown sought to clothe his agenda on the environment in the language of faith.
“The power here is prophecy,” said the California governor. “The power here is faith, and that’s what this organization is supposed to be about. So, let’s be about it and combine with the technical and the scientific and the political.”
The governor acknowledged that global transformation would not be easy to achieve, and he reflected on his own failure to adopt the disciplinary practices of his Jesuit seminary.
“I can tell I did not achieve perfection. I was not transformed. In fact some of my bad habits, which I will not reveal, are the same as they were … when I came into Jesuit seminary when Pius XII was pope.”