In his encyclical Laudato Si’, Pope Francis invoked a dark vision of a world on the brink of environmental catastrophe. In forthcoming decades, I suspect most of these prognostications will end up in the same category to which we now consign the Armageddon-like predictions made in the 1960s by population-bomb doomsdayers such as Paul R. Ehrlich. Apocalypse, however, is the word that captures exactly what’s happening to some of the world’s Christians. And if—as it surely is—a very basic responsibility of the Church’s shepherds is to protect their flock from the wolves, there’s no good reason why the Church’s chief shepherd shouldn’t speak firmly, coherently, and through the medium of one of the highest forms of magisterial teaching about the onslaught against Christians today.
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