The Australian’s rolling coverage of the papal Encyclical Laudato Si has been strikingly consistent and condemnatory – presumably as a result of an editorial decision and directive. The Australian has chosen to focus on one sliver (politico-economic) of a big-picture document and responded as if the sliver were all there is. Such an approach gets even the sliver wrong. The Australian has rejected without ever engaging the fundamental assumption of Laudato Si – that everything is interconnected. From this insight, at once mystical and politico-economic, the more detailed claims of the Encyclical flow. But if a newspaper is predicated on the counter-assumption that everything is in competition and disconnected, then you end up with the partial and ideologically prejudiced responses that have filled the pages of The Australian. The Encyclical will hardly be sunk by this, but it does journalism in general and The Australian in particular no honour to respond in such a way. Nor does it serve the interests of the respectful dialogue for which the Pope calls. Indeed it looks like a defence of vested interests who profit from the iniquitous and unsustainable conditions that the Encyclical identifies.
Most Rev Mark Coleridge
Archbishop of Brisbane