I read about this in the Sydney Morning Herald today and it gave me quite a chuckle over my cereal. The Catholic Church, along with pretty much every other religion, is no stranger to desperately shoehorning “facts” into things to keep their dogma relevant. Anyone that’s ever read the Bible knows that it takes a willful act of denial to ignore the plethora of inconsistencies, for example. However, the religious rationalisation in this article in the Herald is hilarious.

The article talks about how the Catholic church is attempting to counter God’s mighty carbon footprint with “a carbon audit of thousands of churches and parish buildings, about 1500 schools and more than 300 hospitals and aged-care facilities.” Now this is a very good thing, especially when tools like our own Cardinal George Pell (who has made appearances here on The Word before) are quite outspoken climate change sceptics. Pell has “already compared attempts to cut carbon emissions with “pagan” human sacrifice.” It’s amazing, like he’s almost trying to be as big a dickhead as possible.

Anyway, the thing that really entertained me was this part:

Providentially, perhaps, the church plan was called a “strategic, systems-based integrated initiative”, which soon became ASSISI – coinciding with the home of St Francis, patron saint of the environment.

“I was looking at the letters and I realised we could just add an ‘A’ on the front – it was one of those real ‘God’ moments,” Ms Remond said. “The Franciscans were very happy about it.”

Jacqui Remond is director of Catholic Earthcare, the national sustainability division of the church. And yes, she had a “real ‘God’ moment”. That must be a moment when you suspend any kind critical thinking and intelligence you may have to rationalise something. How the hell could she get ASSISI from “strategic, systems-based integrated initiative” by adding an A in front?

Strategic, Systems-based Integrated Initiative

Add an A in front of that and you get ASSII. So she’s added an A in front and an extra S towards the end after coming up with the most weasel worded name she could think of in the first place and then claimed it was a “real ‘God’ moment”. You know what? She’s right. What she’s done there really does compare with most religious rationalisation. Which is a shame, because what they’re doing is a really good thing. It’s just a shame that she’s turned it into a joke by desperately trying to make it relevant to her church.

Oh well, at least they might reduce some emissions in the long run. The Catholic Church can certainly afford a few solar panels.