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`Neo-pagans' and global warming

I was admiring the coverage of Hurricane Sandy this morning as I leafed through The Tablet, the newspaper of the Diocese of Brooklyn, until I was stopped by a paragraph in Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio's weekly column. The bishop wrote that "global warming is not something we can believe in" and that those who view it as a cause of the storm are "neo-pagans" because "they seem to have no belief in God."Dealing with the question of why God would allow a tragedy such as the deadly hurricane, he writes:

Truly, if we are looking for causality, any meteorologist would be able to tell us that the high tide, full moon and a perfect storm came together to cause the widespread destruction that Sandy left on our door steps on the Northeast coast. Today, some who may be called neo-pagans, look for other answers, since they seem to have no belief in God. They blame global warming, or, in effect, ourselves for not taking care of the environment. Some blame the reduction of the ozone layer which some say leads to these more violent storms. I will leave that solution of these proposals to scientists who can verify global warming, because it is not something we can believe in, rather it is something that needs to be proven.

Neo-pagans?

There is a substantial movement in many religions to respond to global warming, and the Catholic Church has played an important role in it. Vatican City aimed to become the first carbon-neutral state. And the Vatican has issued many statements calling attention to the danger of global warming. As Archbishop Celestino Migliore told the United Nations in 2007, "The scientific evidence for global warming and for humanitys role in the increase of greenhouse gasses becomes ever more unimpeachable." In Caritas in Veritate, Pope Benedict XVI wrote that "the protection of the environment, of resources and of the climate obliges all international leaders to act jointly and to show a readiness to work in good faith, respecting the law and promoting solidarity with the weakest regions of the planet."No one can say with certainty that global warming is responsible for a specific storm, as Business Week notes in its cover story, "It's Global Warming, Stupid." But to ignore it now is irresponsible. Last year, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences called together a working group of glaciologists, climate scientists, hydrologists, physicists, chemists and others to report on global warming. They found a 90 percent likelihood that greenhouse gases are responsible for global warming and warned that one consequence is that "stronger storm surges" threaten coastal lands. They add: "The time to act is now." The report concludes:

We call on all people and nations to recognize the serious and potentially irreversible impacts of global warming caused by the anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants, and by changes in forests, wetlands, grasslands, and other land uses. We appeal to all nations to develop and implement, without delay, effective and fair policies to reduce the causes and impacts of climate change on communities and ecostystems, including mountain glaciers and their watershed, aware that we all live in the same home. By acting now, in the spirit of common but differentiated responsibility, we accept our duty to one another and to the stewardship of a planet blessed with the gift of life.We are committed to ensuring that all inhabitants of this planet receive their daily bread, fresh air to breathe and clean water to drink, as we are aware that, if we want justice and peace, we must protect the habitat that sustains us.

For those who want to read further on what the church teaches concerning climate change, I recommend the Web site of the Catholic Climate Covenant.    

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I am all for responsible environmental treaties. At the same time, this, like everything else involves personal responsibility.I just read a research article (cannot find it at the moment) that cited the increase in energy efficient furnaces, better windows and insulation in the last 10 or so year. However, interestingly, there has not been a corresponding decrease on hydro and natural gas usage.The reason in somewhat ironic. It is because new homes then become proportionally larger. For example, a 5,000 square foot house will now use as much gas and hydro as a 3, 000 square foot house 15 years ago. However, if consumers would simply opt for the 3, 000 square foot house, they would end up saving proportionally less gas and hydro.And don't even get me started on people who drive Hummer trucks. If I see one more yuppie who has never even been on a gravel road and whose idea of being outdoors is jogging around a paved trail, by a man-made lake, driving a Hummer, I am going to have a fit.

Bishop DiMarzio's column is a classic example of someone who tries to be too clever for their own good. It's not even germane to the point he's trying to make, so he decides to invent a phantom argument, insulting non-Christians, plus scientists who, indeed, have demonstrated climate change. Clearly, somebody isn't too concerned about the "new" evangelization.

Looks like Bishop DiMarzio never heard of the problem of evil, or maybe he thinks he has the solution. Amazing.

Oh for heaven's sake.

Climate change cannot be directly linked to any single event, but neither can God.

jbruns --It's a fundamental belief of Christianity that God has created all things and keeps them in existence, and that includes all those natural events that people do not cause, e.g., earthquakes, the big fish eating the little ones, the lions eating the martyrs. By denying that there is a problem of evil you deny that He is the Creator of everything.

This bishop of Brookly echoes the bishops of the century who asserted that for Galileo to say the earth moves is heresy. That makes Galileo a pagan right. But as Galileo uttered the phrase which resounds thereafter as a blatant affront to the absurdity of too many pompous and arrogant religious leaders. "And yet it moves" (Italian: Eppur si muove." Like fighting abortion is more important than to give essential food and medicine to a dying child.

I could laugh this off but it fits into so many post-election comments I heard from Catholics that sounded like perfectly familiar theology -- of the fundamentalist, evangelical variety. Catholics are being infected not only by the secular, hedonistic, etc., etc, of the United States but also by the backwater American fundamentalist theology. And, yeah, bishops are not immune.Anyhow, this is more Catholicism My Mother Never Taught Me.

Thomas Reese, "as a political scientist", urges the bishops to have a plan B. I guess he has not read DiMarzio's remarks. Plan B is to call everyone who voted for Obama as "neo pagans." http://ncronline.org/node/39111

jbruns --It's a fundamental belief of Christianity that God has created all things and keeps them in existence, and that includes all those natural events that people do not cause, including, e.g., earthquakes, the big fish eating the little ones, the lions eating the martyrs. By denying that there is a problem of evil you deny that He is the Creator of everything.

My apologies to the Bishop but dualistic theology gives short shrift to the Creator as if God is only in the heavens but His Presence was not and is not now involved with the making of the Earth and always here. This statement could lead to dreary academic arguments about Immanence, Transcendentalism, Pantheism, Relativism and so forth. However, real Christians dont live in dry theoretical boxes and are not averse to caring for His Creation. The contrary is the case. No fear, come join us, Bishop.

Did Bishop Di M. really say that global warning is not something we can believe in? I had thought that there was now a generally accepted belief that the phenomenon is really happening, and that the only battle was between those who say it is man-made (our carbon emissions, etc.), and those who continue to maintain that it is merely part of a natural cycle, and that we have no responsibility for it and can continue to pollute the atmosphere. Sheer disbelief of the sort expressed here must be pretty rare, fortunately. I wonder if bishops have recourse to any continuing education programs?

Some years ago the French historian Emanuel Leroy Ladurie published an article dealing, among other things, with the so-called "Little Ice Age," meaning the unusual cold that affected Europe from roughly the fourteenth to the nineteenth centuries. During that time Alpine glaciers advanced, and the inhabitants of Chamonix (not yet a tourist destination!), convinced that the great Mer de Glace, which pours down from Mont Blanc, petitioned the king in Paris to use his royal powers to make the ice turn back before it engulfed their village. I wonder if by any chance they had turned to their bishop to seek his help, and were met with the retort that they were guilty of neo-paganism.Today there are places in the Alps seeing experiments in covering glaciers to prevent their further melting, though none very effective yet, I think. And in any case, I don't think there are any glaciers in the Diocese of Brooklyn. Except the human ones, of course.

Sorry -- meant to writeconvinced that the great Mer de Glace, which pours down from Mont Blanc, was endangering them, petitioned the king in Paris to use his royal powers to make the ice turn back before it engulfed their village.

In reading the original article, the Bishop does not seem to be arguing for or against evidence of global warming; rather, he seems to be pointing out that there are direct ways we can address the "man made" aspects that made Hurricane Sandy so damaging, and what we can do to ameliorate the widespread suffering in its aftermath.What made this storm "historic" was not its existence it was after all a minimal hurricane (although of noteworthy breadth) with the bad manners to have made landfall on the eve of a full moon but rather how it struck at the exact vulnerabilities man had built in its path. Much of what flooded in NYC was low-lying swampland and landfill, hardly secure ground. Much of the loss on Staten Island was, again, where property was particularly vulnerable. We (Society) forgot the devastation in the Northeast by no less than 10 hurricanes with six years in the 1950s, at least half of which, if they occurred today, would have caused as much as or more devastation. (It was an impressive decade, tropical weather-wise.)So, yes, Sandy's destruction was "man made" after all...but not in any way dependent on belief in global warming. Rather, it was our complete dismissal of sound risk-management practices that did us in. More of which is to come, methinks. And, I think, so does the Bishop.This is not suggest that the world shouldn't stop throwing crap into the air. It is to say that while the world figures out how to do that while keeping the lights on, maybe we should deal with the issues that God has placed squarely in front of us.

Tom Blackburn: "Catholics are being infected not only by the secular, hedonistic, etc., etc, of the United States but also by the backwater American fundamentalist theology. And, yeah, bishops are not immune."That sounds about right. Catholics and Evanglicals coming together to oppose abortion has led to some interesting consequences, not all of which have been positive IMHO.

One of his fellow bishops needs to call him: Nick, my man, you really need to think before you speak. You are giving the rest of us a very bad reputation when you prattle on like a mad man. Fraternally speaking, shut your cake hole.Have a very nice day.

Bp. DiMarzio is not alone in his view on global warming. He may informed by Cdl. Pell rather than the Pontifical Academy of Sciences to the detriment of noteworthy Vatican efforts. Cdl. Pell lectured In Oct 2011 to the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) in London. After thoroughly explaining his claim to speak with authority on the subject, he vigorously dismissed most of what is generally accepted by most knowledgeable scientists about global warming as an observable process with some serious predictable consequences. Pell's full speech is offered but Not Found at the GWPF site now; an excerpt conveys his thrust: http://www.thegwpf.org/cardinal-pell-carbon-credits-like-medieval-indulg... Widespread reactions were in a similar vein:http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/10/28/climate-scientists-slam-george-pells...

The Guardian reports confirmation of the rising sea level:"The mystery of the expansion of sea ice around Antarctica, at the same time as global warming is melting swaths of Arctic sea ice, has been solved using data from US military satellites."Two decades of measurements show that changing wind patterns around Antarctica have caused a small increase in sea ice, the result of cold winds off the continent blowing ice away from the coastline."Until now these changes in ice drift were only speculated upon using computer models," said Paul Holland at the British Antarctic Survey. "Our study of direct satellite observations shows the complexity of climate change."The upshot is that now the scientists have definite knowledge of why the seas are rising -- 5m daily measurements over a period of 20 years *show* what is happening.http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/nov/11/poles-scientists-antar...

Was he denying climate change or was he just not expressing himself very well? I had to reread the paragraph a few times to figure out what he was trying to say, but it sounded like he could have been saying, when figuring out the "why" of the devastating hurricane, he'd leave the scientific reasons to the scientists, and was just talking himself about God's part in it.

Paul,I too think that, in the paragraph you cite, the Bishop could have been clearer as to his meaning. But I do not think he was dismissing the thesis of global warning. How else interpret his final sentence: "I will leave that solution of these proposals to scientists who can verify global warming, because it is not something we can believe in, rather it is something that needs to be proven."I would like to call attention to the pastoral intent of the entire article: consolation for the victims, encouragement for the helpers -- from diocesan to parish to individual efforts. The Bishop himself does not seem to have remained ensconced in the chancery, but was out in the field, offering what support he could.

Jim McCrea -- sorry for "prattling on." I meant (as I said) simply to raise the question of whether the bishop was denying global warming. It sounded to me as if he was doing so; others have suggested that he simply misspoke himself, and that too may be true. But if so, then I don't understand his reference to "neo-paganism" in the context of global warming. My failure, no doubt.A couple of years ago a German Jesuit, after the great Haiti quake, wrote a brief piece about natural disasters of that sort, and concluded simply that there are some questions theology can't answer. Was he right or wrong? I don't know.

Nicholas Clifford (and Paul Moses), I think the interpretation that the bishop simply put it inelegantly, like Romney talking to big givers, is more strained than the obvious interpretation we gave it. Our interpretation takes off from "neo-pagans, look for other answers."But if the good bishop simply went over the top there, he still has to account for leaving the proposal to scientists who "can" verify global warming. Wouldn't the better verb for the scientists be "have" rather than the ambiguous "can"?"Can" can imply that as far as the bishop is concerned they have a long way to go. It can also imply that they have already done so and can verify it again if asked. But, given the pagans searching for other answers, the more skeptical interpretation seems warranted. Otherwise he would have said the pagans are trying to extend their scientific insight into theological realms where it won't fit. But that is not what he said.

Here's the "neo-pagan" passage:

Today, some who may be called neo-pagans, look for other answers, since they seem to have no belief in God. They blame global warming, or, in effect, ourselves for not taking care of the environment. Some blame the reduction of the ozone layer which some say leads to these more violent storms. I will leave that solution of these proposals to scientists who can verify global warming, because it is not something we can believe in, rather it is something that needs to be proven.

'Tis true, as Robert I. says, that the distinction here is between what is a matter of scientific proof and what is a matter of religious belief, and global warming falls into the former category. And yes, the overwhelming majority of folks who know this stuff think it's been proven, and doesn't "need" to be proven. I'm still puzzled by the invocation of the neopagans, though. I wonder if the bishop's argumentation might be helped by Aristotle's categories of causation? Surely theism does not require that we blame God directly (as, in Aristotle's terminology, the "efficient cause") for things like monster storms? If so, we're left with a theodicy problem that just doesn't quit. Nor, conversely, does trust in the marvelous workings of the human intellect as explaining such efficient causality make us pagans, neo or other.

Not that Aristotelian "final causality" actually SOLVES the theodicy problem, of course, but it doesn't lead so directly to God-as-monster as DiMarzio's approach does. Imagine the pastoral mess that God-as-efficient-cause-of-everything creates: "Gosh, I'm so sorry that your little child has cancer. God must have wanted it that way." Or, of course, there's this year's IN Senate candidate Mourdock...

Though perhaps Bishop DiMarzio's comments in "The Tablet" were inartfully stated, I don't think he is unaware of the perils of climate change. In fact, he co-signed the statement on the environment that was issued by the USCCB as part of its "Climate Change Justice & Health Initiative":"Today, there is a particular and pressing responsibility to examine and act on the growing challenge of global climate change and its implications for God's creation and for the poor and vulnerable. During his angelus address on August 27, 2006, Pope Benedict XVI called for a commitment to care for creation. He said creation is 'exposed to serious risks by life choices and lifestyles that can degrade it.' In particular, he said, 'environmental degradation makes the lives of the poor especially unbearable.' The U.S. Catholic bishops have declared, 'At its core, global climate change is not about economic theory or political platforms, nor about partisan advantage or interest group pressures. It is about the future of God's creation and the one human family. It is about protecting both 'the human environment' and the natural environment.' (Global Climate Change: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence and the Common Good, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2001, p.1)." http://old.usccb.org/sdwp/ejp/climate/index.shtml

I do believe that if Bishop DiMarzio believes in global warming (as William Collier and others have pointed out) he needs to write in a less obtuse manner. Everyone who reads his statements are not university professors who are able to research what he means or does not mean.To me----Bishop DiMarzio's article is just another one of many jabs at the Obama Administration. President Obama has warned of global warming, opposed more carbon fuels because of increasing global warming. Mayor Bloomberg agreed with the President, also---and stated that he believed that the reason that Hurricane Sandy was so destructive WAS because of global warming.The truth of the matter is God is not the heavenly weatherman. This earth was given to us by God---to care for it and to be good stewards of it. If we fail in this---because we are careless, complacent, etc. It is OUR fault---not God's. The neo-pagan jab is another angry retort by the GOP Bishops.

Note that the bishop's deliberate excursion into neo-pagans, global warming, and the ozone layer is gratuitous and irrelevant to his well-expressed pastoral concerns and support that follow. It does nothing to resolve Epicurus's paradox for neighbors who might understandably be wrestling with their personal 2012 versions, unaided by the analytical intricacies of philosophy and theology. It was odd in the midst of an extraordinary recovery effort being carried on by pagans, Catholics, and many others, without distinction. Perhaps he will say more as he did last year when he named names and sanctions in the event that led up to him him announcing Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature have deconstructed the single most important institution in human history. He can be very clear when sufficiently moved. http://thetablet.org/?p=1138

It's like "my science is better than your science." DiMarzio listens to meteorologists as long as he wants to, then classes those who have spent their lives studying climate change, and those who accept their findings, as faithless pagans who don't believe in God.

Llisa --I would say that the problem of evil (that sometimes God does seem to be a monster) is still under active consideration by many philosophers and theologians, not to mention earlier considerations beginning with Job. See Alvin Plantinga, Marilyn McCord Adams, Rowan Williams and others, including the head of the Catholic theological society whose name I forget. (Terrence something.)

I will leave that solution of these proposals to scientists who can verify global warming, because it is not something we can believe in, rather it is something that needs to be proven.That is discussed at length on the real climate website. Global warming has actually been "proved" within reasonable doubt for many years. To see a discussion of this phenomenon of unwarranted skepticism, see for examplehttp://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/02/happy-birthday-cha...To what extent is "Global Warming Theory" verified?[...]A theory can never be definitively proved; there is always the possibility that some new observation will overturn it, and most theories are imperfect and fail in one way or another to account for some of the data. The question thus emerges as to the extent to which global warming skeptics are holding the theory up to an "unreasonable standard of proof," much as ID proponents do in the case of Evolution. Given that the intensity of interest in the Theory of Global Warming stems largely from its policy implications, it is fair to ask how the standards of proof to which global warming has been held stack up against other theories that have been used to make policy decisions of enormous consequence. "Supply Side Economics" (the theory that tax cuts pay for themselves by stimulating economic growth) is a telling example that comes to mind (to say nothing of the "theory" that Iraq had WMD).See also http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/12/how-to-be-a-real-s...Much of what passes for debate on climate change in the popular media, is often framed as the scientific consensus vs. the sceptics. A close examination of these arguments (for instance, as outlined in a recent Wall Street Journal editorial) doesnt reveal much that could be described as true scepticism since they often use the fallacious reasoning that we discuss above. However, since scepticism has a (justifiably) long and noble tradition in science, the framing device is quite powerful (despite the lack of connection with any actual scepticism). As with the intelligent design controversy, agenda-driven opposition has often managed to cloak its contrarianism with the mantle of scepticism. So, while many contrarians pay lip service to the legacy of Russell (or even Pyrrho), forgive me if I remain a little sceptical

Pagans in ancient Greece and Rome believed in a multiplicity of gods and goddesses.So what would Greek or Roman pagans say about global warming?Your guess is as good as mine. But my guess is that they would say that global warming is being brought on by one of the gods and goddesses. Warming suggests that the god of the sun may be the culprit.Ancient Greek and Roman pagans would not be inclined to believe modern scientific explanations of global warming, just as the bishop of Brooklyn apparently does not believe modern scientific explanations of global warming.In this respect, the bishop of Brooklyn could aptly be likened to ancient Greek and Roman pagans -- in short, a neo-pagan.

To me-Bishop DiMarzios article is just another one of many jabs at the Obama Administration. -----Agree. It's all about Obama. Just as Morlino included "socialism" on his list of intrinsically evil stuff, and Sheridan said "religious freedom" should be added to the list of non-negotiables, and bishops in general came up with the Fortnight Against Obama, etc., now this man uses "neo-pagans" as a slur against those who fail to swallow the Republican anti-science swill.

"In fact, he co-signed the statement on the environment that was issued by the USCCB as part of its Climate Change Justice & Health Initiative:This proves nothing. William, I am surprised that you would think so. No wonder the Yankees lost with fans like you.

Let's keep in mind the distinction between the *facts* of global warming and the scientific *explanation(s)* of those facts. The facts are no longer in doubt. When the issue of global warming first came up even some fine scientists (e.g., Freeman Dyson) were not convinced by the data that there was something odd going on. Over time he and others became convinced that the measurements of the weather were sound, and they now agree that something odd is going on. Earlier, many scientists explained the phenomena by the obvious fact that use of fuels by humans throws the residue into the atmosphere and, those scientists claimed, this is *the* cause of global warming.As I understand it, most scientists now, including Dyson, admit that *some* but *only some* of the global warming is caused by human activities, and they think that the whole phenomenon has yet to be completely explained. Most, however, think that our activities are a significant portion of the causes, and our use of current fuels must be reduced or we'll eventually make the planet uninhabitable (not even counting the other causes that seem to be involved).Yes, it's complex.None of this has anything whatsoever to do with religion. None of it. Whatsoever.

Claire points out the go-to website for climate change science. Another website recommended is the American Institute of Physics page on the history of CO2http://www.aip.org/history/climate/co2.htmThe science has been in development for almost 200 years. The average temperature of the earth is 66F more than the moon even though the moon absorbs more light.. Both bodies are the same distance from the sun. The earth has an atmosphere and only 0.04% of the gases in our atmosphere are capable of absorbing infrared, being a greenhouse gas. 99.5% of that is CO2. So it is quite possible that doubling the CO2 will have some efffpect on our thermostat setting. The only thing in "dispute" is not that we're changing climate, but how much and in what way that change will progress in the future.

When DeMarzio says, global warming is not something we can believe in, I *think* he means that it is a matter for science, not a matter for religion (that is to say, knowable only by faith). From what I can tell, he doesn't seem to be denying the truth of science, because he also writes, "any meteorologist would be able to tell us that the high tide, full moon and a perfect storm came together to cause the widespread destruction that Sandy left on our door steps." I admit that I'm not completely sure what he means by "neo-pagans", because quite a few people (like me) have no trouble accepting what science tells us without losing religious faith. To my mind, anyway, the openness to accepting the truth provided by scientific discovery, and the openness to accepting the truth provided by revelation and faith, are complementary, albeit not without tension. Also, we know that quite a few people who deny scientific truths are religious people, and so couldn't accurately be described as "neo-pagans". So, in summary - I don't know what he means :-).

The fourth and fifth paragraphs of Bishop DiMarzio's column, although by no means as disastrous as Sandy, seem to be another example of bad things happening to good people. They are plopped down for no sensible reason smack in the middle of a perfectly fine pastoral letter.He says that "any meteorologist" can explain Sandy in natural terms, but that people who have no belief in God are looking for other reasons. Presumably, those would be reasons which have nothing to do with God or nature, so they are striking off in an unnamed third direction.People who don't believe in God at least have a fairly easy answer to the problem of evil. It is attributable either to the indifference of nature or to the shortsightedness of humans, both of which are well enough documented to be beyond dispute, although for the former at least, it might be argued that some natural cataclysms are a kind of creative destruction and not wholly evil in the long run. But that whole line of thought does not explain the existence of the world.The mention of the "pagan philospher Epicurus" is interesting, since he taught that the highest happiness is an inner tranquillity unperturbed by outside occurrences or concerns, and that God created the world and then let it spin away without further thought or care. All done! But there goes divine love and immanence. Whatever, it gives the bishop a chance to say "neo-pagans."

Pagans, as I'm sure everyone knows, were originally people who lived in a pagus, a village, and thus a cultural backwater. They were rustic and traditional, and they held with the old gods, unlike the Christians, who tended to congregate in the cities.Imagine if it had been the other way round. Would we today be calling Christians pagans and unbelievers "urbane" or "civilized"? In one sense we do. We speak of "simple" faith, and we often describe people we think are too sophisticated for their own good as "modern" orheaven help us!"post-modern."

Could it be that the bishop is simply contradicting himself -- saying one thing is one sentence and its opposite in another? The human capacity for self-contradiction is very wide indeed.

And deep.

I am not too sure if this is apropos, but would bishop DiMazio have considered Teilhard de Chardin a neo pagan? It's a thought that came to me as I was reading this.

I see my post about sending him to Greenland diocese is under threat of modificationI agree it's snarky as Greenland is probalbly not a diocese.However Venice Italy just had it's worst flood in years.So my suggestion ought to be modified . Bishop DiMarzio has the Italian backround, language?, a potential Red Hat, and will have first hand experience of global warming if he goes to Venice. (-:. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/post/venice-flo...

Anderew --What do you think a neo-pagan is? How do you define the term?

I thought neo-pagans were women with liberal arts degrees, running around naked in the woods, worshipping Gaea and not eating meat. :-)

LOL(Actually, Jim, neo-pagans are men running around the suburbs in dalmatics, 3rd-century women's favorite garb.)

That's just about my meaning, too, Jim. But they're wearing wreaths of wildflowers and chanting "Love the rainbows, Love the bugs . . . "

I'm not sure. An old pagan may be one who believed in false gods, and a new pagan may be one attributes too science more than the church would like too. Maybe Galileo was the first neo pagan.

Gerelyn, I can't say; but I can assure you that in these suburbs, no men run around in dalmatics. Albs and stoles, for sure, but nary a dalmatic to be seen.

Andrew --Good definition in Vaticanese :-) But, of course, tomorrow it might change.