Pontiff Calls for "Ecology of Man"

Warns Against New Theories of "Gender"

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 22, 2008.- While protecting nature is an essential mission of the Church, it's no more important than protecting the nature of the person, says Benedict XVI.

The Pope spoke today of what he termed an "ecology of man" during his traditional exchange of Christmas greetings with prelates and members of the Roman Curia.

"Given that faith in the Creator is an essential element of the Christian creed, the Church can not and should not limit itself to transmitting to the faithful only the message of salvation," he affirmed. "It also has a responsibility with creation, and it has to fulfill this responsibility in public."

The Pontiff added that while the Church needs to "defend the earth, water, air, as gifts of the creation that belongs to all of us [... ], it must also protect the human being from his own destruction."

"It is necessary that there be something such as an ecology of man, understood in the proper manner," he said.

This human ecology, he affirmed, is based on respecting the nature of the person, and the two genders of masculine and feminine.

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"It is not outmoded metaphysics," Benedict XVI affirmed, "when Church speaks of the nature of the human being as man and woman, and demands that this order of creation be respected."

He said it has more to do with "faith in the Creator and listening to the language of creation, the contempt of which will lead to the self destruction of humanity."

The Pope warned against the manipulation that takes place in national and international forums when the term "gender" is altered.

"What is often expressed and understood by the term 'gender,' is definitively resolved in the self-emancipation of the human being from creation and the Creator," he warned. "Man wants to create himself, and to decide always and exclusively on his own about what concerns him."

The Pontiff said this is man living "against truth, against the creating Spirit."

"The rain forests certainly deserve our protection, but man as creature indeed deserves no less," he added.

Benedict XVI explained that great theologians have "qualified marriage, that is to say, the link for life between man and woman, as a sacrament of creation, instituted by the Creator."

"This forms part of the announcement that the Church should offer," he concluded, "in favor of the creating Spirit present in all of nature, and in a special way in the nature of man created in the image of God."

 

Copyright 2008, Innovative Media, Inc. Posted with permission from www.Zenit.com.

Excerpt from the Holy Father's address to the Roman Curia

1. First of all there are the words found at the beginning of the Creation account, which speak of the Creator Spirit who sweeps over the face of the abyss, who creates the world and renews it constantly. Faith in the Creator Spirit is an essential part of the Christian creed. The fact that matter has a mathematical structure, is spirit-filled, is the basis of the modern natural sciences.

 

It is only because matter is structured intelligently that our mind can interpret and actively refashion it. The fact that this intelligible structure comes from the same Creator Spirit who also gave us our own spirit, brings with it both a duty and a responsibility.

 

Our faith in creation is the ultimate basis of our responsibility for the earth. The earth is not simply our property, which we can exploit according to our interests and desires. Rather, it is a gift of the Creator, who designed its innate order and has thus given us guidelines which we, as stewards of his creation, need to respect. The fact that the earth and the cosmos mirror the Creator Spirit also means that their rational structures which, beyond their mathematical order, become almost tangible in scientific experimentation, also have an inherent ethical orientation.

 

The Spirit who fashioned them, is more than mathematics – he is Goodness in person who, in and through the language of creation, points out to us the way of an upright life.

 

Since faith in the Creator is an essential part of the Christian creed, the Church cannot and must not limit herself to passing on to the faithful the message of salvation alone. She has a responsibility towards creation, and must also publicly assert this responsibility. In so doing, she must not only defend earth, water and air as gifts of creation belonging to all. She must also protect man from self-destruction. What is needed is something like a human ecology, correctly understood.

 

If the Church speaks of the nature of the human being as man and woman, and demands that this order of creation be respected, this is not some antiquated metaphysics. What is involved here is faith in the Creator and a readiness to listen to the “language” of creation. To disregard this would be the self-destruction of man himself, and hence the destruction of God’s own work.

 

What is often expressed and understood by the term “gender” ultimately ends up being man’s attempt at self-emancipation from creation and the Creator. Man wants to be his own master, and alone – always and exclusively – to determine everything that concerns him. Yet in this way he lives in opposition to the truth, in opposition to the Creator Spirit.

 

Rain forests deserve indeed to be protected, but no less so does man, as a creature having an innate “message” which does not contradict our freedom, but is instead its very premise.

 

The great scholastic theologians described marriage, understood as the life-long bond between a man and a woman, as a sacrament of creation, which the Creator himself instituted and which Christ – without modifying the “message” of creation – then made part of the history of his covenant with humanity.

 

An integral part of the Church proclamation must be a witness to the Creator Spirit present in nature as a whole, and, in a special way, in the human person, created in God’s image.

 

From this perspective, we should go back to the Encyclical Humanae Vitae: the intention of Pope Paul VI was to defend love against sex as a consumer good, the future against the exclusive claims of the present, and human nature against its manipulation.

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