PopeWatch: Pantheism

Share on facebook
Facebook 0
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn 0
Share on reddit
Reddit 0
Share on delicious
Delicious
Share on digg
Digg
Share on stumbleupon
StumbleUpon 0
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on email
Email
Share on print
Print

 PopeWatch2-199x300

The effort continues under the current Pontificate to transform sins into non-sins and non-sins into sins.  Father Z gives us the bad news:

Pope Francis, in his letter about this event to Card. Turkson (President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace) and Card. Koch (President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity) made a statement about this day which left me scratching my head a little. HERE

In the statement the Pope said…

[…]

The annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation will offer individual believers and communities a fitting opportunity to reaffirm their personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which he has entrusted to our care, and to implore his help for the protection of creation as well as his pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live.

[…]

“Sins committed against the world”… what does that mean?

I think in most languages there is an idiomatic understanding of “the world” as being “everyone”, that is “all people”.   But that doesn’t seem to be what this is all about.

We are to have a care for creation around us – which includes people. Is that the main thrust in this statement?  It seems to me that he is talking about the non-human environment.

Of course Laudato si‘ tries to bring the two together.

Sometimes when we talk about sin, we say we sin against a virtue (charity) or against neighbor.  However, if we stray from truth and charity, or if we harm our neighbor our sin is truly against God.  As the Catechism of the Catholic Church points out…

1850 Sin is an offense against God: “Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in your sight.”122 Sin sets itself against God’s love for us and turns our hearts away from it. Like the first sin, it is disobedience, a revolt against God through the will to become “like gods,”123 knowing and determining good and evil. Sin is thus “love of oneself even to contempt of God.”124 In this proud self- exaltation, sin is diametrically opposed to the obedience of Jesus, which achieves our salvation.125

122 Ps 51:4. 123 Gen 3:5. 124 St. Augustine, De civ. Dei 14,28:PL 41,436.  125 Cf. Phil 2:6-9.

A sin against a virtue (an abstraction) is a sin against God.  A sin against neighbor is a sin against God.

Do we sin against some creature which isn’t a person?  Clods of dirt, plants, and critters are not persons. We cannot sin against a critter, a plant or a clod (of dirt, that is).

If we commit vandalism against a sacred thing, such as a chalice, a church or a cemetery, we do not sin against those things but rather against God, the one to whom those sacred things are dedicated with special consecration.

If we sin by pouring unreasonable, dangerous, extreme quantities poisons into the earth or air or water or by mistreating animals, we do not sin against the earth, air or water or against the animals.  We sins against our neighbor, for making his life miserable, but, more fundamentally, we sin against God by violating His will when He made us creation’s stewards.

We do not sin against the world we live in.

Unless… we think the world is god.

There are those immanentists out there who verge on pantheism.  There are immanentists in the Church, as a matter of fact!  Lots of them!  Some of them wear Roman collars, many wear lapel pins and polyester, most wear flipflops and shorts (at least in church).  Come to think of it, immanentists come in all shapes and sizes and they are often well dressed. Most modern immanentists of our acquaintance suffer from what I call “Immanentism Lite”, that is, they don’t deny the transcendence of God, they simply never think about it.

God is, first and foremost, transcendent.  That’s a harder way of grasping God.  Since it is harder, it isn’t as easily communicated.  This is why the traditional, Extraordinary Form is so important.  It provides the necessary hard elements, the apophatic elements, which help us to an experience of awe and the detachment from self which is critical if we want to overcome life’s “daily winter”, our fear of death.  This is the very purpose of Religion.  Our liturgical worship must help us to be purified of distractions that keep us from confronting our fear of death and that prevent us from encountering mystery. We need in our worship a measure of privation, hunger and longing for that which in this life we can only darkly as if through Paul’s mirror or the cleft in Moses’ rock.

 

Go here to read the rest.  God created Nature, He is not Nature.  He is I AM, and any attempt to confuse the Creator with His Creation is the deepest blasphemy.

More to explorer

Keeping a Promise

As faithful readers of this blog know, I was a very reluctant, and late, supporter of Donald Trump in 2016.  I grudgingly

37 Comments

  1. . Not getting Fr. Z at all. Imagine your favorite pet dog and some idiot taking it and torturing it. He is sinning against God in the sense of being vicious but he is sinning against the dog in that we also use the phrase “sin against” as
    meaning hurting some being who can feel pain. We use technical precision in language sometimes and we use a looser approach to language at other times. When we say Mary is the Mother of God, we cannot be held by some critic to be saying the full technical definition of God as though Mary is the mother of the whole Trinity. The Church herself is not always speaking with technical precision as in the latter case.

  2. “but he is sinning against the dog in that we also use the phrase “sin against” as
    meaning hurting some being who can feel pain.”

    I don’t think so. Is a cat sinning when it toys with a mouse before it eats it? To ask the question is to answer it. Humans alone have the capacity to sin. There is no cruelty or other sin at all in Nature, even though the animal portion is ever “red in tooth and claw.” Sin is a thing that pertains to humans only. Thus “sins against the Earth” is a fable. Any cruelty we show in dealing with animals, isn’t against Nature or the animal but rather against the Creator who tells humans, and humans only, not to be cruel.

    Of course the rubbish idea of sins against the Earth has nothing to do with cruelty against animals and everything to do with the move by some elements in the Church to gain religious support for their hare-brained environmental crusade.

  3. . I see only humans as capable of sin….not cats or lions. When a human causes unnecessary pain to an animal, he sins against God technically but sins against the animal in a looser acceptation of ” sin against”….as meaning “hurt unnecessarily”.

  4. I think he and all liberals only see heterosexual, chaste-married, taxpayer, white males as capable of sin.
    .’
    Also, seems as if he’s declassifying scriptural (as in The Ten Commandments) sins and fabricating seculars sins. That is above his pay grade.

  5. Then, surely, there will come a call to prayer to our Father for a repentant spirit and His help in the face of the butchery of both Christians and others, as well as the $ale of aborted infants, with the spoken and unspoken support of both world and Church leaders and media.
    .
    ‘… We sin against our neighbor, for making his life miserable, but, more fundamentally, we sin against God by violating His will when He made us creation’s stewards…’

  6. Christians affirm both the immanence and the transcendence of God, nowhere better expressed, perhaps, than in the Catholic poet Alexander Pope’s Essay on Man.

    He insists on God immanent in His creation:

    “ All are but parts of one stupendous whole,
    Whose body Nature is, and God the soul;
    That, changed through all, and yet in all the same;
    Great in the earth, as in the ethereal frame;
    Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze,
    Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees,
    Lives through all life, extends through all extent,
    Spreads undivided, operates unspent;
    Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal part,
    As full, as perfect, in a hair as heart:
    As full, as perfect, in vile man that mourns,
    As the rapt seraph that adores and burns:
    To him no high, no low, no great, no small;
    He fills, he bounds, connects, and equals all.”

    Whilst also insisting on the divine transcendence:

    “Who sees with equal eye, as God of all,
    A hero perish, or a sparrow fall,
    Atoms or systems into ruin hurled,
    And now a bubble burst, and now a world.”

  7. There is no precision in the statements that this Pope makes. For a former chemistry technician, he is very vague and confusing in his words. Maybe that’s why he quit chemistry – because in science precision and exactitude are required virtues. I cannot wait for this Pontificate to end, but if he retires early, he won’t shut his mouth. He will cause even more discord and anarchy. He is a Peronist. He cannot help himself.

  8. Nothing the Pope said even implies that sins are anything other than sins against God. Pope Francis is not saying anything new with “sins against the world.” The U.S. Bishops previously famously said that abortion was a “sin against creation.” I am certain that St. John Paul said that environmental devastation was a “sin against creation,” though I can’t find the source right now.

    It would take some creative reasoning to conclude that when the Catechism teaches that failure to care for creation is a sin against God but that the Pope is somehow saying that it is only a sin against something material.

    This is just another example of Fr. Z — following the same path as McCleary — of looking for any little thing to twist and use against the Holy Father.

  9. “Pope Francis called for more respect for nature on Saturday, branding the destruction of South America’s rain forests and other forms of environmental exploitation a sin of modern times.

    In an address at the university of Molise, an agricultural and industrial region in southern Italy, Francis said the Earth should be allowed to give her fruits without being exploited.

    “”This is one of the greatest challenges of our time: to convert ourselves to a type of development that knows how to respect creation,” he told students, struggling farmers, and laid-off workers in a university hall.

    “When I look at America, also my own homeland (South America), so many forests, all cut, that have become land … that can longer give life. This is our sin, exploiting the Earth and not allowing her to her give us what she has within her,” the Argentine pope said in unprepared remarks.”

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/07/05/uk-pope-environment-idUKKBN0FA0BC20140705

  10. “I am certain that St. John Paul said that environmental devastation was a “sin against creation,” though I can’t find the source right now.”

    Doubtless because it doesn’t exist:

    “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.”

    Romans 8:22 has nothing to do with the preoccupations of 21rst century enviro-nuts WJ. Saint Paul would have laughed out loud at the attempt to turn into sins the use by man of the products of the Earth.

  11. “”This is one of the greatest challenges of our time: to convert ourselves to a type of development that knows how to respect creation,” he told students, struggling farmers, and laid-off workers in a university hall.

    It’s called ‘private property’ and it’s a venerable practice.

  12. HE IS NOT MY POPE !! I Have always thought he was not our true pope. Pope Benedict is our pope. Francis is an imposture or the the antipope.

  13. There appears much confusion in the previous comments.

    Sin is an offense against God. To deliberately destroy an element of nature CAN be a sin. How? If one cuts down a tree out of an incomprehensible sense of pleasure for destroying, he is distorting the purpose of his mind, and it is sinful. Why? Because he is deliberately engaging in destruction simply “to destroy,” and that is to do violence to his nature. It is to violate “respect for material things.” There is nothing wrong with discarding a used piece of furniture because that is the best procedure one can think of–unless he might give it to someone who would repair it. BUT, if one deliberately destroys a piece of furniture through a sense of destroying an item of value, purposefully destroying, even though there is no objective reason to do so, he is guilty of violating his own ingrained sense of “respect for material things.” He is violating his conscience, and deliberately. He is following an impulse to destroy material things, knowing there is no objective purpose to be served, other than this feeling he is following, uncontrolled by the logic of human nature with which we are all born.

  14. God told Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit of the tree.
    They went ahead and ate it anyway.
    God became angry.
    Why?
    1. Because they disobeyed Him? or,
    2. Because they harmed the fruit?

    It would seem Pope Francis would choose reason #2.

  15. He no longer shocks me, or even surprises me. He’s a heedless progressive playing the Spirit of Vatican II sitar.

    With, yes, the occasional lip service to keep the conservative ultramontanes as his bully boys.

    Watching the latter’s reaction as he rams through the Kasperite assault on three sacraments in October is going to be bleakly entertaining.

  16. Bill B’s comment perhaps got others thinking too
    ‘When we say Mary is the Mother of God, we cannot be held by some critic to be saying the full technical definition of God as though Mary is the mother of the whole Trinity. The Church herself is not always speaking with technical precision as in the latter case’ [sic]

    This is well worth a scan of Cyrils’ 3 letters to Nestorius… get the full technical precision and specificity with which Mother Church teaches. The Theotokos is a great mystery. I’d be reluctant to split out the 1st and 3rd members Most Blessed Trinity from the Hypostatic union of the Natures of the 2nd Person with the human nature Mary provided. an area of great depth, needing much careful guided thought and perhaps full of potholes , especially to limited understanding like mine.

    E.G. ‘ God is 1 ‘substance’ [the preface of the Most Holy Trinity] “For with your Only Begotten Son and the Holy Ghost you are one God, one Lord:
    not in the unity of a single person, but in a Trinity of one substance.

    For what you have revealed to us of your glory
    we believe equally of your Son and of the Holy Spirit,
    so that, in the confessing of the true and eternal Godhead,
    you might be adored in what is proper to each Person,
    their unity in substance,and their equality in majesty.

    and Mary is the Mother of God [defined] .
    Their unity of Substance? …. she is not Christokos.. which is what i think your comment implies. the mystery is in the Hypostasis……

    What a marvelous Creator we have!!and how great Mary is in the salvation story.

    by virtue of the Unity of Substance, to the extent that Mary is the Mother of God, i.e. Theotokos, she is the Mother of the Most Blessed Trinity [God] . Indivisible. but 3 separate Persons.

    i offer this simply for consideration amongst the very bright minds that frequent this Blog.

  17. doesn’t the ability to sin require an intellect and free will, faculties exclusively of an immortal soul?? tree’s,, cats, dogs sinning??

  18. This post just seems like another attempt to create unneeded division, while choosing not to recognize the forest through the trees (no pun intended).

  19. Ok. JPII spoke of “crimes” and “violence” against “creation” as among sins. He also spoke of the need for us to reconcile ourselves, after sin, to “humanity” and “creation.”

    Again, it looks like you are obsessed with finding fault with the Holy Father.

  20. “Again, it looks like you are obsessed with finding fault with the Holy Father.”

    .
    Oh. my! It appears that the Pope insists on making comments causing one to scratch one’s head.
    .
    Anyhow, imagine the wailing and gnashing of teeth (calls for corporate death penalty) if BP, not the Federal EPA, had breached the containment dam killing the gods and demi-gods in the Animas River.

  21. paul coffey,
    If Mary is the Mother of the Father, then she is Christ’s grandmother because Christ is The Father’s only begotten. Read the Council of Ephesus in which Cyril’s letter #2 uses theotokos not for the Trinity but for Christ as man and God. Not everything Cyril ever wrote was approved at Ephesus but only some things like letter 2 to Nestorius.

  22. Here from letter 2 approved by Ephesus:
    ” This is the account of the true faith everywhere professed. So shall we find that the holy fathers believed. So have they dared to call the holy virgin, mother of God, not as though the nature of the Word or his godhead received the origin of their being from the holy virgin, but because there was born from her his holy body rationally ensouled, with which the Word was hypostatically united and is said to have been begotten in the flesh. These things I write out of love in Christ exhorting you as a brother and calling upon you before Christ and the elect angels, to hold and teach these things with us, in order to preserve the peace of the churches and that the priests of God may remain in an unbroken bond of concord and love.”

  23. Here from letter 3 by Cyril also approved at Ephesus:
    ” Therefore, because the holy virgin bore in the flesh God who was united hypostatically with the flesh, for that reason we call her mother of God, not as though the nature of the Word had the beginning of its existence from the flesh (for “the Word was in the beginning and the Word was God and the Word was with God”, and he made the ages and is coeternal with the Father and craftsman of all things), but because, as we have said, he united to himself hypostatically the human and underwent a birth according to the flesh from her womb.”

  24. my last word- Mary is the mother of God – theotokos. by dogmatic definition.
    God is of One Substance

    Christ taught us we may ‘know’ God is Father ,Son and Holy Ghost. 3 persons, of One Substance , one God and Mary is the mother of God. the union of the 2nd Person to the human nature of Christ is mysterious?
    Does the 2nd Person not continually share of the substance of God or is that suspended when He is Christ.? That is Nestorian heresy i think. Mary’s relationship with the Blessed Trinity is marvelous- the daughter of the Father, mother of the son and Bride of the Holy Ghost. and she has the title of Mother of God.
    What lack of precision, huh.

  25. paul coffey,
    Show us a quote from an Ecumenical Council or major Father that states what you said in your first above post…ie that Mary is the “Mother of the Most Blessed Trinity.”
    Your technique of not citing quotes but rather writing in questions and freelance assertions is not good in complex areas…no good professor would allow it. Christ said, ” He who sees me, sees the Father also.”. But He also said, ” the Father is greater than I.”….that is the Father did not descend and make Himself vulnerable nor did He come ” under the Law” as the Word did. The Church says the Holy Spirit descended at Pentecost not at the Incarnation and the Father never did descend in the sense that the Word and the Holy Spirit did descend. This was symbolized in the three strangers who talk to Abraham in one voice and then two of them descend to Sodom and Lot’s house but the third stranger remains talking to Abraham and never does descend.
    If you overstate Mary’s place in creation, I would think you draw near to the sin of idolizing a creature…Mary. The epistles by God’s Providence almost never mention Mary. And God inspired the epistles. He perhaps had the epistles silent on her so that mankind would not overstate her exact role. The apostolic community all knew she was the Mother of the incarnate Word….and the Council of Ephesus states that she is the Mother of the incarnate Word…nothing more. When Christ says, ” My God…why hast thou forsaken me”….Christ implies that the Father has not descended with Him in every sense. When Christ says, ” Let this cup pass but not my will but thine be done”….Christ again implies that the Father has not descended into Christ’s exact situation.
    Mary is not the Mother of the Trinity but of the Word Incarnate as Ephesus says. If some Father or several said otherwise ( you haven’t shown that with cites ), several Fathers are not binding. Pope Benedct praised Origen but Origen was wrong on castrating oneself and universalism. Aquinas and Augustine were wrong on the immaculate conception. Idolatry lurks near this topic of Mary’s exact place. Providentially the epistles do not mention her almost at all….to reign in this problem perhaps.

  26. And good morning to you too Bill ! i’ll break my word, one time ‘good professor’ and reply- it’s not what i said, i’ve just repeated what the church says of Mary – that she is the Mother of GOD….. ‘ show me??! you may define God as you will but i think Jesus covered that in the great commission.

    Yes, these are complex issues but try to avoid going ad hominem regardless of your frustration – mary is theotokos. if you choose to restrict that to Christotokos and only to that Person Who is the very Word of God and the power of the universe- albeit. God is of one substance- Christ: Genitum, non factum,Consubstantialem Patri….. . In your earliest post you suggested that our church teaches in sometimes vague not specific language- let me find the quote – here “The Church herself is not always speaking with technical precision as in the latter case’ [sic] That has not been my experience as you deep dive into the proper documents.

    What we believe of the son we believe of the Other Persons, but GOD in an undivided Unity.

    The Hypostatic union is a real golly gee , huh?? Theotokos ! Mother of God – Is God the Blessed Trinity? yes- Mary is the mother of God, not in a genitor sense but via the mystery of this Hypostasis union.- keep reading Cyril- you’re not far from the truth. but above all , pace, pace Mio dio!! and work to stop abortion and the need for abortion.

  27. 1 more- See William Most, ‘consciousness of Christ’ where in he easily explains a possible explanation for the phrase the Father is Greater than I , He that Sees me sees the Father and – Not even the Son knows the hour ‘ and ‘who touched Me? is Christ sometimes speaking from His human Nature, which is plausible- recall He has two and it is in this Nature business we are advised by the fathers is where the Hypostatic union comes into play.

    Was it God or the human nature of Christ who felt compassion for the Widow of Naim?
    Theotokos … say it slow and repeat it… kind of let it sink in. How could i possibly over exalt the roll of Christs mother in Redemption?? – OH, such joyous sin – that i should be so lucky as to have to defend to her Son how wonderful and complete i believe the Co Redemptorix is!!

  28. Still you have no exact quotes from anyone but yourself. Why can’t you find one quote in 2000 years where someone aside from you says Mary was the Mother of the Trinity.

  29. Bill Bannon wrote, “Why can’t you find one quote in 2000 years where someone aside from you says Mary was the Mother of the Trinity?”
    Because it is Sabellianism, pure and simple – “confounding the Persons.”

  30. Michael PS,
    Thank you. I’ve had a nutty 24 hours from several directions and your laconic support was refreshing.

  31. The pope’s reference to the Earth as “she”, personifies the earth— ” not allowing her to her give us what she has within her”…
    We sin against Persons- God, our our neighbor. We don’t sin against objects. Failing in our duty to be good stewards would be a sin against God and a sin against our neighbor. Pope Francis seems walk the margins around Catholicism sometimes– the “peripheries” of Catholicism 🙂 He gives aid and comfort to my new age, used-to-be-practicing-Catholic friends. Always on the margin, tho- never really crossed over the line. Like Fr Raymond Brown and other mug wumpers.

  32. Anzlene writes, “The pope’s reference to the Earth as “she”, personifies the earth”
    So, when a Frenchman says of a table that « Elle est de grande valeur » he is personifying the table (and “value”) for both are feminine?
    Gender is a quality of words, not of the things they describe. A man is « La personne là-bas » (feminine noun); a woman schoolteacher is « mon professeur » (masculine noun), a new employee, regardless of sex is « la recrue » (feminine noun).
    The names of trees are feminine in Latin, but masculine in French – Fraxinus, le frêne, ulmus, un orme; rumbus, the briar (which is not really a tree, but a shrub) is feminine in both: rumbus, la ronce. Is this a case of “personification” ?
    As it happens, « la terre » (fr) and terra (lat) [Earth] are feminine nouns ; « le monde » and mundus are masculine. Personification ?

  33. ? good morning Michael PS! I thought of that objection to what I wrote as I wrote it too! But I persisted in writing it, thinking of the pope’s words in context of other ways he has spoken in the past about the earth.

  34. Anzlyne replied to me, “I thought of that objection to what I wrote as I wrote it too! But I persisted in writing it, thinking of the pope’s words in context of other ways he has spoken in the past about the earth.£

    Fair enough, but that is a different argument.

Comments are closed.