Friday, April 12, 2024

Pope Francis Shuts Down the Cafeteria - WSJ

To act against nature is to degrade it, and to act against reason. Pope Francis quotes Benedict’s famous address to the British Parliament on the slave trade—that “misuse of reason” gave rise to that evil and to the totalitarian ideologies of the 20th century. Benedict established the link between nature and human nature more explicitly at the Bundestag in Berlin in 2011. Reason demands that we respect both.

“Something is wrong in our relationship with nature, that matter is not just raw material for us to shape at will, but that the earth has a dignity of its own and that we must follow its directives,” he said to his countrymen. “We must listen to the language of nature and we must answer accordingly. . . . Man too has a nature that he must respect and that he cannot manipulate at will.”

Failure to do so leads to obvious tension, such as opposing genetic modification of crops but allowing puberty blockers for minors. Or hailing Pope Francis for his concern about the climate while ignoring his insistence that marriage is a part of a healthy human ecology. In each case, the world has lost its sense of nature.

This hints at the metaphysics behind the disputes over sex and “gender identity.” Is my body, my identity, something over which I exercise autonomous power, so that my will can determine what and who I am? Or do I have a nature that I and others must respect? While that needn’t be a theological argument, it often is. For if I can remake myself into something contrary to my given nature, I desire to be a creature no longer but a creator, a god.

The debate over dignity is a debate about who God is. The Catholic answer: Only God is God—we aren’t.


Fr. Raymond J. de Souza

| Permalink


I'd be tempted to poke fun at this if I'd the least idea what he's nattering about. "Word salad" is such a useful American phrase.

Posted by: dearieme | Apr 22, 2024 5:42:40 AM

Hope you are doing well.

Posted by: Hank Archer | May 3, 2024 12:32:49 PM
Now this doesn't work either.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 19, 2024 4:19:17 AM

Post a comment