Now, with the utterly unbiased and unpredictable BBC (insert emoticon for eye-rolling sarcastic smile) leading the way, we hear that the Pope has taken the opportunity of the Christmas season of love and joy --where we should erase all references to Christmas lest we offend minorities, by the way-- to tell us that although saving the rainforests is a good thing, saving mankind from the threat of homos and transgenders is just as important. You can imagine the outrage.
Well, Il Papa did not say that. What he does reject is "gender theory", much beloved not only of gays and transgenders, but feminists, for its assertion that male and female are socially constructed (and oppressive) cultural performances, not expressions of nature, much less the Creator.
I reject it, too, though Benedict XVI and ExCathedra come to different conclusions about some of the consequences.
I am just about out the door and will return to this later, but here's the section of his speech...a long one (10 pages, 3600 words) given to the Curia, which ranged from reflections on World Youth Day to a four-part meditation on the role of the Holy Spirit, part one of which (see below) has to do with the rational structure of a cosmos created by a rational God, an old theme of his.
It was this theme that got the Muslims pissed at him a while ago.
The Italian text is the Vatican website. Here's my translation. And the screwup with the font is what happens when you copy a Word text to Blogger. Sorry.
There is first of all the affirmation that comes to us from the beginning of the story of creation: the creator Spirit who hovers over the waters, creates the world and continually renews it. Faith in the creator Spirit is an essential content of the Christian Credo. The datum that matter bears in itself a mathematical structure, is full of spirit, is the foundation on which stand the modern natural sciences. Only because matter is structured in an intelligent way is our spirit in a position to interpret it and to actively reshape it. The fact that this intelligent structure comes from the very same creator Spirit which has also given spirit to us carries with it both a task and a responsibility. In faith about the creation stands the ultimate foundation of our responsibility toward the earth. The earth is not simply our property to be enjoyed according to our interests and desires. It is rather the gift of the Creator that has designed its intrinsic orderings and with that has given the orientational signals to which we attend as stewards of his creation. The fact that the earth, the cosmos, reflect the creator Spirit means that their rational structures, beyond the mathematical order, become almost palpable in experience and bear within themselves an ethical orientation. The Spirit which has created them is more than mathematical – is the Good in person, which, through the language of creation, indicates to us the right path.
Because faith in the Creator is an essential part of the Christian Credo, the Church cannot and must not limit herself to transmitting to her faithful only the message of salvation. She has a responsibility for the creature and must assert this responsibility even in public. And in doing this, she must defend not only the earth, the water and the air as gifts of creation belonging to everyone. She must also protect man against his self-destruction. There must be something like an ecology of man, rightly understood. It is not an outmoded metaphysic if the Church speaks of the nature of the human being as man and women and asks that this order of creation be respected. Here it is a question of the fact of faith in the Creator and listening to the language of creation, dismissal of which would be a self-destruction of man and therefore a destruction of the very work of God. What is often expressed and intended by the term “gender” comes down to a self-emancipation of man from creaturehood and from the Creator. Man desires to make himself by himself and to dispose always and exclusively by himself what concerns him. But in this way he lives against the truth, lives against the creator Spirit. The rainforests deserve, yes, our protection but man deserves it no less, as a creature in which is inscribed a message which does not mean the contradiction of our freedom, but its condition. The great theologians of the Scholastic age have considered marriage, the lifelong bond between man and woman, as a sacrament of the creation, which the Creator himself instituted and which Christ –without modifying the message of creation—has then gathered into the history of his alliance with men. It is a part of the proclamation to which the Church must bear witness in favor of the creator Spirit present in nature in its ensemble and in a special way in the nature of man, created in the image of God. From this perspective, one ought to re-read the encyclical Humanae Vitae: the intention of Pope Paul VI was to defend love against sex-as-consumption, the future against exclusive claim of the present and the nature of man against its manipulation.
So. Did Bennie Sixteen target homos and transgenders? Or did he make a general statement to the effect that things have a nature and a structure, reflecting the rational structure of a Creator who is not sheer Will but Logos, ordered meaning? And would departing from the structured nature of the human being in matters of gender not include also contraception, divorce, etc. as well as homosexual acts? Agree with him or not, he was hardly taking a swipe at a particular group to the exclusion of others, but, as he often does, discussing an idea which is dear to a group.
In the interests of full disclosure, as Cardinal Ratzinger, the Pope did some writing which had a big influence on my life a couple of decades ago and not a pleasant one. I had some very unfriendly things to say about his ideas and I said them publicly. But first I read the damn stuff, the whole text!
Journalists are, as a class, scum. Robert Kaplan considers them the Inquisition of the modern world. The spin on this speech reminds me of times when a news anchor tells you that after the commercial we will see so and so respond with rage to an allegation that such and such. When the film plays, we see so and so mildly unappreciative. MSM largely lie and tell you what you are supposed to be seeing and hearing when in fact it may not be so at all. I worked in a very media-intense field for several years and was often interviewed for TV, etc. I know how this goes. And the BBC? Please.
Re: LGBTQI, etc. outrage here...it's as if every time the Pope said the Creed, Jews exploded in wrath that he implied that their religion is wrong.