Sunday, February 06, 2011

Is Pope Benedict a Pantheist? -- My Response to John Bugay

Below is my response to John Bugay from a Combox in regards to Pope Benedict allegedly being a Pantheist.

In Catholic thought, we are united to Christ. We become one with Him per John 15. How does this happen? It happens through our obedience to Him. We no longer follow our will but rather we follow Christ. It’s no longer I--it’s now Christ. And then, per Galatians, it’s “no longer I who live but rather Christ who lives inside me.” In essence, we become Christ but only in obedience to Him. We are united to Him and He nourishes us and in doing His will, we spread forth His message.

Now, what in the world is Ratzinger talking about? I’ll be honest. I read it a few times and I was like, “huh????” And thanks to John Bugay, I couldn’t get that stupid song out of my head all day yesterday.

In 1 Corinthians, Paul lays out what Ratzinger/Benedict is talking about. In the Eucharist is the Body of Christ. 1 Corinthians 10:16-17, Paul talks about how the bread that we break--what Catholics call the Host--is a participation in the Body of Christ. As there is one loaf of bread, then we are all one Body because we partake in one loaf. That one loaf is the Body of Christ. The Body of Christ at the one sacrifice at Calvary.

Now, as a Church--as a corporate body, all in unison being obedient to Christ. We become the Body of Christ. We are Christ on earth. Christ is the head per Ephesians 5:23,30 and per Colossians 1:18-23, He is the head and we are the body “provided that you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel.” As Scripture tells us in 1 Corinthians 12: 12-31, we are one Body of Christ united through Baptism. All following Christ’s will we work together in harmony doing what Christ wants. We have different functions acting as Christ together in harmony. If there is division, it’s like a disease within one body and needs to be healed for “if one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it.” So, we are Christ on earth and Christ in heaven is the head and we are here to do His will.

What is His will?

Jesus tells us in Matthew 28:19: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age." So, our mission as a Church--as a corporate Body of Christ is to go and evangelize the world. It’s to baptize all people and teach them to observe all that Christ commanded.

Christ’s mission is to make all men Christian so that entire WORLD becomes the Body of Christ. That’s what He wants. He doesn’t just want to save some people His desire is that all men come to Him and do His will. His desire is that ALL MEN ARE SAVED.

So, understanding that. Ratzinger’s first paragraph talks about this. Christ is the new Adam who per John will draw all men to Him in the hope that all men are saved.

The second part is a little trickier. He’s talking about the Cosmos and creation. From a macro view, it would seem that the cosmos would be focused on BIG. The galaxies or the stars. or the SMALL, the atom. But that’s not the case. God has shifted this to a focus not on the big but rather on the complex. The focus of the universe has shifted from the stars to the planets. Specifically, it’s focused on earth and on man. Man is the focus of the universe. We are God’s greatest creation. Not the stars. Not the atoms. It’s man.

In the third part, Ratzinger focuses on this great creation of man. God makes man even greater! God has now united man to God. Through Christ, He created a synthesis of man and God and has invited man to participate in this synthesis.

In Benedict’s homily, he’s telling us that with our entire being we must be “adoration and sacrifice.” We must going back to Paul and 1st Corinthians. We are one Body of Christ. We are one loaf. That we as a Church become a living host that transforms the world and gives it back to Christ. Through Christ with the Holy Spirit, we “renew the face of the earth.” (Psalm 104:30) and per de Chardin, we renew the universe.

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