Teresa Benedetta has translated what the Pope recently said on Monday
Since faith in the Creator is an essential part of the Christian Creed, the Church cannot and should not limit itself to transmitting to its faithful only the message of salvation. She has a responsibility for Creation, and it should validate this responsibility in public.
In so doing, it should defend not just the earth, water and air as gifts of Creation that belong to everyone. She should also protect man from destroying himself.
It is necessary to have something like an ecology of man, understood in the right sense. It is not outdated metaphysics when the Church speaks of the nature of the human being as man and woman, and asks that this natural order be respected.
This has to do with faith in the Creator and listening to the language of creation, which, if disregarded, would be man’s self-destruction and therefore a destruction of God’s work itself.
That which has come to be expressed and understood with the term ‘gender’ effectively results in man’s self-emancipation from Creation (nature) and from the Creator. Man wants to do everything by himself and to decide always and exclusively about anything that concerns him personally. But this is to live against truth, to live against the Spirit Creator.
The tropical rain forests deserve our protection, yes, but man does not deserve it less as a Creature of the Spirit himself, in whom is inscribed a message that does not mean a contradiction of human freedom but its condition.
The great theologians of Scholasticism described matrimony – which is the lifelong bond between a man and a woman – as a sacrament of Creation, that the Creator himself instituted, and that Christ, without changing the message of Creation, welcomed in the story of his alliance with men.
Part of the announcement that the Church should bring to men is a testimonial for the Spirit Creator present in all of nature, but specially in the nature of man, who was created in the image of God.
One must reread the encyclical Humanae vitae with this perspective: the intention of Pope Paul VI was to defend love against consumer sex, the future against the exclusive claim of the moment, and human nature against manipulation.
And then Reuters and other news agencies translated his speech into something quite different.
VATICAN CITY, Dec. 22 (Reuters) – Pope Benedict said on Monday that saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behavior was just as important as saving the rainforest from destruction.
“(The Church) should also protect man from the destruction of himself. A sort of ecology of man is needed,” the Pontiff said in a holiday address to the Curia, the Vatican’s central administration. [The Pope clearly says saving man ‘from the destruction of himself’, not from gays, nor saving ‘gays’ or homosexuals, or any other way of parsing his statement uncharitably and erroneously.]
“The tropical forests do deserve our protection. But man, as a creature, does not deserve any less.”
The Catholic Church teaches that while homosexuality is not sinful, homosexual acts are. It opposes gay marriage and, in October, a leading Vatican official called homosexuality “a deviation, an irregularity, a wound.”
The Pope said humanity needed to “listen to the language of creation” to understand the intended roles of man and woman. He compared behavior beyond traditional heterosexual relations as “a destruction of God’s work.”
He also defended the Church’s right to “speak of human nature as man and woman, and ask that this order of creation be respected.”
Got that. Defending marriage most beatifically is an attack on people who have same-sex attraction or gender confusion. The media has the charism of infallibility when it comes to reporting what the Pope did not say.
I can just imagine the typical reporter reading what the Pope said. First they would come across the comparison using ecology and think “darn, no headline there” and then come to the part on “between a man and a women” and the pink triangle alarm bells went off with them shouting “stop the presses!” or whatever term is used today.