Francis: "God Cannot Be God without Man." Yes, he really said that.
  • Francis,

    Have you read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy? I'm reminded of the potted petunia.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 4,696
    It is possible that what is meant here is, God bound Himself freely in a covenant with man, by a bond --after the hypostatic union in particular--that is simply unbreakable.

    St. Athanasius, the hero of Nicea, in his On the Incarnation of the Word, speculated that God could not fittingly allow man, made in the divine image, to disappear. And that was just after the creation and fall!

    Although God's freedom and necessity are certainly as integral to the divine nature as His justice and mercy are, He freely accepted the consequences of the creation and the Incarnation as well. The Son permanently assumed a human nature.

    He freely stuck Himself with us.
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 5,109
    At least on the surface of it, this is troubling, to say the least. What is meant to be meant by this?
    It leads me to wonder ('wonder', not believe) whether God, having created man out of love, witnessed man's rebellion and fall, sent his Son to redeem us, in some sense needs for salvation to be realised, not to fail. Were it in any way, for any reason, not to succeed, God would not be ominpotent and, therefore, not God. Man's salvation is, then, necessary. Salvation has happened, man is redeemed, death has been swallowed up in victory, captivity has been led captive - as is necessary given God's chosen relation to human history. God is, then, Omipotent - as is necessary. It seems to me that this is more or less complimentary to Kathy's observation, which is astute.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 4,696
    Scripture in a few places says that God cannot do something. Strange! God is omnipotent!

    What Scripture says God cannot do is lie.

    God will not (cannot) break His covenant.

    There is a great book of CS Lewis' called Perelandra, and one of the human characters, a Christian, has to in some sense save a world, acting in place of Christ. He tries to wriggle out of the responsibility, until God reveals to him that if necessary, God will Himself save it.

    One wonders what would have happened if St. Joseph had refused Our Lady, or if any of a milion things would have caused a roadblock to redemption.

    I believe God would have found a way to open the gates of heaven. He chose to be stuck with us.

    I agree that the specter of universalism seems near at hand. What saves us from this is the fact that to be in God's image means we are also free, and God will not retract that either.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 4,696
    Interestingly enough, the strength of the bond of God and man in Christ is reflected in the Church's laws against divorce and remarriage. The primal marriage is Christ and the Church, and human marriages are faithful in witness to Jesus' fidelity to His bride, the Church. (See Eph. ch. 5)
  • "in good standing" --

    Vice President Biden
    Speaker Pelosi

    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • I believe that would be former VP and speaker (alleluia, alleluia).
  • Kathy
    Posts: 4,696
    Fr. Hunwicke's good standing is NOT like that.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,224
    Yeah, Fr. Hunwicke’s blog is essential reading.

    I don’t know what the pope meant. Yes, Kathy, he freely chose his relationship with man, and there is some sense in which the method of the redemption is necessary, for no other method seems fitting even if God could have chosen another way. But man is not necessary to God.
    Thanked by 2Kathy tomjaw
  • Kathy,
    Fair enough. What I meant to illustrate is that the expression "In good standing", if it is the coin of the realm, has been debased in recent years to the point that it is nearly what Hillaire Belloc once called "fiat money".
    Thanked by 1Kathy
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 7,485
    It is not our concern nor our position to judge whether our pope is a heretic or not. What is our job as faithful Catholics is to know what the truth is and what the truth is not and in matters of faith where there is dubious or questionable or even blatant disregard for what the magisterium has confected over time, that we hold fast to the doctrine that has been handed down to us, and pray that God will bring clarity not only to the reigning pontiff but also to the entire body of the faithful.

    The pope is referring to Chardin here, who's theology in this matter is certainly erroneous; a very troublesome platitude and cause for concern and a call for many rosaries from the army of the elect.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 969
    We know what the Truth is, look at the Catechism, the Fathers, etc. The words of Pope Francis are different, he clearly intends that his words are only relevant to those he is speaking to, they are not intended for a wider audience.

    We have seen many times that he has said one thing and then within the day said the opposite.

    Many people find Pope Francis unsettling, if so avoid reading the news and do something fruitful.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 7,485
    As cited by Pope Leo XIII, Pope Felix III admonished:

    “An error which is not resisted is approved; a truth which is not defended is suppressed…. He who does not oppose an evident crime is open to the suspicion of secret complicity.”
    Thanked by 1StimsonInRehab
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 7,485
    he clearly intends that his words are only relevant to those he is speaking to, they are not intended for a wider audience.
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 791
    . . . are only relevant to those he is speaking to, they are not intended for a wider audience.

    The Pope can't really afford the luxury of 'table talk', especially in today's society. (The fact that Francis is such a darling of the media doesn't help things either.)
    Thanked by 2francis Jahaza
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,210
    Put it this way: I would have been flunked out of Theo 101 at a Jebby college nearby if I said the things that Pp. Francis says.

    At one time the Jesuits placed great emphasis on articulation of one's position. Apparently, Pp. Francis missed those classes.
    Thanked by 1francis
  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,836
    According to the article that our dear francis cites, His Holiness said the following:

    “We can be far, hostile; we can even say we are ‘without God.’ But Jesus Christ’s Gospel reveals to us that God cannot be without us: He will never be a God ‘without man’; it is He who cannot be without us, and this is a great mystery! God cannot be God without man: this is a great mystery! [Dio non può essere Dio senza l’uomo: grande mistero è questo!]”

    I find it’s always better to have the entire passage or statement when discussing matters than to have little quips and sound bytes.

    There are a few items to pick out here:

    1. It is true that we can say we are without God, and even abandon Him: that is the free will He gave us. We may choose Him, or we may not choose Him.

    2. I would like His Holiness to cite the chapter and verse of the Gospel which mentions specifically that God cannot be without man. I would be in agreement with a statement to the effect that God does not wish to be without us, but the word cannot implies that without man, God would not exist. This is even evident in the Italian.

    3. God has already been without man, probably for a very long time before He created us.

    4. The addition of the indefinite article a before God in the phrase “…He will never be a God ‘without man…’” is troubling. This implies that God is not the only deity, which is paganism.

    Now to unpack a little of the article:

    In other words, according to Pope Bergoglio God needs man in order to complete His nature. Now, of course, any minimally catechized ten-year-old knows that God does not need anything whatsoever and that His creation of man was a gratuitous manifestation of His infinite love. Indeed, a being who needed anything would, by definition, not be God, the highest being and the ground of all other being, but some lesser being. For as even Plato recognized in the light of human reason alone, God must be “the sum of all perfections.”

    This is a re-statement that God can exist without man, and in fact, did for a long time before He created us.

    It would be easy enough to dismiss Pope Bergoglio’s opinion as merely sloppy language resulting in nonsense. But it would appear that beneath the nonsense is something deeper and even more nonsensical, albeit more troubling for the Church: the “evolutionary theology” of Teilhard de Chardin in which Pope Bergoglio was steeped during his formation as a liberal Jesuit of the Sixties and Seventies, despite condemnation of Teilhard de Chardin’s heresies by the Holy Office under Pope John XXIII.

    The article mentions Teilhard de Chardin. I have not read any of his works in its entirety, but a summary of his Phenomenon of Man can be found here:

    The summary seems to corroborate what the original article said, in that de Chardin’s philosophy is anthropocentric, and declares that man can raise nature to higher levels of “complexity and intelligence,” and that we do not evolve through “people seeking to transcend it or through individualism,” but that we would evolve through “making room for everyone to express their personalities to the full.” The original article also mentions de Chardin’s “process theology” by which God evolves with man. De Chardin’s philosophies seem to be in keeping with the heresy of relativism.

    I’m stopping there because I don’t want to change this into a discussion of de Chardin’s philosophies. We can do that some other time.

    As Westen’s headline states: “We need another clarification.” None will be forthcoming if past Bergoglian practice is any indication. In any event, Catholics in a position to do so have a duty to present, yet again, the authentic teaching of the Church in order to counter the latest Bergoglian novelty. The acquiescence of silence is not an option.

    This is true: we are keepers of the Faith as well as defenders of the Truth. De Chardin was right about at least one thing: even if only one person sees the Truth, it is still the Truth. I would go one step further, though, and say that even if no one sees the Truth, it is still the Truth.
    Thanked by 3francis eft94530 Jani
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 7,485
    CGZ... I have heard of that book... never read it though.
  • TCJ
    Posts: 554
    My thinking...

    Reading what Pope Francis says is akin to personal interpretation of the bible. One can get whatever meaning one wants from it!
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 8,399

    Many people find Pope Francis unsettling, if so avoid reading the news and do something fruitful.

    One of my good Eastern Catholic friends has decided to join Orthodoxy. Her reasoning is that having no pope is a better arrangement.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 7,485
    Reading what Pope Francis says is akin to personal interpretation of the bible. One can get whatever meaning one wants from it!
    Aint saying much for being the chief shepherd, huh?
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,224
    Well, it’s precisely because of the Apostolic See that we recognize the need for the pope to be clear. If he is not, we protest. It is too bad that everyone knows when he makes a mistake.
  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,473
    God cannot be God, without man


    God cannot be: God-without-man

    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,210
    Regardless of what Pp. Francis MEANT to say....

    This is a lot like having Rembert Weakland being quoted. It forces Catholics to "look it up" to clarify for themselves what is, and what is not, right.

    So there's a benefit to all this, albeit it involves work.
    Thanked by 1ClergetKubisz
  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,836
    Oh, goodness me! Don't say the bad 'w' word!!!
    Thanked by 1CharlesW