Pope Benedict on God as Creator and Redeemer

“The truth is that the rejection of Creator and creation, which Marcion shares with the wide stream of so-called gnosis, generated not only an ascetical contempt for the body, but also a cynical libertinism, for this too displays in reality a hatred of the body, of man, and of the world…In the false ascetism that is hostile to creation, the body becomes a dirty bag of maggots that deserves only disdain or, indeed, ill treatment. Similarly, the basic principle underlying libertinism is the degradation of the body to a mere thing. Its exclusion from the realm of ethics and of the mind’s responsibility means its exclusion from that which makes man human, its exclusion from the dignity of the spirit. It becomes a mere object, a thing, and thus the life of man, too becomes cheap and common…Where man despises his body–whether as an ascetic or as a libertine–he also despises his own self. Both an asceticism hostile to the creation and libertinism lead man by an inherent necessity to hate this life of his, to hate himself, indeed to hate reality as a whole, and herein lies the explosive political power of both these basic attitudes. A man who feels himself disgraced in this way would like to tear apart this prison of shame, that is, his body and the world, in order to escape from such humiliation. He cries out for another world because he hates the creation and the God who bears responsibility for all of this”
(Joseph Ratzinger, The God of Jesus Christ: Meditations on the Triune God (San Fransisco:Ignatius Press, 2008 ) pg 43-43)


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