cannot be without man: this is a great mystery”
— Pope Francis June 7, 2017
“Jesus Christ’s Gospel reveals
to us that God cannot be without us: He will never be a God ‘without
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!”
Vatican Press &
We have added the emphasis
above to clarify the emphasis implied
in the existential reciprocity (we need God and God needs us)
that Francis himself maintains as an ontological reality — however
much such a statement conflicts with reason and revelation.
If God stands in need of anything, in actuality,
in potentiality (potency) or in possibility, existential or otherwise,
He would not be God. This is Theology 101 (the most basic
theology). This is absolutely contrary to the most basic Christian (and
non-Christian) concept of God.
God is the “I
AM WHO AM”
“HE WHO IS” of Exodus 3:14. He is in and
of Himself being itself, self-existent, and the source of all
other participated being. He is in need of nothing and no one.
Saint Paul is clear:
is He served with men's hands, as though He needed anything; seeing
it is He who giveth to all life, and breath, and all things.”
And so is the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
the Creator, the creature vanishes.”
CCC Part I.49
Saint Thomas Aquinas explained it thus:
is His own existence, and not merely His own essence. ...
if the existence of a thing differs from its essence, this existence
must be caused either by some exterior agent or by its essential
principles. Now it is impossible for a thing's existence to
be caused by its essential constituent principles, for nothing
can be the sufficient cause of its own existence, if its existence
is caused. Therefore that thing, whose existence differs from
its essence, must have its existence caused by another. But
this cannot be true of God; because we call God the first efficient
cause. Therefore it is impossible that in God His existence
should differ from His essence.”
(Summa Theologica Part I Question 3 Article 4)
More simply — and much more beautifully — is this
expressed by the Psalmist:
the mountains were brought forth, or ever Thou had formed the earth
and the world, from everlasting to everlasting Thou art God.”
Oh ... the Second Great Mystery?
That the man who uttered this can be the Pope
of the Catholic Church — this is a great mystery indeed.
Geoffrey K. Mondello
Boston Catholic Journal
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