Pontiff Calls for "Ecology of Man"
Warns Against New Theories of "Gender"
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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 22, 2008 (Zenit.org).- While protecting nature is an essential mission of the Church, it's no more important than protecting the nature of the person, says Benedict XVI.
The Pope spoke today of what he termed an "ecology of man" during his traditional exchange of Christmas greetings with prelates and members of the Roman Curia.
"Given that faith in the Creator is an essential element of the Christian creed, the Church can not and should not limit itself to transmitting to the faithful only the message of salvation," he affirmed. "It also has a responsibility with creation, and it has to fulfill this responsibility in public."
The Pontiff added that while the Church needs to "defend the earth, water, air, as gifts of the creation that belongs to all of us [... ], it must also protect the human being from his own destruction."
"It is necessary that there be something such as an ecology of man, understood in the proper manner," he said.
This human ecology, he affirmed, is based on respecting the nature of the person, and the two genders of masculine and feminine.
"It is not outmoded metaphysics," Benedict XVI affirmed, "when Church speaks of the nature of the human being as man and woman, and demands that this order of creation be respected."
He said it has more to do with "faith in the Creator and listening to the language of creation, the contempt of which will lead to the self destruction of humanity."
The Pope warned against the manipulation that takes place in national and international forums when the term "gender" is altered.
"What is often expressed and understood by the term 'gender,' is definitively resolved in the self-emancipation of the human being from creation and the Creator," he warned. "Man wants to create himself, and to decide always and exclusively on his own about what concerns him."
The Pontiff said this is man living "against truth, against the creating Spirit."
"The rain forests certainly deserve our protection, but man as creature indeed deserves no less," he added.
Benedict XVI explained that great theologians have "qualified marriage, that is to say, the link for life between man and woman, as a sacrament of creation, instituted by the Creator."
"This forms part of the announcement that the Church should offer," he concluded, "in favor of the creating Spirit present in all of nature, and in a special way in the nature of man created in the image of God."