The pope in his homily at the 2009 midnight (actually 10pm) mass quoted Origen (early Xn theologian) who wrote that pagans (who worship stone images of God…which would include Hindus today) can only have hearts of stone (meaning they cannot love…even each other). Specifically, according to Ratzinger, “Origen, taking up one of John the Baptist’s sayings, saw the essence of paganism expressed in the symbol of stones: paganism is a lack of feeling, it means a heart of stone that is incapable of loving and perceiving God’s love. Origen says of the pagans: “Lacking feeling and reason, they are transformed into stones and wood” (in Lk 22:9).” So a Hindu believer cannot feel love or use reason. Being as though lifeless matter, such humans are in effect not human, or sub-human. This is the implication from Ratzinger’s quote of Origen. At the very least, one must wonder how insulting good-meaning Hindus (and people of other religions where the deities are in images other than that of Jesus, the “true image of God” according to Ratzinger) can possibly be reconciled with subscribing to a religion wherein God is love and that love is in neighbor-love universalized.
Ratzinger continues in his homily, “The God of whom no image may be made – because any image would only diminish, or rather distort him – this God has himself become visible in the One who is his true image.” Is this not a contradiction? If no image can be made, then none–even one believed to be correspond to the divine essence–could be made or seen by humans without distortion. Otherwise, the statement would read, “the God of whom only one image can be made.” Any image is distorting because God as the source of existence transcends any image within the limits of human cognition and perception. Also, even if there were a true image, it would be presumptuous to assume that human beings can know which, if any, is the true image. Even revelation must go through human hands in being written down. Furthermore, the presumption that one’s particular image of God is THE true image involves a conflict of interest. In other words, it is convenient for Joe Ratzinger that his image of God is THE true image of God. At the very least, Joe Ratzinger’s claim ought to be doubted because it is self-serving.
C’est vraiment incroyable. Certainement, un mauvais homme qui croit que il est bon. …Ratzinger, je veux dire. Bien sur (ou naturalement), les journalists ont dit rien de ca plus tard. Hindus ne pouvent pas aimer ou penser. Sprechen das ist schlecter als “they can’t be saved” because “being saved” is a Christian artifact. Ratzinger’s homily represents Christianity on steroids. …or an 82 year old man on steroids. No wonder some (other) crazy person jumped on him during the procession. To be sure, that was crazy too, but after he got up, it is telling that his eyes were shifty. In watching him, I got the sense that he is not a very trusting person. It is difficult to judge, but I would not be surprised were he a spiteful rather than a spiritual man. I view his decision to quote Origen as just as crazy, and him comments on God’s image as convenient at the very least. …yet in spite of his comments, the legitimacy is presumed to go with him so no one questions it, at least publically. The Roman emperor, I submit, is not wearing any clothes. Yet unlike the baby in the manger, he is all decked out. It is time, in other words, to see through the glittering robe to uncover the man behind the curtain.