The new Pope, Benedict XVI, has just published his first encyclical, a letter to the whole Catholic Church, and the topic he has chosen is Love, both sexual and spiritual.
It is hardly easy reading, but he seems to be saying that the Church should recognise the validity of erotic love.
Of course he gets in a few sideswipes at what he calls "pure “sex”", which he says "has become a commodity, a mere “thing” to be bought and sold..." He calls this "a debasement of the human body."
But once he gets all that out of the way he sounds quite in favour of erotic love between man and woman (he does not mention homosexual love). He argues that it can lead people towards the unconditional love of God.
Much of the rest of the encyclical is about charity. Unsurprisingly the pope is in favour of it, and he specifically rejects the Marxist notion that charity reinforces an unjust world.
However he also warns against linking charity with any type of politics. The Church can co-operate with government, but it should neither run government welfare agencies nor campaign for government to invest in this or that charitable enterprise.
Amen to that say iGreens.
Click here for the full text.
28 Jan 2006
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