“God is not a divine being”

“God is not a divine being” October 29, 2014

There’s the latest panic attack source for Reactionaries filled with the dread that, say what Pollyanna fools like me will, the pope is a heretic. The remark (not sure how accurately translated, since the Italian is “demiurgo” and looks to me like “demiurge” is meant) comes from his comments on evolution the other day:

“God is not a divine being or a magician, but the Creator who brought everything to life,” Francis said.

Conservatives are having their customary freakouts in comboxes, while non-Christians are likewise foolishly declaring that Francis “basically just admitted there may not be a God“.

Um, no. Francis is not denying the existence of God, nor his deity (indeed, how do you deny that God is deity?). That’s what that whole overlooked “God is… the Creator who brought everything to life” bit is all about. What he is (obviously, for anybody not bound and determined to misread him) saying is that God is not a sprite, elf, leprechaun or fairy who is perpetually having to “fix” his creation with patch jobs, magic dust, and tinkering–thereby constantly magicking new species into existence. In this, he is echoing post-Vatican II damn librul St. Thomas Aquinas, who said:

“Species, also, that are new, if any such appear, existed beforehand in various active powers; so that animals, and perhaps even new species of animals, are produced by putrefaction by the power which the stars and elements received at the beginning.” — Summa theologica, Part I Q73 A1 reply3

That’s why Benedict XVI sez:

“Creation should be thought of, not according to the model of the craftsman who makes all sorts of objects, but rather in the manner that thought is creative. And at the same time it becomes evident that being-in-movement as a whole (and not just the beginning) is creation…”

Michael Flynn summarizes both Thomas and Francis (and a host of other Catholic magisterial authorities) this way:

IOW, species are four-dimensional and their evolutions over time are simply a part of the same creation, just as a fetus, an infant, an adolescent, and an adult are simply temporal parts of the same four-dimensional being.

Francis is also perfectly orthodox–far more orthodox in fact than many of his Fundamentalized conservative Catholic brethren–in denying that God is “a divine being” or “demiurge”. It is, in fact, absolutely orthodox Catholicism to deny that God is “a divine being”. He is not “a being” divine or otherwise. He is not Top Dog at the head of the gigantic list of other beings. He is Being itself. This is straight out of St. Thomas. Permit Fr. Barron to explain:

The Pope is, I promise you, a Real Catholic. Chill.

And before you so much as *begin* to say “Why does he keep saying things that sow so much confusion?” consider asking instead, “Why do I keep listening to people who sow so much confusion about what the Pope says? Why don’t I learn my faith better so I don’t keep having these panic attacks over nothing?”

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