INSIDE THE MIND OF BENEDICT XVI
By Shawn Patrick Thornton
PART ONE-THE THEOLOGY OF ONENESS
/24-7PressRelease.com/ - Newport Beach, CA, April 23, 2005 - Benedict XVI has been labeled as conservative, traditional, etc. This means that he believes in the infallibility of the Church in matters of faith and morals. And, that the Church is on the right road to 'salvation'. He is against condoms, masturbation, married priests, homosexuality, divorce and remarriage, stem cell research, a woman's right to choose, etc. And, as the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (CDF) he disciplined, or reined-in, an estimated 100 non-traditional Catholic theologians since 1981. Those who expect him to change simply do not understand fundamentalist Roman Catholicism. He cannot change! In his mind, to change the Church's 'infallible' position on these matters would amount to him committing mortal sins which would condemn him to Hell for eternity. But is he morally correct on these matters? This article will demonstrate that Benedict and his Church are in error on these matters and that these theological errors will force billions of hours of undeserved guilt and fear upon defenseless children and the theologically naïve.
A THEOLOGICAL SHORT CUT
The Roman Catholic Church arrived at many of its 'infallible' moral positions before the world was known to be round. For example, Pope Benedict XVI and his Church view God and man as separate beings. There is however another theological view that holds that man shares the one spirit of God.
If in fact the mystics of all faiths are correct, and man shares the same spirit as God, i.e., God and man are one, then man is inherently righteous and doesn't need the salvation that the Church claims to offer. In addition God would surely not put himself under law or send himself to a fiery place like Hell. In summary, as the people of the United States and of Europe become more theologically sophisticated, the concept of 'sin' and 'punishment' goes into the trash can and they leave the Church. So to save time arguing whether this or that is a 'sin', let us first examine the available evidence that God and man are one.
St. Paul writes about spiritual understanding, or access to truth, in 1Cor.2:10-16, incl. when he says, "God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything even the depths of God. For what person knows a man's thoughts except the spirit of the man which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received ...the Spirit which is from God. The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God...The spiritual man judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 'For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?' But we have the mind of Christ".
To Paul, the "spiritual man" is a person, sometimes called a 'mystic', who has had the spiritual awakening called by Buddhist's and Christians alike, "Spirit Baptism". Spirit Baptism gives a person knowledge that they do not possess a separate spirit, but instead that they share the one spirit of God with all of mankind. Note that Paul is also indicating oneness between man and God by stating that the spiritual man has the mind of Christ (God to Paul). In Jn.10:14 Christ comments, "I know my own and my own know me". This supports Paul's comments about one mind.
And, being a pope or a cardinal does not automatically make one a Spirit baptized mystic. In fact, to the contrary. As a Catholic cardinal or pope one would surely believe in the Law of God. And, that belief alone would prejudice their mind into believing that men are separate from God. To be under God's law requires God to be a separate lawgiver and the cleric and his flock to be separate beings under God's law. To believe in sinning against God would also necessarily mean separation, etc.
If Paul is correct that all men are one spirit with God then mystics of all faith should be reporting this. The brilliant agnostic scientist, Bertrand Russell, on Page 179 of his well know book, Religion and Science, supports Paul, "The mystics vary greatly in their capacity for giving verbal expression to their experiences, but I think we may take it that those who succeeded best all maintain: (1) that all division and separateness is unreal, and that the universe is a single indivisible unity; (2) that evil is illusory, and that the illusion arises through falsely regarding a part as self subsistent; (3) that time is unreal, and that reality is eternal, not in the sense of being everlasting, but in the sense of being wholly outside time".
And likewise, the well know William Ralph Inge who held the scholars pulpit of The Church of England and was Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral in London commented, "I know nothing more remarkable than the unanimity of the mystics, ancient, medieval, and modern, Protestant, Catholic, and even Buddhist or Mohammedan, though the Christian mystics are the most trustworthy".
And finally, theoretical physics agrees with the mystics understanding of oneness. The French physicist, G. Cahen, in Les Conquetes, de la Pensee Scientific (Page 10, 1956), wrote, "The denudation of phenomena, when faced with the immediate content of our perceptions, presents two characteristics which we will demonstrate. On the one hand, this process reveals an identity of essence between the intellect and the universe. On the other, this content is progressively emptying itself of its apparent substance: matter itself tends to be but an empty form, a field of action of the structural properties of our mind, that is to say of something immaterial. We will express thus, and in the most extreme manner, the ultimate tendency of science: the reduction of reality to the void. This void is not not being, nullity. It is on the contrary, the most complete being possible since it potentially contains the universe". Interestingly, one of the terms that the Buddhists use to describe God is "the Void".
The authors of the Upanishads, like the Buddhists, had also found their oneness with God, long before Christ. "He (the Primordial Being) was afraid. Hence one who is alone is afraid. This one pondered: Since there is no one else besides Me, why am I afraid? Thereupon His fear ceased, for why should He have been afraid? Surely, fear springs from a second". Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, (1.4.2).
In summary, unless the mystics of all faiths have all had the same psychotic experience, and theoretical physics is not a science at all, it would seem that based upon the current state of knowledge, that all reality is one. That there are, in fact, no separate beings. And, that reality is what the mystics believe to be God.
In Part II and III we will look at other serious creditability problems that the mind of Benedict has. Such as, it has been proven that the Church is not infallible in matters of faith and morals. And, it is obvious to anyone who can read, that Roman Catholic salvation theology is far from the salvation theology of the New Testament.
ABOUT SHAWN PATRICK THORNTON
Shawn Patrick Thornton is the author of a 2005 published book entitled, In Defense of the Christ: Why Jesus would Disown Christianity (www.christbestseller.com) . Shawn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org . Shawn spent 14 years in Catholic schools including a Jesuit high school and university. On February 13,1978, after a long spiritual odyssey Shawn experienced Spirit Baptism and writes from the creative 27 year expansion of that experience.
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