10 FEBRUARY 17
BY PETER AMOS COHEN
Response to the statement itself:
“Rigid thinking is not divine because Jesus assumed our flesh, which is not rigid except at the time of death,” Pope Francis.
What does “rigid” mean here? Rigid is a pejorative term for immutable, unchanging. Like Obama, Pope Francis is the agent of change — the Heraclitus of pastors. Substitute immutable or unchanging for “rigid.”
Translation of the statement: Francis reasons that God is not rigid (i.e. immutable) because God is revealed through the flesh of Christ which is mutable, changing, not rigid. Therefore, if we are to have Godly-thinking we ought to have mutable and changing, not rigid, thinking.
Problems: The heresy in the statement centers on what it means to be a man.
Jesus did not just assume our flesh. He became man. While the flesh is always changing (in flux, not rigid); human nature is not. It is true to say that Jesus’ flesh was changing, not rigid (i.e. immutable); but it is false to say that his human nature and divine nature were changing. Christ’s human nature and divine nature remain the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow: they are immutable and unchanging, (i.e. rigid).
Simple response: Francis denies that God is revealed through the unchanging parts of Christ’s human nature. God is revealed only through the flesh of Christ, not through his humanity (the unchanging part).
More Philosophical response:
Francis denies the existence of the unchanging parts of human nature, and reduces them to the changing parts, due to his German existentialism. He, ultimately, denies the essences of things.