Perhaps a few of you have come across the phrase “technological Prometheanism”, but I’m betting most of you haven’t. Like me.
It’s taken from Pope Benedict XVI’s address to Cor Unum on Saturday Jan 19th, and I came across it today while reading an article by Dr Robert Moynihan in Catholic Exchange, titled “Benedict Stands on the Ramparts”.
“I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts.” —Habakkuk 2:1
I don’t quite know how to say this, so I’ll just be blunt: Pope Benedict is saying incredible things, yet no one seems to be listening. He did it again on Saturday, two days ago.
Benedict is “standing watch on the ramparts” of our once-Christian society, and raising an alarm about terrible dangers he sees for humanity, but he is being, for the most part, ignored. His words, in an age filled with noise, are uttered with passion and eloquence, but fall, echo-less, into the cracks of silence between the major tv networks, which never give space on their programs to his words. He should not be ignored. He is saying things worth taking very seriously indeed.
The Danger of “Gender Freedom” and the Need for Christian Unity
There are two main points he made in the past two days:
(1) on Saturday he spoke about the new philosophy of “gender” which views being a man or a woman as a totally changeable, individual choice; and he said this very “politically correct” theory, supported by so many in positions of power and influence today, presents a grave danger to humanity;
(2) on Friday and on Sunday (yesterday, at his noon Angelus address), he said that Christians must be more unified, that their divisions are a cause of scandal (precisely as we have been saying as we have launched our new Foundation, which I still would ask you to consider joining).
In a sense, these are the pre-eminent themes of this phase of Benedict’s pontificate: the reductionist new theory of gender as a choice, and the need for greater unity among Christians.
Why is Benedict hammering away at the issue of gender? To put it bluntly: because he is frightened by the consequences for the human race that he sees on the horizon if this theory is not re-thought. Ideas have consequences, and he believes strongly that the consequences of these “gender” ideas will be disastrous for mankind. Like a watchman on the city walls, he is looking out, and he is seeing disaster approaching. What disaster, precisely, does he see?
Benedict first refers to ideologies from past centuries which have brought much misery to man, referring to nationalism, National Socialism, Communism and also “unbridled capitalism”: ”In recent centuries, the ideologies which celebrated the cult of the nation, race, social class proved to be true idolatry, and the same can be said of unbridled capitalism with its cult of profit, with the resulting crisis, inequality and poverty,” he said.
But then he turned to a new “ideology,” the new theory of human “gender” as something not given, but chosen. The danger, he says, includes that of a “technological prometheanism.”
Read the whole thing. The full text of his talk is included. The Holy Father is scary brilliant and scary prophetic. It’s frightening to read what he writes and says, because you know it’s true, and that’s what makes it frightening. That and the fact that no one else is looking at the problems the way he is. In fact, not enough people even consider these issues as problems (by people, I mean those in positions of authority, like himself). That makes it doubly frightening.
I’m ashamed to say I haven’t been reading nearly enough of Pope Benedict’s words – beyond his books and encyclicals. That ends now. This has inspired me to read as much as possible of what he says and writes. He is the master evangelist of the New Evangelization, and frankly, I don’t see how any of us can afford to be reading anybody else.