God loves the joy of his children
147. This calls for a pedagogical process that involves renunciation. This conviction on the part of the Church has often been rejected as opposed to human happiness. Benedict XVI summed up this charge with great clarity: "Doesn't the Church, with all her commandments and prohibitions, turn to bitterness the most precious thing in life? Doesn't she blow the whistle just when the joy which is the Creator's gift offers us a happiness which is itself a certain foretaste of the Divine?"142 He responded that, although there have been exaggerations and deviant forms of asceticism in Christianity, the Church's official teaching, in fidelity to Scriptures, did not reject "eros as such, but rather declared war on a warped and destructive form of it, because this counterfeit divinization of eros...actually strips it of diving dignity and dehumanizes it".143
142 Encyclical Letter Deus Caritas Est (25 December 2005), 3: AAS 98 (2006), 219-220.
143 Ibid., 4: AAS 98 (2006), 220.
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