“Be imitators of God, … cooperating humbly but fervently in the divine purpose of mending what is broken, of saving what is lost, of bringing back to order what sinful man has put out of order, of leading to its goal what has gone astray, of re-establishing the divine balance of all creation. (Josemaria Escriba, Christ is Passing By, 65)
Cardinal Schönborn (editor of the Catechism of the Catholic Church) was quoted as stating that man participates in creation while speaking at an Opus Dei event:
“God gave men the dignity of being partakers in creation.” In a Mass commemorating Blessed Josemaria Escriva’s birth, the Archbishop of Vienna discussed the biblical view of work and Blessed Josemaria’s message of sanctification through work.
This is nonsense, of course. Christianity teaches no such thing.
Reminding readers that according to rabbinic tradition only “Jews” are “man,” I offer the source of Escriba and Schönborn’s strange doctrine: the Kabbalah:
… whereas God contains all by virtue of being its Creator and Initiator in whom everything is rooted and all potency is hidden, man’s role is to complete this process by being the agent through whom all the powers of creation are fully activated and made manifest. What exists seminally in God unfolds and develops in man. The key formulations of this outlook can already be found in the Kabbalah of Gerona and in the Zohar. Man is the perfecting agent in the structure of the cosmos; like all the other created beings, only even more so … Though [Adam’s] original harmony was disrupted by his sin, his principal mission remained to bring about a tikkun or restoration of this world … (Encyclopaedia Judaica, “Kabbalah”)
The Encyclopaedia Judaica goes on to directly state that this cosmogony is gnostic and then draws a parallel between Kabbalah and the dialectics of Hegel:
The Gnostic character of this cosmogony cannot be denied, though the detailed manner in which it is worked out is drawn entirely from internal Jewish sources … At the same time, side by side with this Gnostic outlook, we find a most astonishing tendency to a mode of contemplative thought that can be called “dialectic” in the strictest sense of the term as used by Hegel.
(Encyclopaedia Judaica, “Kabbalah”)
Opus Dei rabbi, Angel Kreiman also saw the rabbinic basis for Escriba’s ideas about perfecting creation:
“Moreover, that which most likens (Escriba’s) teachings to Judaism is the vocation of man to serve God through creative work, perfecting creation every day …”
Rabbi Marvin Heir preached the Kabbalistic doctrine, Tikkun Olam from the Vatican in 2005 in Benedict XVI’s presence and with his approval:
“We must do everything in our power to unite those tents of the righteous and the just to do our share of ‘Tikun Olam,’ so that we can restore the balance and return to our Creator, the magnificent world he intended.” (“Jewish-Catholic Ties Advancing Says Benedict XVI,” Zenit Nov. 14, 2005)
Thinking among elite Catholic prelates has certainly taken on a strong Hasidic odor in recent times.