In a 1996 Communio article, Joseph Ratzinger argues that the child in the womb is the basic model of human existence: “For what is at stake here? The being of another person is so closely interwoven with the being of this person, the mother, that for the present it can survive only by physically being with the mother, a physical unity with her. Such unity, however, does not eliminate the otherness of this being or authorize us to dispute its distinct selfhood. However, to be oneself in this way is to be radically from and through another. Conversely, this being-with compels the being of the other – that is, the mother – to become a being-for, which contradicts her own desire to be an independent self and is thus experienced as the antithesis of her own freedom. We must now add that even once the child is born and the outer form of its being-from and -with changes, it remains just as dependent on, and at the mercy of, a being-for. . . . If we open our eyes, we see that . . . the child in the mother’s womb is simply a very graphic depiction of the essence of human existence in general.”
posted by Peter J. Leithart on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 at 10:05 am
Permission is given to use material on this site, provided the source is cited, blog entries are republished in full, and the author is notified in advance.