This past Sunday at mass, a lay preacher stated that she read in her catechism at a young age that “Man needs God, but God does not need man” and that she rejects the teaching that God does not need man. Not thinking it good for an ex-woman religious to say such things to our congregation, I’ve decided to talk to my pastor. However, I don’t want to discuss the issue without having done my homework. Has the Church defined that God does not need man, and, if so when and how? Does this appear in any catechism? I’ve gotten this far:
The Baltimore Catechism states
Q. 172. Is it necessary for God to watch over us?
A. It is necessary for God to watch over us, for without His constant care we could not exist.
but nowhere can I find that God does not need man - perhaps she is referring to another catechism?
But that’s just the first half of the lay preacher’s statement of teaching. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states something that is close to the second half, and it can be argued that “God does not need man” is the logical deduction from the statement that “creation [is not] any sort of necessary emanation from the divine substance”:
296 We believe that God needs no pre-existent thing or any help in order to create, nor is creation any sort of necessary emanation from the divine substance.144 God creates freely “out of nothing”:145
with the relevant footnote 144 referring to Dei Filius sections 2-4 (which I read - and I can’t see that section having anything to do with creation’s continuation being an act of God’s pure volition) and Enchiridion Symbolorum, the “DS” abbreviation, 3022-3024, which I have not been able to find in english.
Can anyone tell me how to find this teaching’s most definitve proclamation and where it can be found in recent documents? Thanks.