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There is some discussion about why God created man here. The answers go something like "God wanted to love us, share his perfection/happiness/life with us. Therefore, he created us."

Yet, God also created angels. Beside some fallen angels, most of them are in Heaven, already enjoying the beatific vision of God face to face. There was no salvation process involved. No sin. No pain. These are spirits (i.e. bodyless souls) created to be happy.

So, the question is, why did God create souls in the form of men, rather than creating these souls in the form of angels? The answers to the linked question do not address this issue.

The context of this question relates to the problem of evil. God sharing his life with us whilst respecting our freedom is a "classic" answer to the problem. However, this still begs the question of why God created man as man rather than as angel.

PS: there is a related question here but it is not denomination specific, and the answer does not really answer the question, imo.

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Although not a magisterial teaching, Padre Pio said:

The angels envy us for one thing only: they cannot suffer for God.

cited in Padre Pio: A Catholic Priest Who Worked Miracles and Bore the Wounds of Jesus on His Body p. 31, from in Fr. Alessio Parente, Send Me Your Guardian Angel, National Centre for Padre Pio, Barto, PA. p. 65.

Thus, it seems God created man a body+soul composite and not a pure angelic spirit in order that we may love and suffer for Him in a way that angels cannot.

  • Thanks. Such conclusion from Padre Pio is probably based on some great mystery/wisdom/insight into the Divine, which I however struggle to grasp. Could you elaborate a bit further on what might underlay such proposition? On another note, another line of argument could be that, without Adam and sin, Jesus would not have come. But still, if Heaven is perfect happiness, Earth seems a rather long and painful detour. – luchonacho Nov 12 '18 at 18:12
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According to Catholicism, why did God create men as men rather than as angels?

The question is somewhat speculative in nature. But then speculative theology is considered a great tools to help understand things not clearly defined by the Church.

Let me start this answer by stating a rather obscure thought regarding the fall of the evil angels called demons and the creation of man.

A simple response to your question would be that it was so because God willed it so. But then it is more complicated than that.

It would seem that this account of the trial of the angels is more in accordance with what is known as the Scotist doctrine on the motives of the Incarnation than with the Thomist view, that the Incarnation was occasioned by the sin of our first parents. For since the sin itself was committed at the instigation of Satan, it presupposes the fall of the angels. How, then, could Satan's probation consist in the fore-knowledge of that which would, ex hypothesi, only come to pass in the event of his fall? In the same way it would seem that the aforesaid theory is incompatible with another opinion held by some old theologians, to wit, that men were created to fill up the gaps in the ranks of the angels. For this again supposes that if no angels had sinned no men would have been made, and in consequence there would have been no union of the Divine Person with a nature lower than the angels. - Devil(Catholic Encyclopaedia)

But then God willed man to exist in a nature lower than the angels!

Why

  • Man can suffer for God. Only the bad angels suffer and that is a consequence of their own sin.
  • Men can be martyred for the greater glory of God and the angels can not.
  • God desired the Incarnation.
  • God willed that Mary should become the the Queen on the Holy Angels.
  • Without the creation of man there would have been no Hypostatic Union.

It would seem that this account of the trial of the angels is more in accordance with what is known as the Scotist doctrine on the motives of the Incarnation than with the Thomist view, that the Incarnation was occasioned by the sin of our first parents. For since the sin itself was committed at the instigation of Satan, it presupposes the fall of the angels. How, then, could Satan's probation consist in the fore-knowledge of that which would, ex hypothesi, only come to pass in the event of his fall? In the same way it would seem that the aforesaid theory is incompatible with another opinion held by some old theologians, to wit, that men were created to fill up the gaps in the ranks of the angels. For this again supposes that if no angels had sinned no men would have been made, and in consequence there would have been no union of the Divine Person with a nature lower than the angels. - Devil (Catholic Encyclopaedia)

Mary was desired by God to be the Queen of all the Angels:

It is good to keep in mind that our Blessed Mother, Mary, is Queen even of the Angels. This does not, of course, mean that she is an angel. She is not. However, she is their Queen and is created by God as first in the order of grace. This did not happen by her own power, but because God chose her to be so. - Catholic Teaching on Angels

  • mmm, seems so odd and kind of heartbreaking that God made us because of Satan. And many annex questions arise. Was there sin before Adam? (we know there was no sin in the world, which had not been created yet) Did the incarnation remove this sin too? Why the need of a world for such incarnation to happen? Wouldn't a spiritual-only incarnation suffice? It's like God made angels... ups, Satan/sin emerged. And then God made up men... ups, sin emerged. Ok, let's go nuclear option and incarnate... Still feels odd that men were needed in the story. – luchonacho Oct 10 at 0:41
  • @luchonacho “By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” (Romans 5:12, KJV.) But Satan tempted our first parents. For since the sin itself was committed at the instigation of Satan, it presupposes the fall of the angels. – Ken Graham Oct 11 at 2:40

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