Thursday, March 17, 2016

Pope Emeritus Benedict breaks silence, speaks of 'deep crisis' facing post-Vatican II Church

I was surprised to suddenly see this everywhere -- reports of Pope Emeritus breaking his silence in an interview, originally given in German last October and now reported by an Italian journal, "Cos’è la fede? Ecco le parole di Benedetto XVI" (Avvenire, March 16, 2016).

Here's what Maike Hickson reported at LifeSiteNews yesterday:
March 16, 2016 ( -- On March 16, speaking publicly on a rare occasion, Pope Benedict XVI gave an interview to Avvenire, the daily newspaper of the Italian Bishops' Conference, in which he spoke of a “two-sided deep crisis” the Church is facing in the wake of the Second Vatican Council. The report has already hit Germany courtesy of Vaticanist Guiseppe Nardi, of the German Catholic news website

Pope Benedict reminds us of the formerly indispensable Catholic conviction of the possibility of the loss of eternal salvation, or that people go to hell:
The missionaries of the 16th century were convinced that the unbaptized person is lost forever. After the [Second Vatican] Council, this conviction was definitely abandoned. The result was a two-sided, deep crisis. Without this attentiveness to the salvation, the Faith loses its foundation.
He also speaks of a “profound evolution of Dogma” with respect to the Dogma that there is no salvation outside the Church. This purported change of dogma has led, in the pope's eyes, to a loss of the missionary zeal in the Church – “any motivation for a future missionary commitment was removed.”

Pope Benedict asks the piercing question that arose after this palpable change of attitude of the Church: “Why should you try to convince the people to accept the Christian faith when they can be saved even without it?”

As to the other consequences of this new attitude in the Church, Catholics themselves, in Benedict's eyes, are less attached to their Faith: If there are those who can save their souls with other means, “why should the Christian be bound to the necessity of the Christian Faith and its morality?” asked the pope. And he concludes: “But if Faith and Salvation are not any more interdependent, even Faith becomes less motivating.”

Pope Benedict also refutes both the idea of the “anonymous Christian” as developed by Karl Rahner, as well as the indifferentist idea that all religions are equally valuable and helpful to attain eternal life.

“Even less acceptable is the solution proposed by the pluralistic theories of religion, for which all religions, each in its own way, would be ways of salvation and, in this sense, must be considered equivalent in their effects,” he said. In this context, he also touches upon the exploratory ideas of the now-deceased Jesuit Cardinal, Henri de Lubac, about Christ's putatively “vicarious substitutions” which have to be now again “further reflected upon.”

With regard to man's relation to technology and to love, Pope Benedict reminds us of the importance of human affection, saying that man still yearns in his heart “that the Good Samaritan come to his aid.”

He continues: “In the harshness of the world of technology – in which feelings do not count anymore – the hope for a saving love grows, a love which would be given freely and generously.”

Benedict also reminds his audience that: “The Church is not self-made, it was created by God and is continuously formed by Him. This finds expression in the Sacraments, above all in that of Baptism: I enter into the Church not by a bureaucratic act, but with the help of this Sacrament.” Benedict also insists that, always, “we need Grace and forgiveness.” [emphasis added]
Also reported inSEE FULL TEXT HERE: Elizabeth Scalia, "The Christian Faith Is Not An Idea But A Life" (Aleteia, March 17, 2017); and AND HERE: "Full text of Benedict XVI's recent, rare, and lengthy interview" (Catholic World Report, March 17, 2016).


JM said...

A POPE WHO UNDERSTANDS CATHOLIC THEOLOGY? Wait, I am now a bit confused...

Catholic Mission said...

Pope Benedict uses irrational Cushingism as a theology to interpret Vatican Council II and extra ecclesiam nulla salus : he was unaware of the choice

Pope Francis, Pope Benedict and Cardinal Muller use an irrational theology to interpret Vatican Council II and so reject the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

ABS remembers when he had a wider audience, when he was Pope, when his words would have had substantial meaning; now, they are just the words and personal opinions of a retired cleric.

Sorta late to the battle, sir.

Unknown said...

Thanks for this helpful article. It's good to hear such clarity. If he's right, this change of teaching has provided sufficient cause to abandon evangelization, or any missionary zeal in the church. Clearly post-conciliar Catholics lack this, and seem to thrash about trying to reinvent means of sharing the faith. I have often wondered whether the church might have been more mission-oriented before the council, before my adulthood.

JM said...

Popes are popes, but what are popes emeritus, and why do they wear white. I have always like Benedict XVI, but he is dressed like a Latter-day Saint prophet here. If he abdicated, in all seriousness he should be silent. It is just more noise when all is said and done.

JM said...

From the REMNANT there is this comment, which I think sums things up...

It is impossible for the simple faithful to maneuver through this quagmire. I don't mean the faithful are simple, simply non-theologians. But even as a member of that group, there is no mistaking what "evolution of dogma" means. It means, "we've moved past this". I admit I will find it stunning that Pope Emeritus Benedict would say these things. The whole world has gone mad, or, we are wrong. If this goes on for too long, it is going to be pretty impossible not to have a crisis of faith and begin to question what we believe. That will be a bad day.

Catholic Mission said...

There was an official change in doctrine and dogma in 1949 and it has been expressed officially in Vatican Council II (LG 16, LG 8, NA 2, UR 3,etc)

Chris Ferrara still misses the point : reasons irrationally like Pope Benedict

Wandall Not Wandall said...

Mistakes were made. By whom? By the Holy Spirit? After all, each of the leaders bragged incessantly in book after book and interview after interview of how they had all vibrated like tuning forks at the voice of the Holy Spirit. If all has gone to blazes since, does the buck not stop with Him? No? Then surely it was another voice that set Ratzinger, Rahner and their colleagues a'hummin'. Wonder whose?

Catholic Mission said...

Rahner's Anonymous Christian is main line Catholic theology : coming back full circle

JM said...

"“The missionaries of the 16th century were convinced that the unbaptized person is lost forever. After the [Second Vatican] Council, this conviction was definitely abandoned. The result was a two-sided, deep crisis. Without this attentiveness to the salvation, the faith loses its foundation.”

Attentiveness to salvation. Who needs saving. According to Ratzinger, God owes us an apology. Meanwhile, Joseph Fenton 70 years ago rightly observed the Church used to teach nonbelievers were spiritually children of wrath, not children of God. The "development" is nothing short of a full-on reversal, and Ratzinger's comments are the equivalent of Donald Rumsfeld's "Oh My!"s. What was on initial read encouraging is actually pretty disgusting, given the comments, source, and current scene. No one needs salvation if you believe we have all been saved, right? Catholicism equals Mainline Protestantism with an unattractive authority fixation and really unattractive liturgy.

Catholic Mission said...

Pope Benedict's heretical interview to Avvenire prepares Catholics to receive a sacrilegeous Synod report after Easter

Catholic Mission said...

Pope Benedict, Cardinal Kasper's false arguments for Synod Report : Vatican Council II agrees with the dogma extra ecclesiam nullas salus as it was interpreted by the 16th century missionaries