Pope Emeritus Benedict breaks silence: speaks of ‘deep crisis’ facing Church post-Vatican II

MARCH 17, 2016

 

Pope Emeritus Benedict breaks silence: speaks of ‘deep crisis’ facing Church post-Vatican II

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pope-emeritus-benedict-says-church-is-now-facing-a-two-sided-deep-crisis

By Maike Hickson, 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 Katholisches.info.

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.”

 

 

Pope Benedict Breaks His Silence on “Deep Crisis”

http://www.onepeterfive.com/pope-benedict-breaks-his-silence-on-deep-crisis/

By Steve Skojec, March 16, 2016

It’s a subject I’ve addressed in these pages more than once. Catholics MUST evangelize those of other faiths with a desire to convert them. “Dialogue” alone, without the intent of winning converts, is useless. In January, I wrote about my own experiences as a Catholic missionary, and how rare that missionary spirit is today:

 

Religious indifference — the idea that usually takes shape under the deception that people all religious faiths are on a shared journey to salvation — has become alarmingly commonplace among the Catholic clergy. So much so that it comes as a shock when we hear a priest, bishop, or pope say something which indicates to the hearer that conversion to Catholicism is of the utmost importance. It is much more likely that we’ll hear apologies for the historical fact that Catholic missionaries brought the saving faith of their Church to the indigenous peoples of various lands, often at the cost of their own lives.

I’ve written before on why we can’t be
indifferent to indifferentism. Eric Sammons has discussed one of the most important missing components of effective evangelization. We talk constantly in these pages about the importance of good liturgy, of reverence, of authentic devotion, and spiritual warfare.

At the heart of it all, though, is one simple question: do you believe that membership in the Catholic Church is necessary for salvation? 

If you can’t answer that question with a resounding, “Yes!” you can’t be an effective missionary. If you don’t have a conviction that Christ established ONE Church for the purpose of transmitting the sacraments and thereby offering access to the graces necessary for heaven, you will never have the courage to share that treasure with others. If you believe that people are probably “just fine where they are” and never even give them a reason to consider Catholicism, you may be unwittingly neglecting your role as the person God sent to invite them to a life of eternal happiness.

 

It appears that our Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI agrees. In a story released this afternoon, we learn that today, he has broken his customary silence to address an important topic:

 

[The LifeSiteNews article is reproduced here]

 

Considering how strongly the indifferentist program figures into the current pontificate, could this be considered, even obliquely, a criticism of a sitting pope by his still-living predecessor? It is impossible to say that this was Benedict’s intention, but the words he uses — and the truth behind them — speak for themselves.

 

3 out of 34 readers’ comments

1. I truly don’t understand why the Pope Emeritus abandoned us. It makes me sad and angry when I think about it.

 

2. Always advisable to go through the entire source: Cos’è la fede? L’intervista inedita del teologo Servais a Benedetto XVI | Avvenire.it

Papa Francesco si trova del tutto in accordo con questa linea. La sua pratica pastorale si esprime proprio nel fatto che egli ci parla continuamente della misericordia di Dio. [Google translate: Pope Francis is totally in agreement with this line. His pastoral practice is expressed in the fact that he continually speaks to us of God’s mercy.]

Pope Francis’ concept and presentation of God’s mercy is confused to say the least.
I am waiting for the day when Benedictus PP. emeritus XVI will speak out on the damage wrought on the Church by Pope Francis.

 

3. If what I have read is true, even the present pontiff [Francis] does not encourage anyone to become a Catholic.

 

 

RELATED FILES

IS THERE NO SALVATION OUTSIDE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH?

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/IS_THERE_NO_SALVATION_OUTSIDE_THE_CATHOLIC_CHURCH.doc

PRO MULTIS-JESUS BLOOD SHED FOR ALL OR FOR MANY?

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/PRO_MULTIS-JESUS_BLOOD_SHED_FOR_ALL_OR_FOR_MANY.doc

INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE 01-POPE BENEDICT XVI

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/INTERRELIGIOUS_DIALOGUE_01-POPE_BENEDICT_XVI.doc

 

 

THE FIRST TIME POPE EMERITUS BENEDICT XVI BROKE HIS SILENCE:

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI broke his retirement silence of 18 months by speaking of all things on what subject? On “relativistic ideas of religious truth as “lethal to faith”” in connection with interreligious dialogue.

1. Retired pope says interreligious dialogue no substitute for mission

http://www.catholicregister.org/faith/faith-news/item/19040-retired-pope-says-interreligious-dialogue-no-substitute-for-mission, http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2014/10/24/pope-emeritus-says-interreligious-dialogue-no-substitute-for-mission/

By Francis X. Rocca, Vatican City, October 23, 2014

Retired Pope Benedict XVI said dialogue with other religions is no substitute for spreading the Gospel to non-Christian cultures, and warned against relativistic ideas of religious truth as “lethal to faith.”

He also said the true motivation for missionary work is not to increase the church’s size but to share the joy of knowing Christ.

The retired pope’s words appeared in written remarks to faculty members and students at Rome’s Pontifical Urbanian University, which belongs to the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. Archbishop Georg Ganswein, prefect of the papal household and personal secretary to retired Pope Benedict, read the 1,800-word message aloud Oct. 21, at a ceremony dedicating the university’s renovated main lecture hall to the retired pope.

 

The speech is one of a handful of public statements, including an interview and a published letter to a journalist, that Pope Benedict has made since he retired in February 2013.

“The risen Lord instructed his apostles, and through them his disciples in all ages, to take his word to the ends of the earth and to make disciples of all people,” retired Pope Benedict wrote. “‘But does that still apply?’ many inside and outside the church ask themselves today. ‘Is mission still something for today?

Would it not be more appropriate to meet in dialogue among religions and serve together the cause of world peace?’ The counter-question is: ‘Can dialogue substitute for mission?’ In fact, many today think religions should respect each other and, in their dialogue, become a common force for peace. According to this way of thinking, it is usually taken for granted that different religions are variants of one and the same reality,” the retired pope wrote.

“The question of truth, that which originally motivated Christians more than any other, is here put inside parentheses. It is assumed that the authentic truth about God is in the last analysis unreachable and that at best one can represent the ineffable with a variety of symbols. This renunciation of truth seems realistic and useful for peace among religions in the world. It is nevertheless lethal to faith. In fact, faith loses its binding character and its seriousness, everything is reduced to interchangeable symbols, capable of referring only distantly to the inaccessible mystery of the divine,” he wrote.

Pope Benedict wrote that some religions, particularly “tribal religions,” are “waiting for the encounter with Jesus Christ,” but that this “encounter is always reciprocal. Christ is waiting for their history, their wisdom, their vision of the things.” This encounter can also give new life to Christianity, which has grown tired in its historical heartlands, he wrote.

“We proclaim Jesus Christ not to procure as many members as possible for our community, and still less in order to gain power,” the retired pope wrote. “We speak of him because we feel the duty to transmit that joy which has been given to us.”

2 out of 6 readers’ comments

1. At last a condemnation of “dialogue”.

“Go forth & teach all nations” Christ said. He didn’t say “go forth & dialogue”.

I have long held that ecumenism & dialogue are useless.

One can’t come to a consensus on Truth. Truth stands alone.

“Will you also leave me?” Our Lord said. He didn’t concur with error.

2. Too little too late, Emeritus Holy Father. You should have never retired in the first place. You will always be loved. –Fr. James

 

2. Benedict XVI sent text of talk to University: relativistic dialogue and “lethal ideas”

http://wdtprs.com/blog/2014/10/benedict-xvi-send-text-of-talk-to-university-relativistic-dialogue-and-lethal-ideas/

Posted on 24 October 2014 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

From CNS:
(with, in black and red, Fr. Z’s comments and emphases) Green, here, is mine -Michael

Retired pope says interreligious dialogue no substitute for mission

VATICAN CITY – Retired Pope Benedict XVI said dialogue with other religions is no substitute for spreading the Gospel to non-Christian cultures, and warned against relativistic ideas of religious truth as “lethal to faith.” He also said the true motivation for missionary work is not to increase the church’s size but to share the joy of knowing Christ.
The retired pope’s words appeared in written remarks to faculty members and students at Rome’s Pontifical Urbanian University,
 [Urbaniana] which belongs to the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. Archbishop Georg Ganswein, prefect of the papal household and personal secretary to retired Pope Benedict, read the 1,800-word message aloud Oct. 21, at a ceremony dedicating the university’s renovated main lecture hall to the retired pope.
The speech is one of a handful of public statements, including an interview and a published letter to a journalist, that Pope Benedict has made since he retired in February 2013.
“The risen Lord instructed his apostles, and through them his disciples in all ages, to take his word to the ends of the earth and to make disciples of all people,” retired Pope Benedict wrote
[Watch this…] “‘But does that still apply?’ many inside and outside the church ask themselves today. [Classic Ratzinger.  He brings up a theme and then asks a question.] ‘Is mission still something for today? Would it not be more appropriate to meet in dialogue among religions and serve together the cause of world peace?’

The counter-question is: ‘Can dialogue substitute for mission?’  [No!]
“In fact, many today think religions should respect each other and, in their dialogue, become a common force for peace. According to this way of thinking, it is usually taken for granted that different religions are variants of one and the same reality,” the retired pope wrote. [Do I hear an “Amen!”] “The question of truth, that which originally motivated Christians more than any other, is here put inside parentheses. It is assumed that the authentic truth about God is in the last analysis unreachable and that at best one can represent the ineffable with a variety of symbols. This renunciation of truth seem[“seems”] realistic and useful for peace among religions in the world.
“It is nevertheless lethal to faith.
  [How I have missed you.] In fact, faith loses its binding character and its seriousness, everything is reduced to interchangeable symbols, capable of referring only distantly to the inaccessible mystery of the divine,” he wrote.
Pope Benedict wrote that some religions, particularly “tribal religions,” are “waiting for the encounter with Jesus Christ,” but that this “encounter is always reciprocal. Christ is waiting for their history, their wisdom, their vision of the things.
[Inculturation takes place at this intersection of Christ and cultures.] This encounter can also give new life to Christianity, which has grown tired in its historical heartlands, he wrote[He has a special preoccupation about Europe.]

“We proclaim Jesus Christ not to procure as many members as possible for our community, and still less in order to gain power,” the retired pope wrote. “We speak of him because we feel the duty to transmit that joy which has been given to us.” [He has a book entitled “Minister of Your Joy” about priestly formation and spirituality.   It is also, perhaps, a nod to… someone else who – contrary to some – didn’t invent joy.]

I wonder if, in this age, the communication of our joy will take care of the numbers questions. I have always been of the mind that, as a priest, it is part of my job to keep as many people out of Hell as possible (get as many to Heaven as possible). How to do this?

There are a few things that don’t help very much, including the communication of joy’s opposite. Yes, there are times that we have to blend in even the stern, even the unsettling message of the Four Last Things*. But we must never stint on the Heaven part of the Four Last Things even as we do not avoid the other three.  Even preaching the Four Last Things also includes the expression of joy. *Death, Judgement, Heaven, Hell

I have lots of other ideas stemming from this brief account of his talk.  

In the meantime, I may just review the Regensburg Address.

It has been a while since I have written this: Benedict XVI is the Pope of Christian Unity.

4 out of 34 readers’ responses

1. I miss the great clarity of Pope Emeritus Benedict. I would not doubt if one day he is declared a doctor of the Church.

2.
Wow. No way to misinterpret what +Benedict is saying. Makes me realize how much I miss clarity and plain, un-nuanced statements.

3. I understand if this comment comes across as too harsh. It’s more about public perception than the men themselves.

Benedict XVI submitted himself fully to the teachings of the faith, defended it vigorously, has written 66 books promulgating the faith, chose for himself a simple and restrained Papal name, advanced the restoration of the Usus Antiquior, brought in Anglicans with a liturgy that hearkens more to the Usus Antiquior than the Novus Ordo, worked to restore dignity to the Novus Ordo with his suggested arrangement of the altar, and honored several of the traditions associated with the office of the Papacy. He was constantly criticized in the press for being hard nosed, arrogant, and uncharitable.

Francis was the first to the name Francis, overturns papal traditions in the name of humility, has acted at times against the Usus Antiquior, expressed at times lukewarm comments about the Anglican Ordinariate, and shown himself to be a bit squishy and exploitable by others on the church’s social teachings. He’s considered humble.

Why is someone who serves the faith, defends it, and advances it considered arrogant and hard-nosed? Why is someone who upturns traditions (which makes the conversation about the individual, rather than the traditions for the office), who is repeatedly critical of those trying to uphold the faith once handed down, and who constantly lets his words be exploited by others to the detriment of Catholic social teaching considered to be humble and charitable? I begin to think the press doesn’t know the difference between modesty and humility.

4.
A typically clear and profound observation from Benedict XVI.

 

3. Pope Emeritus Breaks Silence to Support Truth over Dialogue

http://www.aleteia.org/en/religion/article/pope-emeritus-breaks-silence-to-support-truth-over-dialogue-5807060570603520

http://www.ucanews.com/news/pope-emeritus-breaks-his-long-silence/72269

October 28, 2014

Simply agreeing, even if to promote peace, is dangerous to the Faith

When Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation in February of 2013, he said he would continue to serve the church “through a life dedicated to prayer.” He has made few public appearances since he left office, and has said and written even less.
His relative silence was broken Oct. 21, when his longtime secretary, Archbishop Georg Ganswein, read a1,800-word speech written by Benedict on the occasion of the dedication of the Aula Magna at the Pontifical Urbaniana University to the Pope Emeritus. The university belongs to the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. It dedicated the hall as a “gesture of gratitude” for what Benedict “has done for the Church as a conciliar expert, with his teaching as professor, as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and, finally, the Magisterium.” 
In the speech, the Pope emeritus said that dialogue with other religions is no substitute for spreading the Gospel to non-Christian cultures, and warned against relativistic ideas of religious truth as “lethal to faith.”  He also said the true motivation for missionary work is not to increase the Church’s size but to share the joy of knowing Christ.
“The risen Lord instructed his apostles, and through them his disciples in all ages, to take his word to the ends of the earth and to make disciples of all people,” retired Pope Benedict wrote. “‘But does that still apply?’ many inside and outside the Church ask themselves today. ‘Is mission still something for today? Would it not be more appropriate to meet in dialogue among religions and serve together the cause of world peace?’ The counter-question is: ‘Can dialogue substitute for mission?'” “In fact, many today think religions should respect each other and, in their dialogue, become a common force for peace. According to this way of thinking, it is usually taken for granted that different religions are variants of one and the same reality,” the retired Pope wrote. “The question of truth, that which originally motivated Christians more than any other, is here put inside parentheses. It is assumed that the authentic truth about God is in the last analysis unreachable and that at best one can represent the ineffable with a variety of symbols. This renunciation of truth seems realistic and useful for peace among religions in the world.”
“It is nevertheless lethal to faith. In fact, faith loses its binding character and its seriousness, everything is reduced to interchangeable symbols, capable of referring only distantly to the inaccessible mystery of the divine,” he wrote.
Pope Benedict wrote that some religions, particularly “tribal religions,” are “waiting for the encounter with Jesus Christ,” but that this “encounter is always reciprocal. Christ is waiting for their history, their wisdom, their vision of the things.”

This encounter can also give new life to Christianity, which has grown tired in its historical heartlands, he wrote.
“We proclaim Jesus Christ not to procure as many members as possible for our community, and still less in order to gain power,” the retired Pope wrote. “We speak of him because we feel the duty to transmit that joy which has been given to us.”

1 out of 18 readers’ comments

The phrase ‘false irenicism’ comes to mind. It’s the idea those who promote ‘the Spirit of Vatican II’, have conveniently overlooked?

 

THE SECOND TIME POPE EMERITUS BENEDICT XVI BROKE HIS SILENCE:

Revelation: Pope Benedict wrote 4-page critique of Pope Francis’ Jesuit magazine interview

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/revelation-pope-benedict-wrote-4-page-critique-of-pope-francis-jesuit-magaz

By John-Henry Westen, Vatican City, March 18, 2014

Speaking on German television station ZDF last week, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, secretary to both Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, revealed that the former pope had penned a four-page critique of Pope Francis’ controversial interview with the Jesuit magazine, at Pope Francis’ personal request.

Gänswein told ZDF (the relevant section begins at 7 minutes) that he was sent on an errand by Pope Francis, to give a copy of the interview with the Jesuit magazine to Pope Benedict along with a blank sheet of paper on which Benedict was to give a critique. Three days later, recounted the archbishop, Pope Benedict had completed his ‘homework’ and handed in a four-page critique, the contents of which Gänswein would not reveal other than to say it was interesting.

In the wide-ranging, 10,000-word interview, Pope Francis had addressed a wide variety of topics related to his pontificate and personal background and beliefs. However, the lines that attracted the most attention, in both the secular and Catholic press, had to do with the Church’s approach to handling some of the “hot button” moral issues of the day.

“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods,” the pope had said, adding: “This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context.

“The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church,” the pope had said, “but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.”

These lines were widely interpreted in the mainstream press as a call by the pope for the Catholic Church to downplay its stances on issues like same-sex “marriage” and abortion.

At the same time, some pro-life leaders also expressed similar misgivings, saying that the pope may unwittingly have given fodder to segments of the Church, and the broader culture, that would be more than happy to see the Church stop talking about key moral issues like abortion, same-sex “marriage” and contraception.

They were joined in some of their concerns by some bishops and cardinals, including Vatican Cardinal Raymond Burke, who, during an appearance on EWTN, was asked about priests who defended their decision to speak less about abortion and gay “marriage” by citing the pope’s admonition to speak about essentials.

Cardinal Burke replied, “What could be more essential than the natural moral law? … We can never talk enough about that as long as in our society innocent and defenseless human life is being attacked in the most savage way.”

Responding to the Pope’s interview, California Bishop Robert Vasa said, “Is there a need for teaching about those things? Absolutely. Are there some folks who overstep the boundary and say, ‘OK we’re preaching about this every single Sunday?’ Well, there may be. But there’s a vast majority of people who never talk about it.”

Pope Francis’ request for feedback on his interview from Pope Emeritus Benedict is not the first time that the pontiff has expressed a frank openness to receiving critiques of his words and actions. In November he publicly thanked two conservative critics in Italy whose public articles criticizing Pope Francis’ interviews were seen by many as harsh.

When he learned one of the authors was dying, Pope Francis called him to let him know that he understood that the criticisms had been made with love, and how important it had been for him to receive them.

THE THIRD TIME POPE EMERITUS BENEDICT XVI BROKE HIS SILENCE:

Pope Benedict’s private secretary speaks on Synod, divorce, same-sex relations

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pope-benedicts-private-secretary-speaks-on-synod-divorce-same-sex-relations

By John-Henry Westen, October 14, 2014

Pope Benedict’s private secretary has given a surprise interview on some of the hot-button issues at the Vatican’s Extraordinary Synod on the Family, advancing views aligned with those expressed by Pope Benedict during his time as cardinal and pope.

In the interview published in the print edition of Chi magazine last week, Archbishop Georg Gänswein said, “The Church has always declared, based on the Scriptures and tradition, that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”  The acts, he said, “are contrary to natural law, because they prevent the gift of life, the purpose of the sexual act.”

Gänswein went on to acknowledge that for people experiencing same-sex attraction the inclination can be a trial. “These people,” he said, “are called to live the will of God in their life and if they are Christians, to unite their sacrifice to the cross of the Lord, with the difficulties they meet because of their condition.”

The remarks echo the language of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which was published in 1992, when Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger headed the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). They also bear marked similarity to the language of the 1986



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