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Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Benedict XVI

The selection of the cardinals was what many pundits predicted - Joseph Ratzinger of Germany has been selected to become the Pope, and has chosen the name of Benedict XVI. After only four iterations, he received the necessary number of votes from his fellow cardinals.

At 78, we do not know how long we can expect Benedict XVI to serve, but that is true for anyone! His choice should please David and Robert, for Ratzinger has been a strong voice against Liberation Theology. He also has stood against liberal theologians in the church in general, which I can only view as positive!

Five years ago, then-cardinal Ratzinger penned a document declaring the Catholic Church to be the true church, that other Christian denominations are "defective", and while other religions are "respected", they are not to considered equal through the application of relativism. The context:

"Furthermore, the salvific action of Jesus Christ, with and through his Spirit, extends beyond the visible boundaries of the Church to all humanity...Therefore, there exists a single Church of Christ, which subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the Successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him...
On the other hand, the ecclesial communities which have not preserved the valid Episcopate and the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic mystery, are not Churches in the proper sense; however, those who are baptized in these communities are, by Baptism, incorporated in Christ and thus are in a certain communion, albeit imperfect, with the Church. Baptism in fact tends per se toward the full development of life in Christ, through the integral profession of faith, the Eucharist, and full communion in the Church."

"Therefore, these separated Churches and communities as such, though we believe they suffer from defects, have by no means been deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Catholic Church"

"The lack of unity among Christians is certainly a wound for the Church; not in the sense that she is deprived of her unity, but "in that it hinders the complete fulfilment of her universality in history".

I would be suprised by anything less, disagree as I may with parts. May Benedict XVI serve faithfully and with righteousness in Christ.


  • Hammer,

    I heard it here first. I'm snatching part and linking the rest...Thanks

    By Blogger David Hunley, at 4/19/2005 02:05:00 PM  

  • The link (my name) directs your readers to an imposter that is masquerading as a representative of Libertopia. ;)

    I have immense respect for anyone who argues from conviction and facts (as they see them). In this regard, Benedict XVI will likely serve Catholics well. However, the excerpt you’ve displayed demonstrates a fatal flaw of intransigence. The core of the Catholic dogma (beyond the Gospel of course) is tradition. I think that tradition certainly has value, but as the Reformation showed, tradition is worthless if it is inconsistent with truth. I might add that the various and sundry Protestant sects also have a tendency to lean too heavily upon tradition. Again, I contend for truth before tradition. As you are no doubt aware, Scriptural Commentaries are often used as reference tools to determine doctrinal issues. While this is not necessarily bad in itself, a Commentary is human rather than divine in origin. The Bible on the other hand is divine in origin.

    By Blogger Robert, at 4/19/2005 04:26:00 PM  

  • Robert,
    Again, I agree totally. I know several dedicated Catholics who are fairly ignorant of scripture, but very knowledgable of church history, tradition, and extra-scriptural doctrine. However, there are also several like John who are very scripturally sound, and do awesome expository.

    I actually did a message called "Truth or Tradition" where I addressed that exact issue. Protestants tend to believe that the Catholic Church is the only place where tradition interferes - but, basically, every denomination has its traditions that interfere with the full Gospel - including "independent" churches. Our task is, I think, to respect tradition but obey scripture.

    By Blogger Hammertime, at 4/19/2005 09:42:00 PM  

  • To be fair, he recanted that later..the part about you had to be a Catholic. However, Catholicism is still very problematic theoligically IMO.

    By Blogger Diane, at 4/20/2005 10:30:00 PM  

  • Marc,

    I saw your post in here somewhere about the constituency business (can't find it now and I'm running out of time...:). I totally is hard to come up with a good analogy. My own view on the whole religion thing is that if you are turning to ANY manmade dogma (however divinely inspired) that you know has been subjected to endless interpretation, you're subject to being misled.
    If God exists (and to say I, personally, "believe" He does is an understatement) then he must have the power to communicate directly with every individual, unfettered by the static of priests or shamans. Now this is not to say that churches shouldn't be established or that their activities shouldn't be participated in because we have been made social creatures and it is good to join in should just feel good. Church experts are also good at helping you deepen your understanding...just like a good Teacher can deepen your understanding of any subject....but the challenges we face have not been determined by churches...and the overcoming of these challenges will not be determined by any church either.
    This is short hand on the fly. But my opinions are hardly worth more than that anyway :). So it is what it is.
    Oh and yeah, that's an original...and it certainly would be a first if there were a church of sinless people wouldn't it?

    By Blogger David Hunley, at 4/25/2005 09:10:00 AM  

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