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

Maike Hickson at LifeSiteNews:

20151208T0705-256-CNS-POPE-MERCY-DOOR-800x500On 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.”

See also the Catholic Herald online

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

  1. sixupman says:

    At last! Deo Gratias.


  2. toadspittle says:

    “The missionaries of the 16th century were convinced that the unbaptized person is lost forever.”
    A remarkable number of people still seem convinced of it. That the unbaptised are not God’s children, and are automatically damned.
    But we are all God’s children, aren’t we?. Everyone on earth.
    …Or otherwise, none of us are.


  3. kathleen says:

    Perfect clarity together with profound truths made accessible to all, is the hallmark of this holy pope – so intensely missed by all orthodox Catholics.

    It is so unusual nowadays for our Pope Emeritus to give interviews, that many Catholic blogs have picked up on this story. Father Z too – and with his interesting little comments squeezed in-between (re the subject that if there is salvation for all, why evangelise), he remarks:

    “Indifferentism is pernicious and corrosive! I will add that our identity is undermined through liturgical worship which is not sufficiently focused on the transcendent, not aimed at an encounter with Mystery, not helpful in our dealing with our fear of death.”


    And do please read the first paragraph of this February article from Father Ray Blake in relation to how we are no longer receiving a truly Catholic message from this papacy (a Jesuit thing perhaps?)…, although I understand that this idea was not in any way the intention of Papa Benedict in his interview. He was deploring the lack of proper Catholic teaching in our post-V2 era.


  4. John says:

    This statement by Pope Emeritus Benedict reminds me of the late Father Leonard Feeney S.J. who persistently preached that ‘outside the Church there is no salvation’ and who consequently was himself placed outside the Church by excommunication in the fifties.


  5. kathleen says:

    John @ 15:29 yesterday

    John, I was interested in your comment. I have some traditional Irish friends who are staunch defenders of the late Fr Feeney, and who believe his excommunication was a grave injustice. He had not committed any heresy, but he was totally inflexible in allowing for salvation for anyone, even newborn babies who had died unbaptised, any other destiny but hell!!

    However, the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus (EENS), and the doctrine that the One and Only Saviour of the world is Our Lord Jesus Christ, Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity, Who died for our sins to save us from eternal death,… cannot put limits on the power and mercy of Almighty God. He may (we do not know for certain) choose to “save” those who, through no fault of their own, were/are not members of the One True Church. We cannot – and must not – presume it of course (for to do so would be disobeying Christ and His Church “to teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost”; and this current erroneous mindset is exactly what our Pope Emeritus is referring to in the interview), but we cannot deny it either. The Church has always recognised that “baptism of desire” – an unbaptised person who has never had access to Baptism, but who has lived a life of contrition for his sins, of virtue and morality, and a keen desire to search for God and Truth – has the possibility (however much some might deny it) of salvation.
    I believe Fr Feeney denied the teaching “baptism of desire” even existed.

    It appears that Fr Feeney’s argument in holding to EENS was, in effect, why bother being a Catholic if one can be saved as a schismatic Protestant or a Christ-denying Jew? He was twice summoned to Rome by Pope Pius XII to discuss his unyielding position, but refused to go. I find this puzzling – why did he not obey the call of the Pope?

    Yet Father Feeney has many supporters, and he was, undeniably, a good and holy priest:

    “In 1949, with the loyal support of those who had become his spiritual children, Father Feeney founded the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. From the foundation of the Congregation until his death in 1978, Father Feeney continued to teach his disciples and form them into a community of apostles dedicated, not only to the restoration of the Dogma of Faith, extra ecclesiam nulla salus, but also to the conversion of the United States of America to the One, True Faith, outside of which no one at all is saved.

    After Father Feeney’s death in 1978, the great Scottish apostle of Christ the King, Hamish Fraser, eulogized him as “one of the most outstanding prophets of our time. For not only did he most accurately diagnose the contemporary malaise, long before others became aware of it; he also put his finger on the very omission which was both symptom and cause of the plague of liberal indifferentism which eventually surfaced as post-Conciliar Neomodernism and oecumania.””



  6. 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


    I interpret extra ecclesiam nulla salus like Fr.Michael Muller and Fr. Leonard Feeney since physically I cannot see, know or meet any exception to the dogma.

    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

    Mistakes in Vatican Council II : All Catholics can interpret extra ecclesiam nulla salus according to the 16th century missionaries.

    The mistakes in Vatican Council II


  7. Robert says:

    Sadly this is just a knee jerk reaction to a growing crisis in the Papacy.
    Christ the New Adam. This is what the sacraments are about putting on the New Man to replace the Original Sin of Adam. Before Our Lord Man could not enter Heaven.
    We throw out and utterly reject that Man Evolved. Man as Created Adam and Original Sin. Sin cannot enter Heaven.
    Our Lord true God and True Man (his flesh was off Adam before Adam’s Fall otherwise Our Lord would not be True Man). Our Lord is SINLESS Man!
    Our Lord is the Gate through which ALL must pass to enter Heaven!


  8. toadspittle says:

    ” Before Our Lord Man could not enter Heaven.”
    ….”Our Lord is the Gate through which ALL must pass to enter Heaven!”

    Well, that is at least unequivocal.
    No Heaven for Virgil, Socrates, or Gandhi, bur possibly heaven for Hitler.
    Countless billions of people – who have led perfectly decent lives – neither had, nor ever will have, any chance of eternal happiness. To hell with them all. But why were they created in the first place? How can this remotely be justified? Why is it not an evil concept?
    Perhaps Roger can tell me. Nobody else ever wants to.
    Or is Roger simply wrong?


  9. Robert says:

    This is the Faith ONE Gate that is Christ. No other Name.
    The Church is One Holy Catholic (it is for ALL Men [that’s children of the Created Adam]). Our Heavenly Father doesn’t Create Souls destined for Hell, Every Created Soul knows God (this is the Faith) therefor where we end up is of our free will choice.
    We are therefor judged on what we know (not on what we don’t know).
    Now Our Lord told Us NOT to judge,
    So Toad what makes you the judge of Virgil, Socrates, Ghandi, Hitler?
    Your judgement is faulty because under your prejudiced and jaundiced eyes the Patriachs would not be in Heaven!
    What do you mean by decent lives? What is absolutely certain in this Age is that Divorce Laws have been imposed in every Country in the world, followed by Abortion, Birth Control, Human rights (nothing of God) which actually are Laws of Beastility since human means to this world Evolved Ape.
    One thing is certain that there will be many many surprises when the veil of Death has been raised!
    Its all about the wise and prudent as opposed to the humble and simply.


  10. toadspittle says:

    “So Toad what makes you the judge of Virgil, Socrates, Ghandi, Hitler?”
    Possibly the same thing that makes you the judge of me. i.e.,
    Your judgement is faulty because under your prejudiced and jaundiced eyes the Patriachs would not be in Heaven!
    I haven’t a clue where the Patriachs are. Never said I did.
    But I was told, when very young, that no non-Catholic could go to Heaven. Apparently it’s different now – and I was told wrongly. Well, that’s nice. Too late for me, though.

    [A moderator: we will now draw a line now under this as it has become very repetitious, as usual. A further advice: please remain on the topic of the post each time. Off topic comments will be sent to the off topic folder or deleted.]


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