Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI: The Past 50 Years Have Caused A Great Crisis Of Faith!

PopemassBy, Bradley Eli, M. Div., MA.Th

VATICAN (ChurchMilitant.com) – Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is saying belief that all men are saved has crippled missionary efforts and caused many Christians to leave the Faith.

An interview of the former Pope, conducted last year, is being published today in L’Osservatore Romano. In it the former pontiff is reaffirming the dogma that there’s only one true Church outside of which there is no salvation.

Discounting false churches that are founded on “assembly of men who have some ideas in common,” Pope Benedict says they cannot be “the guarantor of eternal life.”

Contrasting self-created institutions with the Catholic Church, Benedict clarifies, “The Church is not self-made; She was created by God, and She is continuously formed by Him.”

He refutes the modern notion that all men are saved, commenting that men of today have “the sense that God cannot let most of humanity be damned.”

Pope Emeritus notes that starting in “the second half of the last century,” mankind believed “God cannot let go to perdition all the unbaptized” or even let them go to a place of “purely natural happiness,” which the Church calls Limbo.

Benedict contrasts the zeal of “the great missionaries of the 16th century” who “were still convinced that those who are not baptized are forever lost” with the lackluster missionary efforts after the Second Vatican Council, when “that conviction was finally abandoned” by many.

The former pontiff affirms that the lost conviction that the Church is necessary for salvation causes “a deep double crisis.”

“On the one hand this seems to remove any motivation for a future missionary commitment,” he says. “Why should one try to convince the people to accept the Christian faith when they can be saved even without it?”

Benedict also notes that many Catholics were scandalized by this presumption into leaving the Church, explaining, “If there are those who can save themselves in other ways, it is not clear, in the final analysis, why the Christian himself is bound by the requirements of the Christian faith and its morals.”

He then attacks the faulty attempts to “reconcile the universal necessity of the Christian faith with the opportunity to save oneself without it.”

After dismissing Karl Rahner’s mistaken notion that most men are saved as anonymous Christians, Benedict turns to another popular theory. “Even less acceptable is the solution proposed by the pluralistic theories of religion, for which all religions, each in their own way, would be ways of salvation, and in this sense, in their effects must be considered equivalent.”

In saying all this, Pope Emeritus Benedict is affirming the constant teaching that the Catholic Church is the only true Church and is absolutely necessary for salvation.

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7 comments to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI: The Past 50 Years Have Caused A Great Crisis Of Faith!

  • Nancy Jervis

    I hope Pope Francis reads this, because apparently he’s forgotten what the Great Mission of the Church is and what his reponsibilities as Pontiff and Vicar of Christ are.

  • Tom Kearney

    I seek enlightenment. What exactly is the official teaching of the Catholic Church in relation to people who die unbaptised, be they babies, teenagers or adults ? And if they are denied Heaven precisely because they are not baptised, where then do they go ? Insofar as I am aware, the Catholic Church teaches that it is simply not possible to enter Heaven with the stain of Original Sin on one’s soul. Fair enough, but let’s say for a moment, that I was born and raised in a remote part of the world where I never even heard of God, Sin, Baptism, Salvation, Hell, Heaven or Purgatory … how then is it possible that because I was unlucky enough to find myself in this situation, that I should be denied that which others may avail of because they were baptised … everlasting happiness in the company of The Creator of the Universe ?

    • Mary Houlihan

      This is a complicated question. But let me help as best I can. If a person through no fault of their own dies with the stain of original sin there is always something called “the Baptism of desire”. The uneducated and uninitiated might have within themselves a natural longing for God. This longing is written in every human heart. This longing can bring about the effects of baptism through the power of the Holy Spirit. We do not know how God acts upon such a soul but it is always with mercy and justice.
      I am not a theologian. Just a trusting believer in Divine Providence and the mercy of God.

    • Thomas

      The CDF has said that the Church is the ordinary means of salvation but there are other extraordinary means, “other ways”, known to God alone by which those unbaptized through no fault of their own and who search for God with a sincere heart may be saved.

  • robert joseph

    But Bergoglio told the atheist he is ok as long as he follows his conscience.

  • This proclamation by Pope Benedict was published in the Catholic universe 4yrs ago I am not going to comment on it because I haven’t got the space to do it . All I can say is Pope Benedict is a great man of faith and corageous in his faith and he will stand up and proclaim his beliefs to a doubting world no matter if they accept it or not and our present holy father is the exact same .

  • Judy Capistrant

    I will not share anything from Church Militant… they are too negative, no positives, do not help to heal/instruct those who need it.

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