Discussion in 'Anglican and Christian News' started by Invictus, Dec 31, 2022.
If Pope Benedict is resting in peace, may I suggest it is only because he was born in 1927 and not a few centuries earlier. He was made Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the faith, which a few centuries earlier we would describe as being Head of the Inquisition.
Maybe his sins have been forgiven, but should someone be resting in peace who as Prefect wrote Dominus Iesus which affirms that there is no Salvation outside the Roman Catholic Church? If Benedict is right it doesn't bode well for most people on this forum.
Oh and by the way I hope you all had a good Christmas and will have a great new year
Times change. I consider the late Pope to have been a gentlemen and a scholar, with a sincere love of the Church he was called to lead, and who exerted great effort to build new bridges across old divides.
Ok the inquisition bit, was me stirring a little , but I don't admire anyone who claims you can only get salvation from within the Roman Catholic Church.
I'm not sure what you are referring to when you say...
but if the divides are with other denominations I don't think his Dominus Iesus statement will be very helpful.
He was a prolific author, before and after ascending the Papal throne, who actively sought to engage a broader audience in a constructive manner. His books Introduction to Christianity, Truth and Tolerance, and his multi-volume work on the life of Jesus, were all positively received (and were intended to be so received) by non-Catholic Christians. Another episode that stands out was his historic visit to Turkey in 2006, especially his positive interaction with the clerics:
“[T]he most dramatic gesture of respect and reconciliation came when Benedict bowed his head in prayer with Mustafa Cagrici, the head cleric of Istanbul, inside Turkey’s most famous mosque — the Blue Mosque.”
Dominus Jesus does not teach that salvation is only to be found in the Roman Catholic Church, but rather that whoever receives ultimate salvation will do so as a result of a mystical connection to the Church, even if they were never visibly members of it. The idea - sometimes called “anonymous Christianity” - is that such people would have sought baptism had it been offered in terms they could understand from within the confines of their own cultural limitations. The traditional basis of the “anonymous Christian” idea is the early belief in the salvation of those who were martyred for the Faith before they had been able to receive baptism (because they were still catechumens). This is a subtle but important distinction, whether or not one ultimately agrees with it. In either case, it should be apparent that the promulgation of Dominus Jesus, when properly understood, is a far cry from the medieval Inquisition burning people at the stake for heresy.
I personally do not agree with the “anonymous Christian” idea, but, to be fair to Pope Benedict, I can hardly fault the benevolent intentions that undoubtedly lay behind his implicit endorsement of the idea in Dominus Jesus.
RIP Pope Benedict XVI, Joseph Ratzinger, one of the world's last voices of truth and reason (which means conforming to truth, to reality).
Sad... one of the last lions of the Roman Catholics... now it is up to us to carry the whole standard
Rest in peace, Your Holiness.
I had never heard of the “anonymous Christian” idea before now. Could it be similar in effect to the case of the thief on the cross who was promised salvation by Christ just before their deaths, the thief being presumably unbaptised or accepted into the church of that time, nevertheless becoming a recipient of God's Grace through his recognition of Christ's innocence and an effective spiritual 'turning to Christ', by merely recognising himself to be a sinner in need of the redemption Christ offers to ALL human beings on earth, through HIS OWN faith in his Father's Grace?
I understand it to mean (maybe wrongly) that we all need to belong to the RC church to be saved. But people like you Tiffy can be saved because the church you belong to "bathes in the reflected glow of the RC's saving power". ie it's really the RC church that saves you.
That’s basically it. If I’m not mistaken, one person to whom the category was often applied was Gandhi (a notion which would have probably horrified Gandhi). One of the many problems with the position is its implied one-way denial of agency. If there can be “anonymous” Christianity, why can’t there be anonymous Islam, or anonymous Jainism, etc.?
And as a special treat to you Invictus I will make you an "anonymous Agnostic"
But getting back to Benedict if he promotes the idea of the "anonymous Christian" then I don't think he is worthy of my admiration.
What do Benedict admirers think of him in the light of this information?
I don’t know if Benedict ever personally used that language to describe Church doctrine. In practice it tended to be associated with less ‘traditional’ theologians like Karl Rahner.
Ok here are extracts from Dominus Iesus The full text of which can be found here ,and it's not too long. https://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/...con_cfaith_doc_20000806_dominus-iesus_en.html
CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH
ON THE UNICITY AND SALVIFIC UNIVERSALITY
OF JESUS CHRIST AND THE CHURCH........
IV. UNICITY AND UNITY OF THE CHURCH
16. The Lord Jesus, the only Saviour, did not only establish a simple community of disciples, but constituted the Church as a salvific mystery: he himself is in the Church and the Church is in him (cf. Jn 15:1ff.; Gal 3:28; Eph 4:15-16; Acts 9:5). Therefore, the fullness of Christ's salvific mystery belongs also to the Church, inseparably united to her Lord. Indeed, Jesus Christ continues his presence and his work of salvation in the Church and by means of the Church (cf. Col 1:24-27),47 which is his body (cf. 1 Cor 12:12-13, 27; Col 1:18).48 And thus, just as the head and members of a living body, though not identical, are inseparable, so too Christ and the Church can neither be confused nor separated, and constitute a single “whole Christ”.49 This same inseparability is also expressed in the New Testament by the analogy of the Church as the Bride of Christ (cf. 2 Cor 11:2; Eph 5:25-29; Rev 21:2,9).50
Therefore, in connection with the unicity and universality of the salvific mediation of Jesus Christ, the unicity of the Church founded by him must be firmly believed as a truth of Catholic faith. Just as there is one Christ, so there exists a single body of Christ, a single Bride of Christ: “a single Catholic and apostolic Church”.51 Furthermore, the promises of the Lord that he would not abandon his Church (cf. Mt 16:18; 28:20) and that he would guide her by his Spirit (cf. Jn 16:13) mean, according to Catholic faith, that the unicity and the unity of the Church - like everything that belongs to the Church's integrity - will never be lacking.52
The Catholic faithful are required to profess that there is an historical continuity - rooted in the apostolic succession53 - between the Church founded by Christ and the Catholic Church: “This is the single Church of Christ... which our Saviour, after his resurrection, entrusted to Peter's pastoral care (cf. Jn 21:17), commissioning him and the other Apostles to extend and rule her (cf. Mt 28:18ff.), erected for all ages as 'the pillar and mainstay of the truth' (1 Tim 3:15). This Church, constituted and organized as a society in the present world, subsists in [subsistit in] the Catholic Church, governed by the Successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him
VI. THE CHURCH AND THE OTHER RELIGIONS
IN RELATION TO SALVATION
20. From what has been stated above, some points follow that are necessary for theological reflection as it explores the relationship of the Church and the other religions to salvation.
Above all else, it must be firmly believed that “the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and baptism (cf. Mk 16:16; Jn 3:5), and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through baptism as through a door”.77 This doctrine must not be set against the universal salvific will of God (cf. 1 Tim 2:4); “it is necessary to keep these two truths together, namely, the real possibility of salvation in Christ for all mankind and the necessity of the Church for this salvation”.78
The Church is the “universal sacrament of salvation”,79 since, united always in a mysterious way to the Saviour Jesus Christ, her Head, and subordinated to him, she has, in God's plan, an indispensable relationship with the salvation of every human being.80 For those who are not formally and visibly members of the Church, “salvation in Christ is accessible by virtue of a grace which, while having a mysterious relationship to the Church, does not make them formally part of the Church, but enlightens them in a way which is accommodated to their spiritual and material situation. This grace comes from Christ; it is the result of his sacrifice and is communicated by the Holy Spirit”;81 it has a relationship with the Church, which “according to the plan of the Father, has her origin in the mission of the Son and the Holy Spirit”.82........
Joseph Card. Ratzinger
Underlined bits mine. Hence I'm not a fan of Benedict.