Thursday, December 01, 2005

Just when you were ready to give up on him

Today in his Wednesday audience, Papa Ratzi's reflections on Psalm 136 included an affirmation that those "without biblical faith" can be saved. Of course, that is the teaching of the Second Vatican Council in Lumen gentium, but I find it interesting that he comes up with this stuff from time to time. Many of those in the "Cardinal Ratzinger Fan Club"--both the official and the unofficial--wouldn't agree. Remember, this is the guy that wrote Dominus Iesus, an August 2000 instruction that referred to other religions as "gravely deficient"--not very nice.

I keep hoping that the reasonable Ratzinger, the incredibly incisive though conservative theologian, is going to find his pastoral stride. He's definitely not anywhere near there yet, although a visit to Bishop Dowling's AIDS clinic in Restenburg, South Africa might make a good start.

On another positive note, signs are that B16 might abolish limbo from Catholic teaching, especially since he obviously thinks that you can be saved without baptism. (I thought it was gone long ago.) Where will all those unbaptized baby souls go? They'll be homeless. Hate to be one of those to die unbaptized before they changed the teaching.

Oh, that's right. There was never any limbo in the first place. Of course, as a cardinal, Papa Ratzi said it was only a "theological hypothesis." Funny, though, how things once believed by most Catholics turn out to be only "hypotheses" when we decide they weren't very good ideas to begin with.


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