When two months ago an interview given in October of last year by Benedict XVI to a Jesuit priest was published in Italy, some misguidedly “pious” Catholics took it to mean that the former Pope was returning to Traditional doctrine on the absolute need to belong to the Catholic Church for salvation. Alas, the interview shows in reality an unrepentant modernist measuring not modern man by Catholic Truth, but that Truth by what modern man can or cannot understand and accept. In fairness, the interviewer raised four serious questions, and Benedict did not dodge them. Here is another cruelly brief but not essentially unjust summary of the interview, with comments added in italics:—
Q: Does FAITH come through a community, which is in turn a gift of God?
A: Faith is a personal living contact with God, mediated through a living community, because in order to believe I need witnesses to God, i.e. the Church, which is not just a set of ideas (true, but a set of ideas is the very object of faith believed in. Benedict shares in modern subjectivism). Through the Church’s sacraments (in accordance with the Faith’s objective parameters) I enter into living contact with Christ .
Q: Can modern man understand Paul’s JUSTIFICATION by FAITH? (Notice modern man’s priority) A: For modern man, God cannot let most men suffer eternal damnation (same comment). The concern for personal salvation has mostly disappeared (so what? So the doctrine must change?). But modern man still perceives his own need of mercy, so he does know his own unworthiness. In fact he expects a saving love, which is God’s mercy, which justifies him (so man sins, expects God’s mercy, and that justifies him? This is sheer Protestantism!). On the contrary the classic idea of God the Father killing his own Son to satisfy his own justice is incomprehensible today. Rather, the Father and the Son had the same will (but Jesus as God and man had two wills!), and the mass of the world’s evil was overcome as it needed to be by God’s sharing in the world’s suffering, in which Father and Son shared alike (but the Father as God could not suffer, and only as man could Christ suffer! This new doctrine empties out the Incarnation, the Cross, mankind’s sin, God’s justice, our Redemption! What is left of Catholicism?).
Q: Has the Church’s teaching on HELL evolved in modern times?
A: “On this point we are faced with a profound evolution of dogma” (sic! But dogma cannot evolve. As a modern man, Benedict has no notion of a truth unchanging and unchangeable). “After Vatican II, the conviction that the unbaptised are forever lost was finally abandoned” (as though Vatican II could change Church teaching!). But then arises a problem – why still be a Christian (good question!)? Rahner’s solution of all men being anonymous Christians leaves out the drama of conversion (only “drama” – not “absolute necessity”?). The Pluralists’ solution whereby all religions suffice for salvation is inadequate (true). De Lubac’s solution is that Christ and the Church somehow stand in for all mankind, let us say by believing in, practising and suffering for the truth. At least a few souls are needed to do so.
Q: If evil must be repaired, does the sacrament of CONFESSION repair it?
A: Christ alone can repair evil, but Confession does always put us back on the side of Christ.
In view of such an interview, can any one still doubt that the Society of St Pius X leaders are seriously deluded who think the Society can safely put itself under these Romans? From humanism and Protestantism a false view of the Redemption has soaked into modern bones, and from modern bones finally into the Catholic churchmen. Vatican II teaches and preaches a Christianity without the Cross. It is highly popular, but utterly false. May God have mercy on these churchmen.