What are we to make of Ratzinger? Preliminary considerations.
Benedict XVI is being portrayed by the media and hailed by Novus Ordo conservatives (and even some traditionalists) as a doctrinal hard-liner, opposed to moral relativism, who’s going to crack down on abuses and get the Church back on a more “traditional” track.
He is intellectually brilliant, a convincing speaker and highly cultured — and even seems to favor certain traditional liturgical practices.
These impressions raise false hopes and lead to the type of fuzzy thinking that may well lure some unwary traditional Catholics into the clutches of the modernists’ Ecumenical One-World Church.
The words of Benedict XVI on April 20, 2005, — his first day on the job — should dispel any illusions. In his first official address, Benedict declared his “firm and certain will” to continue implementing Vatican II, especially ecumenism, which he called “a fundamental cause he will do everything to promote.” Later that day, he fired off a letter to the Chief Rabbi of Rome, promising “to continue the dialogue and strengthen the collaboration” with the Jews. At his April 24 “inauguration Mass” — formerly popes were crowned with a three-fold crown — Protestant heretics and Orthodox schismatics had places of honor next to (nominally) Catholic bishops.
Are traditional Catholics supposed to “wait and see” what this man stands for? Should they hold their breath and hope he’ll allow more traditional Latin Masses — even as he’s busily selling out our Catholic faith to heretics, schismatics and Jews?
Here are a few essential points, offered to clarify these issues:
1. Ratzinger the Modernist.
The suit-and-tie-clad Joseph Ratzinger was one of the key modernist theologians at Vatican II — part of the heretical cabal that included Rahner, Küng, Schillebeeckx and Baum. Ratzinger and company were responsible for hijacking the Council and turning it into the engine of doctrinal, moral and liturgical revolution that would destroy the Church.
Later, as cardinal and head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under John Paul II, Ratzinger produced or approved numerous official doctrinal statements and declarations that contained either doctrinal error or actual heresies.
His Joint Declaration with the Lutherans sold out to protestantism the Council of Trent’s teaching on justification. In another case, Ratzinger approved as valid of a rite of Mass that did not even contain the words of Consecration.
2. Ratzinger’s One-World Church Heresy
The largest category of the Ratzinger/JP2 heresies, however, repudiated the “oneness” of the Catholic Church that we profess each Sunday in the Creed — Credo in unam ecclesiam.
The Catholic teaching is this: The Church of Christ is the Roman Catholic Church, which is the unique means of salvation in the world. Any religion outside of the Roman Catholic Church, whether Greek Orthodox, Protestants, Jews, etc., despite whatever truths they may possess, or even valid sacraments, are false religions and are not means of salvation,
The Ratzinger/JP2 declarations envision instead a Church as “communion” — a type of ecumenical, one-world church to which Catholics, schismatics and heretics all belong, each possessing “elements” of Church of Christ, either “fully” (Catholics) or “partially” (heretics and schismatics). Having all the “elements” is best — but having just a few is pretty good too.
Membership in the Church of Christ then becomes something like the “Happy Meal” for children at McDonald’s: The Happy Meal is present in “fullness” to a child who has the food, drink and toy in the Ronald McDonald box. But you can just order the same burger, small fries and drink to give your child a “partial” Happy Meal, too. It’s still food and the “elements” of the meal are just as nourishing, even though your child doesn’t get the “fullness” of having the toy and the box.
The principal heresies Ratzinger has taught about the Church include the following:
1. Schismatic and/or heretical churches are part of the Church of Christ.
2. It is possible to be part of the Church of Christ without being subject to the Roman Pontiff.
3. In every valid celebration of the Eucharist, even by schismatics, the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church becomes present.
4. The Holy Ghost uses schismatic and/or heretical sects and means of salvation.
Bishop Donald Sanborn (of Most Holy Trinity Seminary) and Don Francesco Ricossa (of the Institute Mater Boni Consilli), almost alone among traditionalist writers, have picked up on and exposed in great detail Ratzinger’s heresies about the Church of Christ.
We urge you to study their articles which are posted on: www.traditionalmass.org
Ratzinger has professed and developed other heresies as well: that the nature of the Church “evolves,” that Catholics do not have the whole truth about God and must “dialogue” with others to find it, etc. etc. We are planning studies of these too.
3. Heresy Puts a Catholic Outside the Church.
Joseph Ratzinger may indeed, like John Paul II, take a “Catholic” line on many doctrinal or disciplinary issues (contraception, abortion, Marian devotion, women priests, the Eucharist, or even allowing more traditional Latin Masses)
But for us, none of this should ultimately make any difference, because we’re in this fight not just for the Mass, but for the faith.
And the Catholic faith is an all-or-nothing proposition. Just as one mortal sin destroys the life of grace in the soul, so one heresy puts you outside the Church.
Joseph Ratzinger is a heretic, elected by heretics who were themselves all appointed by a heretic.
All these men adhered to the heresies of the post-Vatican II establishment. Put ‘em in a bag, shake ‘em up, and they all come out the same.
So it matters not that alongside their heresies Benedict XVI and company also promote some Catholic doctrines or tolerate some forms of Catholic worship.
4. A Heretic Cannot Be a True Pope.
Finally, a heretic cannot be validly elected pope. Pre-Vatican II canonists and theologians taught that this was a matter of divine law.
One pope even made legal provisions to deal with such a situation. In 1559 Pope Paul IV promulgated a law (Cum ex Apostolatus Officio) declaring the election of a heretic to the papal office to be “null, legally invalid and void.” The possibility of a heretic being elected to the Throne of Peter, then, can hardly be called far-fetched; popes don’t make laws for nothing.
The reasoning in both cases is this: Because public heresy puts a Catholic outside the Church, he then becomes incapable of commanding Catholics within the Church. In the case of a pope, he cannot become the head of the Mystical Body on earth if due to heresy he himself has ceased to a member of it.
We have posted quotes from the canonists, theologians and popes who deal with this issue at: http://traditionalmass.org/issues/#e Read and study them.
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Benedict XVI, in sum, is more of the same: More Vatican II, more ecumenism, more modernism, more heresy, more years of a false pope intruded onto Peter’s Throne
So don’t be fooled if, at the same time he is busy selling out the Catholic faith to heretics and schismatics, Benedict XVI offers you a nice, reverent traditional Latin Mass to attend next to them in his ecumenical, One-World Church.
Our only answer must be the phrase of the Creed: — credo in unam ecclesiam — I believe in one Church of Christ — not ecumenical, but Catholic.
That, and the Psalm recited at the Reconciliation of a Violated Church: Exsurgat Deus et disspentur inimici ejus — let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered.
(Sermon, Cincinnati, 24 April 2005)