Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) Quotes

Here are some quotes from Pope Benedict XVI prior to becoming pope. After reading them, I think I'm going to like this guy.

"We are moving toward a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goal one's own ego and one's own desires," the future 256th pope said. The church, he insisted, must defend itself against threats such as "radical individualism" and "vague religious mysticism."

"Concrete acts that enter souls and move consciences are needed."

"Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the church, is often labeled today as a fundamentalism... Whereas relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and 'swept along by every wind of teaching,' looks like the only attitude acceptable to today's standards.

"We have such difficulty understanding this renunciation (celibacy-the renunciation of marriage) today because the relationship to marriage and children has clearly shifted. To have to die without children was once synonymous with a useless life: the echoes of my own life die away, and I am completely dead. If I have children, then I continue to live in them; it's a sort of immortality through posterity...The renunciation of marriage and family is thus to be understood in terms of this vision: I renounce what, humanly speaking, is not only the most normal but also the most important thing. I forego bringing forth further life on the tree of life, and I live in the faith that my land is really God -- and so I make it easier for others, also, to believe that there is a kingdom of heaven. I bear witness to Jesus Christ, to the gospel, not only with words, but also with this specific mode of existence, and I place my life in this form at his disposal."

"If we cannot have common values, common truths, sufficient communication on the essentials of human life--how to live, how to respond to the great challenges of human life--then true society becomes impossible."

"The authority of private revelations is essentially different from that of the definitive public Revelation. The latter demands faith; in it in fact God himself speaks to us through human words and the mediation of the living community of the Church. Faith in God and in his word is different from any other human faith, trust or opinion. The certainty that it is God who is speaking gives me the assurance that I am in touch with truth itself. It gives me a certitude which is beyond verification by any human way of knowing. It is the certitude upon which I build my life and to which I entrust myself in dying. Private revelation is a help to this faith, and shows its credibility precisely by leading me back to the definitive public Revelation."

"The criterion for the truth and value of a private revelation is therefore its orientation to Christ himself. When it leads us away from him, when it becomes independent of him or even presents itself as another and better plan of salvation, more important than the Gospel, then it certainly does not come from the Holy Spirit, who guides us more deeply into the Gospel and not away from it. This does not mean that a private revelation will not offer new emphases or give rise to new devotional forms, or deepen and spread older forms. But in all of this there must be a nurturing of faith, hope and love, which are the unchanging path to salvation for everyone."


Here's the funny part.

Evelyn Strauch, a 54-year-old housewife from Ratzinger's home state of Bavaria, buried her head in her hands and wept.

"This can't be true," she said. "I had hoped so much that we would get a good pope who would do something for women. ... This is so terrible."

I find it funny that we expect the church to do what we want rather than what God wants. I know it is difficult to distinguish at times, but we need to be in the word and be people of prayer in order to discern the truth.