Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Dominus Iesus - An Interview with the former Cardinal Ratzinger, now Benedict XVI

Gerald Augustinus has a series of posts today covering the declaration:

The Sovereign Pontiff John Paul II, at the Audience of June 16, 2000, granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, with sure knowledge and by his apostolic authority, ratified and confirmed this Declaration, adopted in Plenary Session and ordered its publication.

Rome, from the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, August 6, 2000, the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord.

He presents for us an interview which was done with the then Cardinal Ratzinger on this subject. Here is just one excerpt:

(Interviewer)But the question remains: since, as you have said, salvation can be achieved through every path, provided that one lives according to one's conscience, does mission then not lose its theological urgency? For what else can be meant by the thesis of the "Intimate and objective connection" between non-Catholic paths of salvation and Christ, if not that Christ himself makes superfluous the distinction between a "full" and "deficient" truth of salvation, since, if he is present as the instrument of salvation, he is always and logically "fully" present.

(Ratzinger)I did not say that salvation can be achieved by every path. The way of conscience, the keeping of one's gaze focused on truth and the objective good, is one single way, although it can take many forms because of the great number of individuals and situations. The good is one, however, and truth does not contradict itself. The fact that man does not attain one or the other does not relativize the requirement of truth and goodness. For this reason it is not enough to continue in the religion one has inherited, but one must remain attentive to the true good and thus be able to transcend the limits of one's own religion. This has meaning only if truth and goodness really exist. It would be impossible to walk the way of Christ if he did not exist. Living with the eyes of the heart open, purifying oneself inwardly and seeking the light are indispensable conditions of human salvation. Proclaiming the truth, that is, making the light shine (not putting it "under a bushel, but on a stand"), is absolutely necessary.

You can get to this interview on "The Cafeteria is Closed", and more on Dominus Iesus here, including insight from Pope John Paul II.