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Fr. Ratzinger:
Only Love is Necessary for Salvation, Not Faith


Basing himself on a hypertrophied role of charity, Fr. Joseph Ratzinger denied the importance of the Faith for salvation. This is, by the way, one of the premises of the “theology of communion.” When someone loves and is an object of love, he becomes an “incognito of God” – an expression that translates a concept analogous to Rahner’s “anonymous Christian.”

At right, the cover of The End of the Church as Perfect Society, below right, photocopies from the original Italian; below left, our translation of the highlighted text.


What is necessary for a man to be Christian? ... The first response is: He who has love has everything. Love is sufficient in itself and nothing else is necessary. This becomes clear in the conversation of Jesus with the doctors of the law (Mt. 25:31-46), in which the Judge of the world does not ask each one what he believes, thinks or understands, but judges him simply and solely according to the measure of his love.

The "sacrament of the neighbor" appears as the only requisite for salvation; our neighbor himself becomes that ‘incognito of God’ (Congar) in whom each one’s "destiny" is decided. Man is not saved because he knows the name of the Lord (Mt. 7:21); what he is asked is to encounter, in a human way, God hidden in man.

(Joseph Ratzinger, "Necessità della missione della Chiesa nel mondo," in V.A. La fine della Chiesa come società perfetta, Verona: Mondatori, 1968, p. 71)

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Posted on July 28, 2007


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