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Ratzinger's Dream for the Future Church

The following text is our English translation of an excerpt from Glaube und Zukunft (1970) in its 1971 Portuguese edition, titled Fe e Futuro (1971, pp. 76-78, bottom right). The book reproduces five lectures by Fr. Joseph Ratzinger given in 1969 at radios stations in Baviera and Hessen.

We selected this text where he expounded his progressivist dream for the Church of the future. Now that he is Pope, and since his convictions have not changed (click here), he probably will work to destroy the Church in this way.

"Let me go one step further. From today's crisis, a Church will emerge tomorrow that will have lost a great deal. She will be small and, to a large extent, will have to start from the beginning. She will no longer be able to fill many of the buildings created in her period of great splendor. Because of the smaller number of her followers, she will lose many of her privileges in society. Contrary to what has happened until now, she will present herself much more as a community of volunteers ....

"As a small community, she will demand much more from the initiative of each of her members and she will certainly also acknowledge new forms of ministry and will raise up to the priesthood proven Christians who have other jobs. In many smaller communities, respectively in social groups with some affinity, the normal care of souls will take place in this way

"There will be an interiorized Church, which neither takes advantage of its political mandate nor flirts with the left or the right. This will be achieved with effort because the process of crystallization and clarification will demand great exertion. It will make her poor and a Church of the little people .... All this will require time. The process will be slow and painful ....

"From this interiorized and simplified Church, a great force will pour out. The men of an [artificially] planned world will feel unspeakably isolated. When God will seem to have totally disappeared for them, they will experience a complete and horrible poverty. And then they will discover the small community of those who believe as something entirely new ....

"Her [the Church's] real crisis has hardly started. We still have to go through some great storms .... Certainly she will never again be the dominant force in society to the degree that she was until recently.
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Posted on May 5, 2005

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