How do I respond to this email from friend?


#1

Caridnal Ratzinger and SALVATION
ARE BELIEVERS OF OTHER RELIGIONS SAVED?
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger Responds

VATICAN CITY, SEP 5 (ZENIT.org).- "How is it possible to explain the unique character of Christ and of the Catholic Church to a Jew or a Lutheran, a reporter asked Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, during a press conference to present the “Dominus Iesus” declaration, which is concerned, precisely, with the unique and universal salvation of Christ and the Church.

Referring to a believing Jew, Cardinal Ratzinger clarified that “we are in agreement that a Jew, and this is true for believers of other religions, does not need to know or acknowledge Christ as the Son of God in order to be saved, if there are insurmountable impediments, of which he is not blameworthy, to preclude it. However, the fact that the Son of God entered history, made himself part of history, and is present as a reality in history, affects everyone.” http://www.rr-bb.com/images/smilies/faint.gif

The German Cardinal continued “I think it is important to explain that Christ did not go away to heaven, but has remained in history.” http://www.rr-bb.com/images/smilies/doh.gif Because of this, “we can say that the hidden and real presence of Christ in history affects us all, even those who are opposed or cannot encounter Christ. This is a reality that transforms history; it is something important for others, without violating their conscience.”

In speaking of the universal character of the Church’s salvation with a Lutheran, Cardinal Ratzinger said that "we all recognize objectively that the Church should be one, and we should all desire to find ourselves in a renewed Catholic Church http://www.rr-bb.com/images/smilies/shocked.gif on the road toward the future.

However, this objective necessity must be distinguished from the **state of conscience of persons who learn their faith in their community and are nourished by the world of God in it." This state of conscience **impedes some Christians from understanding the importance and necessity of unicity and the unity of the Church.


#2

What is the question?

John


#3

I got the email with the quote yesterday from my friend. I’m assuming that she is trying to tell me from this that our new pope is not saved and doesn’t believe in the necessity to accept Jesus as Saviour in order to be saved. I guess I don’t know how to respond to her. I’m still learning. I accepted Christ as my personal Lord and Saviour years ago and have never doubted that it was a requirement for salvation.

My question is, is he saying that accepting Jesus as Saviour is not necessary?


#4

[quote=Marysgirl]I got the email with the quote yesterday from my friend. I’m assuming that she is trying to tell me from this that our new pope is not saved and doesn’t believe in the necessity to accept Jesus as Saviour in order to be saved. I guess I don’t know how to respond to her. I’m still learning. I accepted Christ as my personal Lord and Saviour years ago and have never doubted that it was a requirement for salvation.

My question is, is he saying that accepting Jesus as Saviour is not necessary?
[/quote]

Not only does the Holy Father accept Jesus as his saviour, he consumes His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity on a daily basis. Fundamentalists tend to need to let the world know that they have “accepted Jesus into their hearts as personal Lord and Saviour” because they have nothing else to go by.

Every time you, the Holy Father, as well as myself receive Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, we are accepting Jesus into our hearts all over again!!!

God Bless His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI!!!
Pope John Paul the Great…pray for us!!!


#5

[quote=Marysgirl]My question is, is he saying that accepting Jesus as Saviour is not necessary?
[/quote]

Yes and no. Here’s an example: before the Americas were discovered, there were many people who lived and died without ever hearing of Jesus. These people were invincibly ignorant of Him. It was not their fault that they didn’t “accept Jesus as their Savior.” If they followed the graces God sent them and followed the law written on all of our hearts they could be saved.

That being said, if one knows or should know (ie their pride prevents them from accepting the truth) that faith in Jesus is required for salvation, then that person must have faith in Him to be saved.

To take this a step further, the Church teaches that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church. In the same way, if someone is not Catholic through no fault of their own, they can still be saved through the Church, without even knowing it:thumbsup: .

Oh, and only God can judge whether someone is at fault or not for remaining outside the visible Church.


#6

Marysgirl:

There will not be one “zinger” that will change your friend’s heart. Only know that God changes people’s hearts and we just try our best to help out. Your friend has a preconcieved notion that we must “accept” Christ as our Lord and Savior in order to be saved. But what does that mean? How does one “accept”? Your friend has the notion that something we do merits our salvation, when in fact it is something Christ did that merited our salvation.

You have or probably are debating with your friend about faith saving a person, or works saving a person, or both that saves. In actuality, it is grace that saves a person. God can grant sanctifying grace to whomever he wishes, regardless of their faith belief. Why, because he is God.

If you go to the main www.catholic.com page, there are tons of references to the Catholic view of salvation that expresses the teaching of the Church in a much better way than I can.


#7

I’d ask your friend, “What’s the point?” You nor anyone else here can say what is in that’s person’s mind; we can only speculate.

Beyond that, I’d say the answers here are pretty Catholic. Seems to me, the questioner was really trying to pin the cardinal down, put him into a corner where there would be no acceptable answer. No matter what answer, the then-cardinal gave, someone would be upset. It may be the most difficult question in theology to address. In the end, however, only God judges.


#8

The difficulty your friend (and you) are having is in not understanding in what context the cardinal was speaking. You need to understand that he is not saying that Jesus is not necessary for salvation. The Church most emphatically does not teach that. What he is referring to is the fact that all of humanity was redeemed by Christ’s death on the cross and so may be saved. It is in and through Christ’s redemption alone that anyone may be saved, believer and non-believer alike, as he describes it.

IOW, Christ is the means of salvation for every person through his redemption. What is required is baptism. And there are 3 forms of baptism that impart saving grace: by water (the usual way for those for whom it is available), by blood (martyrdom) and by desire (for those who would have believed/entered the Church if they had had the opportunity to do so). Of course, no one who knowingly and with full will commits mortal sin will be saved, but even so, that person has been redeemed by Christ because he redeemed all men by his death on the cross.


#9

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