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.