The Ratzinger Option Happening Now?
" We live in a time of dissolution, in which natural and traditional ties are growing thinner, and also in a time of consolidation – in which all life is being absorbed by a global economic machine. The results, of course, are becoming less and less livable for most people.

The Church is presented with an opportunity. She is still what she has always been, and as long as she presents what she is, people will continue to find in her what they are missing. As Peter asked, “Where else is there to go?”

Then I noticed that then-Father Joseph Ratzinger said the same thing fifty years ago in a short radio address he presented on Christmas Day in 1969. He told his listeners:

Men in a totally planned world will find themselves unspeakably lonely. If they have completely lost sight of God, they will feel the whole horror of their poverty. Then they will discover the little flock of believers as something wholly new." Continue in link
A good read and also has it in speech setting in case you don’t feel like using the eyes --:sunglasses:


I think the idea is quietly circulating in the Church today, and we are moving toward that time. If I recall correctly, Archbishop Charles Chaput wrote a similar thesis in his book, Strangers in a Strange Land: Living the Catholic Faith in a Post-Christian World, and I think I’ve seen it somewhere else as well.

By the way, your second link is not working. This is the correct link to the article on Fr. Ratzinger’s 1969 radio address:


Regrets I don’t know how to fix that – thanks


thanks for sharing :slight_smile: !!


He is one of my favorite Popes !


Thank you for for starting an interesting thread and posting this! I’ll have to study this further.

Honestly, I’d go farther and ask “Why don’t we embrace the fact that it is this time now and begin to work with this reality?”

What is holding us back from embracing this reality?


A question raised to ponder.

The following conversation has already occurred on Reddit with regards to mediation:

Now lets be clear. For this to work, the focus is on what we have over others.

We Have:
  • Structure to God
  • The opportunity to socialize where mediation would not.
  • Mindfulness may not be as social as potluck.
  • More that I can not think of right now, that you may have thought of.

Although we have THE TRUTH, that is not enough, why isn’t everyone Catholic?

What other chance do we have?

(only denial…disavowing the unavoidable)

The problem with the remnant is they’ll find themselves -given society at large is individualistic- in a position where reaching out to each other will be the major challenge.

hey @jack63 remember the 3 temptations of Jesus in the desert ? Money, power and fame…Ratzinger mentioned the church to come won’t be able to rely on its political power (so we’ll have to rely on something more spiritual…)

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Hey @Divine3 we do have democracy…If things get too tough history shows folks go for populist dictators (that’s why the whole of Europe went Fascist in the 30’s.)

But the problem you are raising, in political terms, is no problem at all !! Come next election vote out however isn’t taking the right action. And yes, State can impose taxes on profits and balance social justice - they can also regulate the labor market.

Who is the “us” that you think is being held back?

If you mean “us” individually, nothing is formally holding us back, but we may be effectively held back by either fear of the unknown or the lack of a clear vision of how an individual can move forward.

If you mean “us” at the organizational level, then we are held back by politics, group inertia, and the complex and uncertain dynamics of emerging movements.

What do you think “is holding us back from embracing this reality?”


I read the article a few more times. There is both a call to individuals here and a call to groups. I actually think the call and requests being made by Pope Benedict to groups of Catholics will be harder to realize. When I say groups of Catholics this could be Catholic organizations that are either lay or clerical, the combined opinions of many Catholics, or the entire clerical structure.

1st he basically says the church should be a lot less political. I agree. I struggle with why the Catholic church wants to involve itself in confusing and complicated political debate on both the left and right. It seems that we lose valuable spiritual capital in doing this. However, many organizations still want a political church.

2nd He is predicting a different clerical structure and a different type of priest. The is very relevant to discussions even today. Many Catholics push back against this.

3rd He talks about a diminished church where we lose “privileges”. It seems like many people are still fighting for those old “privileges” instead of spreading the gospel.

These are the types of things I think are holding “us” back :slightly_smiling_face::face_with_monocle::sunglasses:


Vote? Yes, I will vote.

I will vote for John the Baptist. I hear he is running for 2020. He tells it like it is and isn’t afraid of the Word “tolerance”, or “a woman’s reproductive rights” but he will have to be careful of mother’s with daughters who will do anything that mommy says …even if it means chopping someone’s head off. :open_mouth:

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@Beryllos the one thing “holding us back” the pope does mention is sheer scarcity in educated/catechized Catholics. He says:

There are 3 sentences.

The 1st says the mentioned must have felt their poverty (they must have reached a point where they aren’t SATED with all else.)

Then the 2nd phrase, it’s been my experience that most baptized in their 30’s and 20’s haven’t heard a single catholic giving testimony in over a decade. It would be nice if I’d encounter more knowledgeable practicing Catholics in my daily life.

The 3rd sentence has both groups coming together. Bringing Christ to the center of our lives should entail meeting others in Christ, and unfortunately Catholic gatherings are ever more rare.


There are many laity that are great witnesses of the faith. They are the shining lights in the darkness. They meet together in small groups and serve God and their neighbor. The secular media doesn’t have a clue how strong in faith and family values these people are. They are hidden like the family of Nazareth but are striving to build community. The secular media has an agenda ,it reeks of relativism and other lies. I believe we are headed for persecution and Jesus promised us that if we are persecuted for his name…how blessed we will be. The mother of God is with us and prayer can change hearts as well as give courage to embrace our crosses daily. Alleluia…He is risen.


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