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Pope Benedict XVI

Born Joseph Alois Ratzinger.
He is 265th Pope, the Bishop of Rome,
the Sovereign of the Vatican City State and
the leader of the Catholic Church as well as 22 autonomous Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the Holy See.

Born: 16 April 1927; Marktl, Bavaria, Germany
Died: 31 December 2022 (aged 95); Mater Ecclesiae Monastery, Vatican City

Pope:  19 April 2005 — 28 February 2013
Cardinal:  27 June 1977
Bishop:  24 March 1977
Priest: 29 June 1951

Cardinal Ratzinger:

30 November 2002     — became Dean of the College of Cardinals, the first among the cardinals. He was the first Dean of the College elected Pope since 1555.
1998     — elected sub-dean of the College of Cardinals. He was the first Dean of the College elected Pope since 1555.
5 April 1993     — was assigned the honorific title of the cardinal bishop of Velletri-Segni. (The first cardinal bishop elected Pope since 1829)
25 November 1981     — elected Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, one of the most important offices of the Roman Curia, previously known as the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition.
1977     24 March — Archbishop of Munich und Freising, Germany,
27 June — Cardinal-Priest of Santa Maria Consolatrice al Tiburtino(appointed by Pius VI).
1972     — founded the theological journal "Communio" (a prominent journal of contemporary Catholic theological thought) with Hans Urs von Balthasar and others, now published in seventeen languages.
1966     — a chair in dogmatic theology at the University of Tübingen. Ratzinger has continued to defend the work of the Second Vatican Council, including Nostra Aetate, the document on respect of other religions, ecumenism and the declaration of the right to freedom of religion. Despite his reformist bent, his views increasingly came to contrast with the liberal ideas gaining currency in theological circles.
1963     — a professor at the University of Münster.
1959     — a professor at the University of Bonn.
1958     — a professor of Freising College. His Habilitation (which qualified him for a professorship) was on Bonaventure.
1953     — his dissertation was on St. Augustine and was titled "The People and the House of God in Augustine's Doctrine of the Church".
29 June 1951     — ordained in Freising by Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber of Munich.
1945—1951     — studying at Saint Michael Seminary in Traunstein, then at the Ducal Georgianum (Herzogliches Georgianum) of the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich (Theology and Philosophy).
    Benedict XVI on Wiki   

The pontificates of the last Popes

John Paul II October 16, 1978  —  April 2, 2005
Benedict XVI April 19, 2005  —  February 28, 2013
Francis March 13, 2013  —  
Peter the Roman 
  —  March 18, 2032

“In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph”

[Mary], you promised the three children of Fatima that ‘in the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph’. May it be so! May love triumph over hatred, solidarity over division, and peace over every form of violence! May the love you bore your Son teach us to love God with all our heart, strength and soul. May the Almighty show us his mercy, strengthen us with his power, and fill us with every good thing (cf. Lk 1:6-56).

Pope Benedict XVI at Caritas Baby Hospital in Bethlehem, Wednesday 13 May 2009
Cited in: The Fatima Message and the Problem of False Obedience

He read the Text of the Third Secret

Until her death, Lúcia dos Santos, the last surviving of the three Fatima visionaries, was forbidden to discuss the Fatima revelations publicly unless given leave by Cardinal Ratzinger. He was one of seven people known to have read the actual Third Message put into writing in 1944, and is the author of the Theological Commentary on the Third Message, published with the message itself in 2000.[Ratzinger and Fatima, Joseph Ratzinger as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith]

Dangers threatening the Faith and the Life of the Christian

In 1984, an interview with Ratzinger was published in the Pauline Sisters newsletter and has name: «Here is Why the Faith is in Crisis». It stated that the message deals with "dangers threatening the faith and the life of the Christian and therefore of the world", while stating that it marks the beginning of the end-times. A year later, the interview was re-published in The Ratzinger Report, although several statements were omitted. (“dangers threatening the faith and the life of the Christian and therefore of the world”).[Published Testimony: Cardinal Ratzinger (November 1984)]

One of the four sections of the Congregation (for the Doctrine of the Faith) concerns itself with Marian apparitions;

“Cardinal Ratzinger, have you read what is called the Third Secret of Fatima: i.e., the one that Sister Lucia had sent to Pope John XXIII and which the latter did not wish to make known and consigned to the Vatican archives?” (In reply, Cardinal Ratzinger said:)

“Yes, I have read it,” (which frank response provoked a further question:)

“Why has it not been revealed?" (To this the Cardinal gave the following most instructive reply:)

“Because, according to the judgement of the Popes, it adds nothing (literally: 'nothing different') to what a Christian must know concerning what derives from Revelation: i.e., a radical call for conversion; the absolute importance of history; the dangers threatening the faith and the life of the Christian, and therefore of the world. And then the importance of the 'novissimi' (the last events at the end of time). If it is not made public — at least for the time being — it is in order to prevent religious prophecy from being mistaken for a quest for the sensational (literally: 'for sensationalism'). But the things contained in this 'Third Secret' correspond to what has been announced in Scripture and has been said again and again in many other Marian apparitions, first of all that of Fatima in what is already known of what its message contains. Conversion and penitence are the essential conditions for 'salvation'.”

Published Testimony: Cardinal Ratzinger (November 1984)

A Dictatorship of Relativism

Today, having a clear faith based on the Creed of the Church is often labeled as fundamentalism. Whereas relativism, that is, letting oneself be «tossed here and there, carried about by every wind of doctrine», seems the only attitude that can cope with modern times. We are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one's own ego and desires.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
Homily of the Dean of the College of Cardinals
at the Mass for the Election of the Roman Pontiff
Vatican Basilica. Monday 18 April 2005

As the Roman Empire in decline

Excita, Domine, potentiam tuam, et veni. Repeatedly during the season of Advent the Church’s liturgy prays in these or similar words. They are invocations that were probably formulated as the Roman Empire was in decline. The disintegration of the key principles of law and of the fundamental moral attitudes underpinning them burst open the dams which until that time had protected peaceful coexistence among peoples. The sun was setting over an entire world. Frequent natural disasters further increased this sense of insecurity. There was no power in sight that could put a stop to this decline. All the more insistent, then, was the invocation of the power of God: the plea that he might come and protect his people from all these threats.

Excita, Domine, potentiam tuam, et veni. Today too, we have many reasons to associate ourselves with this Advent prayer of the Church. For all its new hopes and possibilities, our world is at the same time troubled by the sense that moral consensus is collapsing, consensus without which juridical and political structures cannot function. Consequently the forces mobilized for the defence of such structures seem doomed to failure.

Pope Benedict XVI
Christmas Greetins to the Roman Curia
Sala Regia. Monday, 20 December 2010

Sin within the Church

As for the new things which we can find in this message today, there is also the fact that attacks on the Pope and the Church come not only from without, but the sufferings of the Church come precisely from within the Church, from the sin existing within the Church. This too is something that we have always known, but today we are seeing it in a really terrifying way: that the greatest persecution of the Church comes not from her enemies without, but arises from sin within the Church, and that the Church thus has a deep need to relearn penance, to accept purification, to learn forgiveness on the one hand, but also the need for justice. Forgiveness does not replace justice.

Pope Benedict XVI
Interview of Benedict XVI during the flight to Portugal
Tuesday, 11 May 2010

The faith is in danger of dying out

In our days, when in vast areas of the world the faith is in danger of dying out like a flame which no longer has fuel, the overriding priority is to make God present in this world and to show men and women the way to God. Not just any god, but the God who spoke on Sinai; to that God whose face we recognize in a love which presses "to the end" (cf. Jn 13:1) — in Jesus Christ, crucified and risen. The real problem at this moment of our history is that God is disappearing from the human horizon, and, with the dimming of the light which comes from God, humanity is losing its bearings, with increasingly evident destructive effects.

Pope Benedict XVI
Letter to All the Bishops of the World
March 10, 2009

The very future of the world is at stake

…moral consensus is collapsing, consensus without which juridical and political structures cannot function. Consequently the forces mobilized for the defence of such structures seem doomed to failure. … Only if there is such a consensus on the essentials can constitutions and law function. This fundamental consensus derived from the Christian heritage is at risk wherever its place, the place of moral reasoning, is taken by the purely instrumental rationality of which I spoke earlier. In reality, this makes reason blind to what is essential. To resist this eclipse of reason and to preserve its capacity for seeing the essential, for seeing God and man, for seeing what is good and what is true, is the common interest that must unite all people of good will. The very future of the world is at stake.

Pope Benedict XVI
Christmas greetings to the Roman Curia
Monday, 20 December 2010

Shepherds for the whole world

Benedict XVI’s new reflections came in an April 21 letter to Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who served as his Secretary of State from 2006 to 2013. A summary of the letter was published in the May 10 edition of the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

The Pope emeritus wrote that “the service of a shepherd cannot be only limited only to the Church,” even though “in the first place, we are entrusted with the care of the faithful and of those who are directly seeking faith.”

The Church, he maintained, “is part of the world, and therefore it can properly play its service only if it takes care of the world in its entirety.”

According to Benedict XVI, the “Word of God concerns the totality of reality, and this actuality places on the Church a general responsibility.” This is the reason why the Church “must be involved in the efforts that humanity and society put into action” for a path toward justice and why the Church must “find a way of reasoning” that would also include non-believers.

“Pastoral care does not just deal with the fact that we in the Church provide to the faithful the service of the Sacraments and of the announcement of the Gospel,” Benedict XVI wrote.

Pastoral care, he explained, “definitely includes the intellectual dimension.” That means that “only if we share the perspective and questions of our times we will be able to understand the Word of God in present times.”

Benedict XVI added that “only if we (shepherds) take part in the opportunity and needs of our times, will the Sacraments reach out to men with their actual strength.”

Andrea Gagliarducci
In rare new letter, Benedict XVI seeks shepherds for the whole world.
(May 12, 2015)
Monday, 20 December 2010

The Antichrist belongs to the Church

In 2015, Benedict XVI wrote letter to Catholic statesman Vladimir Palko, urging prayer against the 'expanding power of the Antichrist'.

… Pope Emeritus makes some striking claims.

The sentence reads as follows: “We see how the power of the Antichrist is expanding, and we can only pray that the Lord will give us strong shepherds who will defend his church in this hour of need from the power of evil.”

In German it reads like this: “Man sieht, wie die Macht des Antichrist sich ausbreitet, und kann nur beten, dass der Herr uns kraftvolle Hirten schenkt, die seine Kirche in dieser Stunde der Not gegen die Macht des Bösen verteidigen.”

The consequence of this radical thesis, which divides and at the same time unites a Church of the wicked and a Church of the just, is, according to Ratzinger, that the Church is, until the Last Judgment, both Church of Christ and Church of the Antichrist: “From this it follows that the Antichrist belongs to the Church, grows in it and with it up to the great discessio [separation], which will be introduced by the definitive revelatio”.

Benedict is saying that there is no such thing as a spiritual vacuum. If people should one day reject Christianity, then they would come to hate it, and that would usher in the reign of Antichrist, and “the (perverted) end of all things”. No wonder Ratzinger was so apocalyptic!

Now Kant considers the possibility that as well as the natural end of all things there may be another that is unnatural, a perverse end. He writes in this connection: “If Christianity should one day cease to be worthy of love ... then the prevailing mode in human thought would be rejection and opposition to it; and the Antichrist ... would begin his—albeit short—regime (presumably based on fear and self-interest); but then, because Christianity, though destined to be the world religion, would not in fact be favoured by destiny to become so, then, in a moral respect, this could lead to the (perverted) end of all things”[18].

[18] I. Kant, Das Ende aller Dinge, in Werke VI, ed. W. Weischedel (1964), p.190.

Pope Benedict XVI

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