Cardinal Müller: “Ratzinger was never a man of power, but a humble servant of Christ”


Joseph Ratzinger was a great scholar of the classical German university tradition. But that shouldn’t invoke the stereotype of the unworldly professor. As a leading expert on Augustine, he knew his theology of history in “De Civitate DEI,” where all the cruelties and inhumanities of ancient Roman imperialism were discussed.

YoEven as a young man, he experienced how totalitarian thinking, atheistic Nazi ideology, put people under wheels. “Humanism without God” (Henri de Lubac) is doomed to fail from the outset with the project of a supposed paradise on earth without belief in the divine creator and redeemer.

communist socialism, nationalist fascism and contemporary posthumanism with its anti-life ideology of infanticide (abortion) and euthanasia are the causes of all the unhappiness and despair of modern man. That is why Pope Benedict, in his spiritual testament, called us to remain faithful to the faith in Jesus Christ, the only true Savior of the world.

Without God there is no meaningful and full humanity. Limiting our horizon to the merely earthly is a crime against the spiritual nature of man, who wonders about the recreated reason for his contingent existence. However, Episcopal theologian and pastor Joseph Ratzinger knew that the mission of the church goes far beyond the earthly and political and points from God to the eternal salvation of all and of all peoples.

And only then will a civilizing and humanizing power emanate from the Christian faith for the coexistence of peoples in states and in the community of nations. The universal salvific will of God is opposed to the selfish and unbridled “will to power” (Nietzsche). But spiritual authority in the Church of God is of a completely different nature than political power itself in democratic constitutional states and, of course, even more so in autocratic dictatorships, which claim absolute power over the thoughts, words and feelings of the people. people.

The Church that the Son of the living God builds on Peter and his followers in Rome is in the name of Christ, of the Good Shepherd, at the service of the salvation of men in the word of the Gospel and in the holy sacraments, which give us the royal grace of Christ. It would be an abuse of spiritual authority to use it in a political sense as a struggle for influence and advantage. There is nothing worse than careerism and favoritism in the Church (ie, calling unsuitable candidates to ministerial positions in order to secure one’s power and control).

In his priestly spirituality, Joseph Ratzinger was never a man of power, but always a humble servant of Christ in the Lord’s vineyard. The intellectual discussion was always at the level of intellectual honesty and without airs or grandeur. In his trilogy of Jesus and the three encyclicals on love, hope and faith gave us the key to understanding his complete works, which I edited in the 16 volumes of the writings collected at the Pope Benedict Institute in Regensburg.

Truth is not a state of things in which we are in relation to possession, but the person of Christ, in whom the uncreated truth of God is revealed to us as salvation and life. The Pope Benedict XVI He will go down in history as one of the great thinkers of our time and as the Pope who studied the Petrine Chair. in which the uncreated truth of God is revealed to us as salvation and life.

Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller

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Cardinal Müller: “Ratzinger was never a man of power, but a humble servant of Christ”