Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ratzinger on "the public status of [the Church's] image of man"

"A society that turns what is specifically human into something purely private and defines itself in terms of a complete secularity (which moreover inevitably becomes a pseudo-religion and a new all-embracing system that enslaves people)--this kind of society will of its nature be sorrowful, a place of despair: it rests on a diminution of human dignity. A society whose public order is consistently determined by agnosticism is not a society that has become free but a society that has despaired, marked by the sorrow of man who is fleeing from God and in contradiction with himself. A Church that did not have the courage to underline the public status of its image of man would no longer be the salt of the earth, the light of the world, the city set on a hill."

Joseph Ratzinger, The Yes of Jesus Christ: spiritual exercises in faith, hope and love (New York: Crossroad, 1991), 41, as quoted by Tracey Rowland, "Variations on the theme of Christian hope in the worlk of Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI," Communio: international Catholic review 35, no. 2 (Summer 2008): 220.