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Benedict XVI and Relativism in the Life of the Church
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s homily during the Mass for electing a Roman Pontiff on April 18, 2005, gave a clear description of the Church’s doctrinal situation in recent years. He called attention to the problem of relativism and outlined the journey that the Church would have to take in order to avoid being distracted by ideologies and remain docile to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Basing himself on the text of Ephesians 4:11–16, he noted that “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.” The opposite side of the coin of this “clear faith” leads to a state where “[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.”

The Cardinal speaks therefore of a “dictatorship of relativism” centered on the “ego” and its “desires.” To satisfy these desires and to permit the “ego” to remain at the center a supporting “ideology” needs to be found, so you let yourself be carried about by “ideological currents” and “fashionable opinions.” Moreover, Ratzinger laments that fidelity to the deposit of faith is charged with being “fundamentalist.”
© Union of Catholic Asian News 2024
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