"Cardinal" Ratzinger Disparages Infant Baptism,
Questions Catholic Dogma

“God and the World”
(Ignatius Press, 2002)
pp. 401-402

originally published as
"Gott und die Welt"
in Germany in 2000


What Ratzinger says:

"The question of what it means to say that baptism is necessary for salvation has become ever more hotly debated in modern times. The Second Vatican Council said on this point that men who are seeking for God and who are inwardly striving toward that which constitutes baptism will also receive salvation. That is to say that a seeking after God already represents an inward participation in baptism, in the Church, in Christ.
   To that extent, the question concerning the necessity of baptism for salvation seems to have been answered, but the question about children who could not be baptized because they were aborted then presses upon us that much more urgently.
   Earlier ages had devised a teaching that seems to me rather unenlightened. They said that baptism endows us, by means of sanctifying grace, with the capacity to gaze upon God. Now, certainly, the state of original sin, from which we are freed by baptism, consists in a lack of sanctifying grace. Children who die in this way are indeed without any personal sin, so they cannot be sent to hell, but, on the other hand, they lack sanctifying grace and thus the potential for beholding God that this bestows. They will simply enjoy a state of natural blessedness, in which they will be happy. This state people called limbo.
   In the course of our century, that has gradually come to seem problematic to us. This was one way in which people sought to justify the necessity of baptizing infants as early as possible, but the solution is itself questionable. Finally, the Pope [John Paul II] made a decisive turn in the [1995] encyclical Evangelium Vitae, a change already anticipated by the [1992] Catechism of the Catholic Church, when he expressed the simple hope that God is powerful enough to draw to himself all those who were unable to receive the sacrament."

--Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, God and the World, pp. 401-402

Proof: To view scanned copies of these two pages of this book, please click:    Page 401    Page 402


Reality Check:
What does the Holy Catholic Church teach on the Necessity of Baptism, specifically Infant Baptism, and the Fate of those who die in Original Sin only?

Pope Innocent III (1206):
"The punishment of original sin is deprivation of the vision of God...." (Denzinger 410)

Council of Florence (1438-1445):
"...the souls of those who depart in actual mortal sin or in original sin only, descend immediately into hell but to undergo punishments of different kinds." (Denzinger 693)

Council of Trent (1545-1563):
"If anyone denies that infants newly born from their mothers' wombs, are to be baptized, even though they be born of baptized parents, or says that they are baptized indeed for the remission of sins, but that they derive nothing of original sin from Adam, which must be expiated by the laver of regeneration for the attainment of life everlasting, whence it follows, that in them the form of baptism for the remission of sins is understood to be not true, but false: let him be anathema. For what the Apostle has said: 'By one man sin entered into the world, and by sin death, and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned' [Romans 5:12], is not to be understood otherwise than as the Catholic Church spread everywhere has always understood it." (Denzinger 791)

"Regarding children, indeed, because of danger of death, which can often take place, when no help can be brought to them by another remedy than through the sacrament of baptism, through which they are snatched from the domination of the Devil and adopted among the sons of God, it advises that holy baptism ought not be deferred for forty or eighty days, or any time according to the observance of certain people…." (Denzinger 712)

"If anyone shall say that baptism is optional, that is, not necessary for salvation: let him be anathema." (Denzinger 861)

Catechism of the Council of Trent, a.k.a "Roman Catechism" (16th century):
"Since infant children have no other means of salvation except Baptism, we may easily understand how griveously those persons sin who permit them to remain without the grace of the Sacrament longer than necessity may require...."

Code of Canon Law (1917), Canon 737 §1:
"Baptism, the gateway and foundation of the Sacraments, actually or at least in desire is necessary for all for salvation...."

Protocol Letter Suprema Haec Sacra (122/49) from the Holy Office (1949):
"But it must not be thought that any kind of desire of entering the Church suffices that one may be saved. It is necessary that the desire by which one is related to the Church be animated by perfect charity. Nor can an implicit desire produce its effect, unless a person has supernatural faith...."


Why is this important?
Because Pope Paul IV declared: "If ever at any time it shall appear that any Bishop . . . or any Cardinal of the . . . Roman Church, . . . or even the Roman Pontiff, prior to his promotion or his elevation as Cardinal or Roman Pontiff, has deviated from the Catholic Faith or fallen into some heresy: (i) the promotion or elevation, even if it shall have been uncontested and by the unanimous assent of all the Cardinals, shall be null, void and worthless..." (Apostolic Constitution Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio, March 15, 1559 )

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