Demand Your Rights!

This is a terrific quotation from Joseph Ratzinger:

In the Church, the debate (about freedom) concerns liberty in its deepest sense, as openness to the divine Being in order to become a sharer in its life…The fundamental right of Christians is the right to the whole faithAll other liberties in the Church are ordered to this foundational right. Under this common denominator of faith we must leave a wide space for differing projects and forms of spiritual life, and, analogously, to differing forms of thought, so that each with its own richness may contribute to the faith of the Church…What is in question is, on the one hand, the basic right of the faithful to a faith which is pure, and, on the other, the right to express that faith in the thought and language of their own time.

Ref: Joseph Ratzinger as cited by Aidan Nichols, in ‘Walter Kasper and his theological programme’, New Blackfriars Vol. 67 (787) January (1986): 16-24 at 22.  (HT to Prof. Tracey Rowland)

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6 responses to “Demand Your Rights!

  1. Yes, I would love to have my right to the whole faith observed: some of the homilies I’ve heard! What heterodoxy!

  2. Ditto for what I sat through in some theology lectures. My favourite? “The Bible teaches no moral norms.” WTF?! (Excuse the cussin’.)

  3. Peregrinus

    I’d love to know what’s been dropped in the elision. Does anybody have a cite back to whichever of Ratzinger’s works this is taken from?

    • Good question. The problem is that I suspect the elisions come from Nichols, so to find the whole quotation, one would need to go to the original source. According to Tracey,

      “Nichols was citing Joseph Ratzinger ‘Loi de l’Englise et liberté du chrétien’, Service culturel de l’Ambassade de France près la Saint-Siège, 24.11.1983. According to Nichols, Ratzinger in making these statements was indebted to D. Nestle, Eleutheria, Studien zum Wesen der Freiheit bei den Griechen und im Neuen Testament (Tübingen 1967) and E. Coreth, ‘Zur Problemgeschichte menschlicher Freiheit’, Zeitschrift für katholische Theologie 94 (1972): 258-289.”

      That will give you some work to do to track down the original.

      • Peregrinus

        Thanks for this.

        Through the wonders of the internet I can tell you that Ratzinger’s paper (or, at least, a paper by him with the same title) was published at (1984) 22 Studia Moralia 171. But there, for me, the trail runs to ground.