Cardinal Ratzinger on the Importance of the Doctrine of Creation

In the “Author’s Note” of Ratzinger’s In the Beginning . . . , Ratzinger identifies the modern theology’s

practical abandonment of the doctrine of creation (x)

One text which Ratzinger uses as an example is J. Feiner’s and L. Fische’s Neuse Glaubensbuch. Dgemeinsame christliche Glaube, which states such things as

“Creation means a call addressed to the human being. Whatever else may be said about it, even in the Bible, is not the message of creation itself but rather its partly mythological and apocalyptic formulation” (Finer and Fischer 435 – 36)

Ratzinger responses to their formulation of the doctrine by asking,

Would it be too harsh to say that the continued use of the term “creation” against the background of these presuppositions represents a semantic betrayal?. . . . With such an “existential” reduction of the creation theme, however, there occurs a huge (if not a total) loss of the reality of the faith, whose God no longer has anything to do with matter. (xi – xii)

Whatever may be said of Ratzinger, it cannot be said that he is soft on his views of creation.


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