CNA Staff, May 4, 2020 / 10:45 am
Modern society is formulating an “anti-Christian creed” and punishing those who resist it with “social excommunication,” Benedict XVI has said in a new biography, published in Germany May 4.
In a wide-ranging interview at the end of the 1,184-page book, written by German author Peter Seewald, the pope emeritus said the greatest threat facing the Church was a “worldwide dictatorship of seemingly humanistic ideologies.”
Benedict XVI, who resigned as pope in 2013, made the comment in response to a question about what he had meant at his 2005 inauguration, when he urged Catholics to pray for him “that I may not flee for fear of the wolves.”
He told Seewald that he was not referring to internal Church matters, such as the "Vatileaks" scandal, which led to the conviction of his personal butler, Paolo Gabriele, for stealing confidential Vatican documents.
In an advanced copy of “Benedikt XVI - Ein Leben” (A Life), seen by CNA, the pope emeritus said: “Of course, issues such as ‘Vatileaks’ are exasperating and, above all, incomprehensible and highly disturbing to people in the world at large.”
“But the real threat to the Church and thus to the ministry of St. Peter consists not in these things, but in the worldwide dictatorship of seemingly humanistic ideologies, and to contradict them constitutes exclusion from the basic social consensus.”
He continued: “A hundred years ago, everyone would have thought it absurd to speak of homosexual marriage. Today whoever opposes it is socially excommunicated. The same applies to abortion and the production of human beings in the laboratory.”
“Modern society is in the process of formulating an ‘anti-Christian creed,’ and resisting it is punishable by social excommunication. The fear of this spiritual power of the Antichrist is therefore only too natural, and it truly takes the prayers of a whole diocese and the universal Church to resist it.”