Two big problems according to the former pope:
1) People go to hell, (Somebody tell Bishop Robert Barron!) but modern Catholics have lost the sense of sin and the necessity of baptism for salvation. "Without this attentiveness to salvation, the Faith loses its foundation," Pope Benedict says.
2) Because of the "evolution" of the dogma, "Outside the Church there is no salvation," which has essentially been dumped since Vatican II, the Church has lost its missionary zeal. In Pope Benedict's words, “any motivation for a future missionary commitment was removed.” (Amen to that. I'm okay; you're okay; we're all okay!)This is not exactly a revelation to those of us who've been paying attention, but to hear it from Benedict in the light of Pope Francis' liberalism is...what's the word?...for want of a better I'll say... interesting.
Here are two paragraphs that should set all of us thinking:
Pope Benedict also refutes both the idea of the “anonymous Christian” as developed by Karl Rahner, as well as the indifferentist idea that all religions are equally valuable and helpful to attain eternal life.
“Even less acceptable is the solution proposed by the pluralistic theories of religion, for which all religions, each in its own way, would be ways of salvation and, in this sense, must be considered equivalent in their effects,” he said. In this context, he also touches upon the exploratory ideas of the now-deceased Jesuit Cardinal, Henri de Lubac, about Christ's putatively “vicarious substitutions” which have to be now again “further reflected upon.”Despite being glad to see this, I'm tempted to say that it's too little too late. My mom always used to say, "Actions speak louder than words," and, gosh, since Pope John XXIII mounted the papal
In 2007, Pope Benedict assured Catholics that the Assisi prayer fest was "not syncretism" (the belief that all religions are essentially the same). Well, maybe not, but what is the perception of the average badly catechized Catholic in the pew? Judging from polls and personal conversations, I'd say most people, Catholics and otherwise, believe the only thing necessary to attain heaven is to "be a good person," whatever that means. Unfortunately for them, that's not what Jesus preached and what Church doctrine teaches. So it's back to the drawing board for evangelizing and catechizing, i.e., performing the spiritual work of mercy, "instructing the ignorant." There are a lot of them out there who don't know how very ignorant they are of the essentials necessary for eternal salvation. Would that our shepherds committed themselves to teaching with authority like their master did. This ignorance of the faith is, as Bishop Athanaisus Schneider says, the fourth great crisis of the Church.
Now the $64,000 question: What are you doing about it?