|France||FRENCH CARDINAL CHALLENGES RATZINGER|
A French cardinal seen by some Vatican-watchers as a possible successor to Pope John Paul II, has challenged Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the church's top doctrinal officer, on the need for Catholicism to make structural changes arising from dialogue with the modern world.
Cardinal Pierre Eyt of Bordeaux published his comments in the French Catholic newspaper La Croix in December, in response to a speech by Ratzinger at the University of Paris in November 1999. Ratzinger had lamented modernity's rejection of the synthesis between "reason, faith and life" developed by ancient Christianity.
Ratzinger in turn responded to Eyt in La Croix.
In his December 1999 article, Eyt wrote that Ratzinger had left out another element of the ancient Christian synthesis -- law. That makes the situation more complex, Eyt said, because in the ancient world law was often used to impose religious belief and to punish dissenters. At different times Christians were both the victims and the perpetrators of the coercive use of law, Eyt said.