Following last week's controversial Vatican affirmation of the supremacy of the Catholic faith, Cardinal Ratzinger has issued the clarification that salvation is possible for non-Catholics.
    Speaking to the Press, the Prefect of the Congregation of the Faith gave the example of a believing Jew, and said: "We are in agreement that a Jew, and this is true for believers of other religions, does not need to know or acknowledge Christ as the Son of God in order to be saved, if there are insurmountable impediments, of which he is not blameworthy, to preclude it."
    But he emphasised that Christians should ideally seek salvation within the Catholic Church: "We all recognise objectively that the Church should be one, and we should all desire to find ourselves in a renewed Catholic Church on the road toward the future."
    He said he understood that this "objective necessity" must be "distinguished from the state of conscience of persons who learn their faith in their community and are nourished by the world of God in it".
    Zenit (available soon)
7 Sep 00

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