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Ratzinger says many miss the point of Christianity

The Vatican's Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has said that too many people don't look beyond institutional Christianity and miss the point that it is really about an encounter with Christ.

"Today, Christianity is seen as an old tradition, weighed down by old Commandments, something we already know which tells us nothing new; a strong institution, one of the great institutions that weigh on our shoulders," he said.

Cardinal Ratzinger is prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

"If we stay with this impression, we do not live the essence of Christianity, which is an ever new encounter, an event thanks to which we can encounter the God who speaks to us, who approaches us, who befriends us," he told the latest issue of the Italian Catholic weekly Vita Trentina.

"It is critical to come to this fundamental point of a personal encounter with God, who also today makes himself present, and who is contemporary," he added.

"If one finds this essential centre, one also understands all the other things," the cardinal said. "But if this encounter is not realised, which touches the heart, all the rest remains like a weight, almost like something absurd."

Cardinal Ratzinger Tells Why Many Misperceive Christianity (Zenit 7/5/04)

Ratzinger raps economic materialism (Catholic World News 7/5/04)
Ratzinger preparing concise version of Catechism (CathNews 28/4/04)
The Cardinal Ratzinger Fan Club

11 May 2004