Monday, March 21, 2016
THE MISSING LINK IN POPE BENEDICT'S INTERVIEW RECOVERED, LIKE THE THIRD SECRET
Here is a version of the paragraphs in question, as appearing in L’Osservatore Romano and an unofficial translation (by John O'Brien, S.J. and others) of the paragraphs in question, which has been approved by Fr. Servais, who conducted the original interview with the Pope Emeritus:
Finally, let’s recall, above all Henri de Lubac, and with him, several other theologians who have emphasized the idea of vicarious substitution. For them, the pro-existence of Christ is the expression of the fundamental figure of Christian existence and of the Church as such. It is true that the problem is not fully resolved, but it seems to me that this, in fact, is the key insight that thus impacts the existence of the individual Christian. Christ, as the unique One, was and is for all and Christians, who in Paul’s awesome imagery make up Christ’s body in this world and thus participate in this “being-for.” Christians, so to speak, are not so for themselves, but are, with Christ, for others. This does not mean having some sort of special ticket for entering into eternal happiness, but rather the vocation to build the whole. What the human person needs in order to be saved is a profound openness with regards to God, a profound expectation and acceptance of Him, and this correspondingly means that we, together with the Lord whom we have encountered, go towards others and seek to make visible to them the advent of God in Christ.
It’s possible to explain this “being-for” in a more abstract way. It’s important for humanity that there is truth in it, that this be believed and practiced. That one suffers for it. That one loves. These realities penetrate with their light into the whole world as such and sustain it. I think that in the present situation it is become always more clear and comprehensible for us that which the Lord said to Abraham, that is, that ten righteous men would have been enough to save a city, but that the city destroys itself if such a small number is not reached. It is clear that we need to reflect on the question in its entirety.
The restoration of the middle section in bold lends significant weight to the interpretation that Benedict is favoring de Lubac’s theory of “vicarious substitution” to explain the possibility of salvation outside of the faith. Lacking these lines, the weight to switches to a more ambiguous position.