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Benedict XVI: “The church will become small”

9 April 2012



“The church will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning.

She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. As the number of her adherents diminishes . . . she will lose many of her social privileges. . . As a small society, [the Church] will make much bigger demands on the initiative of her individual members….

It will be hard-going for the Church, for the process of crystallization and clarification will cost her much valuable energy. It will make her poor and cause her to become the Church of the meek . . . The process will be long and wearisome as was the road from the false progressivism on the eve of the French Revolution — when a bishop might be thought smart if he made fun of dogmas and even insinuated that the existence of God was by no means certain . . . But when the trial of this sifting is past, a great power will flow from a more spiritualized and simplified Church. Men in a totally planned world will find themselves unspeakably lonely. If they have completely lost sight of God, they will feel the whole horror of their poverty. Then they will discover the little flock of believers as something wholly new. They will discover it as a hope that is meant for them, an answer for which they have always been searching in secret.

And so it seems certain to me that the Church is facing very hard times. The real crisis has scarcely begun. We will have to count on terrific upheavals. But I am equally certain about what will remain at the end: not the Church of the political cult, which is dead already, but the Church of faith. She may well no longer be the dominant social power to the extent that she was until recently; but she will enjoy a fresh blossoming and be seen as man’s home, where he will find life and hope beyond death.”

– Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI), from his book Faith and the Future

27 Comments leave one →
  1. 10 April 2012 9:41 am

    Reblogged this on Sally Ann Dyer's blog and commented:
    Move over for Benedict – His Popeness is a prophet!

  2. 10 April 2012 3:03 pm

    This is freaking awesome! I am going to post this too!

  3. 10 April 2012 3:04 pm

    Reblogged this on Fire or Blackberries and commented:
    This is freaking awesome. Preach it Pope Benedict!!

    • 14 June 2013 4:54 pm

      Ratzinger was in charge of the cover up of the sexual abuse of children in Ireland he has no moral authority to preach to anyone. Hiding in the vatican like the filthy coward that he is .

  4. 11 April 2012 10:12 am

    Thanks for this.
    I remember reading The Clowns of God by Morris West years ago and the whole story was about this very topic. Morris West, as you may know, was formerly a Monsignor in the Roman Catholic Church.
    As SA has said, his Popeness speaks like a prophet…

  5. 11 April 2012 10:13 am

    Reblogged this on Mismeret's Blog and commented:
    The Clowns of God comes to reality…

  6. reblev155 permalink
    24 April 2012 4:48 pm

    As a Catholic, I have already read the first paragraph, and it was painful but I knew it was true. Reading the rest of it, it has so much power. I will be just so sad to lose the magnificent cathedrals such as Notre Dame, music such as that of Bach’s organ concertos. But these are just pale reflections of the great glory of God, which continues in spite of all of man’s stupidities.

    • 28 April 2012 3:45 am

      I will be happy to see great churches of the past be laid to rest. For the spirits of the once great houses will be freed from the shackles of false leadership to give invigorating life support to the churches that remain united in the Holy Spirit of God with men of God who know that faith is a verb of loving obedience to the authority of God in faith filled love for the sheep they tend. Those sheep will be the humble wise who will be known for their joy in suffering, generosity in all things, crowned with love for God, one another, and all in the Father’s creation in the name of Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Cheer, as the smoke is cleared away to reveal the precious gem formed under horrific pressure and heat. This stone of stones will shine like the Son with the glory of God without blemish. Blessed be the holy, holy, holy, Lord, God of power, God of might, now and forever. Amen!

    • the equalizer permalink
      12 June 2012 7:00 pm

      yes, we may lose those beautiful pieces of architecture but it should not have been the case if only those entrusted to manage them were the ones who ha dperpetrated certain shenanigans which cuased the church to lose billions of dollars thru fraud.

      the church becoming small in all counts is not what her Creator, our Lord Jesus Christ, intended it to be. it is supposed to be the Rock on which Jesus will build his church.

  7. 24 April 2012 7:55 pm

    Reblogged this on Jacob H Baugher IV.

  8. LivingLove permalink
    27 April 2012 8:28 pm

    I see many young people searching for meaning in our church. Young people whose parents have lost their moral compass. I think, as all things, the pendulum is swinging back. Despair not but be of good faith!

  9. 28 April 2012 7:25 pm

    I’m In! Once A Catholic, Always A Catholic. Lets Go and Preach the truth to the world. Yes the Church will become small, but The Church will be more faithful while smaller and then Blossom into something Magnificent! God Bless you all!

  10. mike sanborn permalink
    28 April 2012 10:45 pm

    Somewhat disingenuous. This was not written by Benedict XVI, but Joseph Ratzinger 4 decades ago. You should really properly site the book, year, page, etc. so people don’t think this is something the ‘pope’ said. Thanks!

    • 28 April 2012 11:54 pm

      I gave you a link to the book on Amazon so that you could see all that for yourself. Joseph Ratzinger is Benedict XVI. They aren’t two different people. And I hardly see how it is relevant that it isn’t a new book. I think that it is a startling and insightful quotation from him and I wanted to share it with my readers. You’re criticism seems a little frivolous to me.

      • mike sanborn permalink
        29 April 2012 1:35 am

        I’m sorry, I wasn’t trying to be critical or mean. I think it quite relevant, but the first impression of many was that it was recently written by the Pope and I thought it only fair to point out the date of the writing. My point on this not being written by Benedict XVI is that a papal writing carries much more weight and significance than a previous writing by one who later becomes Pope. I know they are physically the same person, but I don’t think he was even a bishop yet when written. Anyway, sorry for any offense.

    • 29 April 2012 2:52 pm

      Joseph Ratzinger IS Pope Benedict XVI!! What you think he has a split personality or something? If you write something now, then become president 40 years from now, will you have no longer written that something? Makes no sense. And the fact that he wrote it before the upheavals we have had in the last 40 years actually makes it MORE stunningly prophetic than otherwise.

  11. Jacques permalink
    29 April 2012 12:41 pm

    “The Church will blossom as She never did before, there will be a single flock under the guidance of single pastor. The Jews will convert, there will be no longer heresies and schisms” (prots and orthodoxs will comeback to the catholic faith).

  12. TruthSeekerHarrison permalink
    30 April 2012 1:11 am

    It will be better to start over with the church minus the cryptos, masons, sexual freaks and general saboteurs. We need to start over and grow again. The saboteurs will not win their plan to destroy the religion of Christ. You will not win!

  13. 30 April 2012 9:45 pm

    This is a valuable prophetic statement from Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict THE XVI. Thank God in His mercy for this prophecy to His Flock, the Church. In His infinite mercy, He always offers us the gift of preperatory opportunities to grow in our Faith, to honor, worship and adore Him, Our King and Creator. Thank you Holy Spirit for your inspiration, wisdom and knowledge to know the truth and to spread the Gospel.

  14. marcos permalink
    2 May 2012 11:11 am

    I would love to see that new blossoming and renaissance of the Church

    But these processes take their time. We will not see it.

    But we have to work for this to be a reality in the future.

  15. 3 May 2012 9:56 pm

    Reblogged this on Mariella Hunt.

  16. 28 May 2012 5:58 am

    The Church has always been small, only a fe good souls, I believe the chruch has fallen away badly leading up to the end. 2 Timothy 3:1-5 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.


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