Sunday, April 13, 2008

On Syncretism

A quote that I thought bore repeating:
For syncretism, those who are saved are the inward-looking souls, whatever the religion they profess. For Christianity, they are the believers, whatever level of inwardness they may have achieved. A little child, an overworked workman, if they believe, stand at a higher level than the greatest ascetics. "We are not great religious personalities", Guardini once said; "we are servants of the Word." Christ himself had said that St. John the Baptist might well be "the greatest among the children of men", but that "the least among the sons of the kingdom is greater than he." It is possible for there to be great religious personalities in the world even outside of Christianity; it is indeed very possible for the greatest religious personalities to be found outside Christianity; but that means nothing; what counts is obedience to the Word of Christ.*

* Jean Daniélou, SJ, Vom Geheimnes der Greschichte, pp. 133f. Quoted in Joseph Ratzinger, Truth and Tolerance: Christian Belief and World Religions, pp. 42-3. Emphasis added.

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