In response to my earlier question, apocalypse_info_click_here answered:

While that article in particular is a hoax... Each point in particular has been made and is old news.

  • Benedict XVI said that Genesis is based on a myth
  • Benedict XVI said that Heaven and Hell are not actual places
  • Benedict XVI abolished Limbo of the Children.
  • Francis says that atheists can be saved.

Benedict XVI called Genesis a rehashing of pagan myths The pagan creation accounts on which the biblical story is in part based end without exception in the establishment of a cult, but the cult in this case is situated in the cycle of the do ut des.” “Cardinal” Joseph Ratzinger, A New Song for the Lord, 1995, p. 86:

Benedict XVI abolished the Limbo of the Children and rejects infant baptism "This state people called limbo. In the course of our century, that has gradually come to seem problematic to us. This was one way in which people sought to justify the necessity of baptizing infants as early as possible, but the solution is itself questionable" “Cardinal” Joseph Ratzinger, God and the World, 2000, p. 401:

I'm a Catholic, and I'd like to know what the Catholic Church says about these controversial statements.


1 Answer 1


Benedict XVI said that Genesis is based on a myth

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, in his 1995 book, "In the Beginning ...: A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall" (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, $13), has expressed well the view I am espousing here. He writes: "It has become clear that the biblical creation narratives represent another way of speaking about reality than that with which we are familiar from physics and biology." The creation stories "represent truth in the way that symbols do -- just as, for example, a Gothic window gives us a deep insight into reality, thanks to the effects of light that it produces and to the figures that is portrays."

Cardinal Ratzinger is not saying that the creation and fall stories are "just a myth," but that they are divinely inspired symbolic narratives that communicate reliable truth about the origins of the world. These stories cannot be dispensed with or cast aside, but have permanent and enduring value. (src)

Benedict XVI said that Heaven and Hell are not actual places

Here is a scanned copy of those pages of his book where he is supposedly said this (hosted on a non Catholic website). If you read what he said in its context, you might understand that he is talking about omnipresence of God. Not the reality of heaven/hell. This is taken out of context as with most of Church's teachings.

Benedict XVI abolished Limbo of the Children.

Nope he did not. The Church has explicitly said that it DOESN'T KNOW what happens to them. So limbo will always remain a valid theory. In other words it is not a dogma of Faith in the first place for Benedict to abolish it. It is just a theological opinion. That's it.

Limbo was never a defined truth of the faith. Personally - and here I am speaking more as a theologian and not as Prefect of the Congregation - I would abandon it since it was only a theological hypothesis. It formed part of a secondary thesis in support of a truth which is absolutely of first significance for the faith, namely, the importance of baptism. …. One should not hesitate to give up the idea of 'limbo' if need be (and it is worth noting that the very theologians who proposed 'limbo' also said that parents could spare the child limbo by desiring its baptism and through prayer); but the concern behind it must not be surrendered. Baptism has never been a side issue for the faith; it is not now, nor will it ever be." - Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

Francis says that atheists can be saved.

No he did not. He actually never used the word "save" (or salvation) in that conversation.(src). That is he did not say atheists don’t need to believe in God to be saved.

In conclusion

The actual statements are inline with the magisterial teachings of the church and are no way controversial if you are a Catholic. After all peter has the power to bind and loose.

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