Book Critique of MARY, The Church at the Source by Ratzinger and Balthasar

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

Mariology - Anthropology - Faith in Creation

MARY, The Church at the Source
Thoughts on the place of Marian Doctrine and piety in faith and theology as a whole
By Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI)

Mariology – Anthropology – Faith in Creation

Page 31: Pondering the implications of this discussion, we see that, while Mariology expresses the heart of “salvation history”, it nonetheless transcends an approach focused solely on that history. Mariology is an essential component of a hermeneutics of salvation history. Recognition of this fact brings out the true dimensions of Christology over against a falsely understood solus Christus (Christ alone). Christology must speak of a Christ who is both “head and body”, that is, who comprises the redeemed creation in its relative subsistence (Selbstandigkeit). But this move simultaneously enlarges our perspective beyond the history of salvation, because it counters a false understanding of God’s sole agency, highlighting the realty of the creature that God calls and enables to respond to him freely. Mariology demonstrates that the doctrine of grace does not revoke creation; rather, it is the definitive Yes to creation. In this way, Mariology guarantees the ontological independence (Eigenstandigkeit) of creation, undergirds faith in creation, and crowns the doctrine of creation, rightly understood. Questions and tasks await us here that have scarcely begun to be treated or undertaken.
Note: Roman Catholic theologians are fools for the promotion of Mary in regards to salvation.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Romans 1:16-23.
Note: Saint Paul would have condemned Mariology as damnable heresy.

Page 31: Mary is the believing other whom God calls. As such, she represents the creation, which is called to respond to God, and the freedom of the creature, which does not lose its integrity in love but attains completion therein. Mary thus represents saved and liberated man, but she does so precisely as a woman, that is, in the bodily determinateness that is inseparable from man: “Man and female he created them” (Gen 1:27).
Note: Believers in Jesus Christ have been called by God for His specific purposes.
And we (plural) know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those (plural) who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many (plural) brethren. Moreover whom (plural) He predestined, these (plural) He also called; whom (plural) He called, these (plural) He also justified; and whom (plural) He justified, these (plural) He also glorified. Romans 8:28-30.
Note: Saint Paul considers Mary just one of many believers who have been called.

Pages 31-32: The “biological” and the human are inseparable in the figure of Mary, just as are the human and the “theological”. This insight is deeply akin to the dominant movements of our time, yet it also contradicts them at the very core. For while today’s anthropological program hinges more radically than ever before on “emancipation”, it seeks a freedom whose goal is to “be like God” (Gen 3:5). But the idea that we can be like God implies a detachment of man from his biological conditionality, from the “male and female he created them.” This sexual difference is something that man, as a biological being, can never get rid of, something that marks man in the deepest center of his being. Yet it is regarded as a totally irrelevant triviality, as a constraint arising from historically fabricated “roles”, and is therefore consigned to the “purely biological realm”, which has nothing to do with man as such. Accordingly, this “purely biological” dimension is treated as a thing that man can manipulate at will because it lies beyond the scope of what counts as human and spiritual (so much so that man can freely manipulate the coming into being of life itself). This treatment of “biology” as a mere thing is accordingly regarded as a liberation, for it enables man to leave bios behind, use it freely, and to be completely independent of it in every other respect, that is, to be simply a “human being” who is neither male nor female.
Note: Spiritual liberty comes via the Holy Spirit with a testimony of Jesus Christ not of Mary.
For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another! I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Galatians 5:13-18.
Note: Saint Paul would have condemned Mariology as damnable heresy.

Pages 32-33: But in reality man thereby strikes a blow against his deepest being. He holds himself in contempt, because the truth is that he is human only insofar as he is bodily, only insofar as he is man or woman. When man reduces this fundamental determination of his being to a despicable trifle that can be treated as a thing, he himself becomes a trifle and a thing, and his “liberation” turns out to be his degradation to an object of production. Whenever biology is subtracted from humanity, humanity itself is negated. Thus, the question of the legitimacy of maleness as such and of femaleness as such has high stakes: nothing less than the reality of the creature. Since the biological determinateness of humanity is least possible to hide in motherhood, an emancipation that negates bios is a particular aggression against woman. It is the denial of her right to be a woman. Conversely, the preservation of creation is in this respect bound up in a special way with the question of woman. And the Woman in whom the “biological” is “theological” – that is, motherhood of God – is in a special way the point where the paths diverge.
Note: Believers will glorify God the Father through Jesus Christ not Mary.
For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:4-6
Note: Was Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger a believer or a heretic according to Scriptures?

Page 33: Mary’s virginity, no less than her maternity, confirms that the “biological” is human, that the whole man stands before God, and that the fact of being human only as male and female is included in faith’s eschatological demand and its eschatological hope. It is no accident that virginity – although as a form of life it is also possible, and intended for, the man – is first patterned on the woman, the true keeper of the seal of creation, and has its normative, plenary form – which the man can, so to say, only imitate – in her.
Note: Believers stand before God due to their confession in Jesus Christ not Mary.
Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16.
Note: Was Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger a believer or a heretic according to Scriptures?