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Called To Communion (Ratzinger) Chapter 1

Prior to the first world war, there had been a dominant liberal hermeneutic for Scriptural interpretation: this "Jesus" was anti-cultic, anti-institutional, and the goal was to embrace the Kingdom, which transcends these especially Old Testament notions of sacrifice, Temple, and people.

The war destroyed that consensus. Part of what Ratzinger calls the "moralism" of this view was upended by the savagery of the conflict. The second war deepened the disillusionment. Old ideas die hard, though, and its proponents reformulated this anti-cultic tendency with an eschatological twist.

A new angle was that this re-formulated concept meshed easily with ascendant neo-Marxism, and its morality play of oppressed versus oppressor. They could pit the "institutional" Church against the popular Church.

Ratzinger says that these views are bad candidates for reality as it is, precisely because they bear the marks of the times in which they were created. We can be respectful of new ways of thinking about the Church, says Ratzinger, but aware that the liturgy carries the living memory of the Church herself. Anything that doesn't tell that story cannot harmonize with the truth.

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