Today, 24th December 2010, the pope of Rome broadcast a message to the British people on BBC Radio 4’s “Thought For The Day”, the day before the Queen’s traditional broadcast to the nation. It made the news as it is the first time a Roman pontiff has done so.
The BBC news reported this as his personal way of saying ‘Thank you’ to the United Kingdom. If so, then why did he chose to miss out Northern Ireland from his message? He said: “Dear Friends from Scotland, England, Wales and indeed every part of the English-speaking world, I want you to know that I keep all of you very much in my prayers during this Holy Season.” Is the rider about “the English-speaking world” to disguise the fact that the Vatican does not recognise Northern Ireland as part of the United Kingdom?
As usual, his theology is erroneous. He says about Jesus: “He was to be the Saviour of all people throughout the world and throughout history. And it was not a political liberation that he brought, achieved through military means: rather, Christ destroyed death for ever and restored life by means of his shameful death on the Cross.”
If we did not know more of Roman Catholic theology, one would assume from these pious platitudes that Ratzinger is a universalist – someone who believes that everyone will go to heaven.
First, if “Christ destroyed death for ever”, what has happened to hell? Is Rome changing its mind about hell just as it has changed its mind about limbo? BBC2 screened a programme Limbo Babies in early December 2010 which highlighted Roman Catholic theology that babies who die before being baptised cannot be buried with their family in Roman consecrated ground. Neither do they go to heaven, but to limbo. For centuries, parents with stillborn children were told that they would be eternally separated from them. The programme highlighted the unjustified shame that such parents felt as they buried their stillborn children in anonymous, unmarked graves – away from their families’ burial ground. The psychological damage is easy to imagine. Romanism has recently modified its doctrine of limbo, but not before countless numbers of Roman Catholic mothers have suffered through the centuries by this doctrine.
Now the pope of Rome tells us “Christ has destroyed death forever”. If so, then there is no hell and no limbo. Is Rome about to change its mind about hell as well? Does Ratzinger not mean destroyed death “for Roman Catholics” and some select others? Is he being economical with the truth, or is the explanation simply that the words sound nicer without the qualification? This is doublespeak – from the pope of Rome.
Secondly, if He is “the Saviour of all people”, then why does anyone need to be a Roman Catholic to escape a non-existent hell? Why do we need the pope of Rome? Why do we need Christianity? It is no wonder that atheists are so easily running rings round Romanism.