In 1969, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger gave a series of five sermons over the radio. On Christmas Day over “Hessian Rundfunk” radio, he gave out his final preaching that carried with it a distinct prophetic tone.
The full copy is reprinted at UCatholic | http://www.ucatholic.com/blog/the-lost-prophecy-of-father-joseph-ratzinger-on-the-future-of-the-church/
It is a sober reflection on the near future. Good medicine to read. There are two passages, however, that leapt from the page.
“We have no need of a Church that celebrates the cult of action in political prayers. It is utterly superfluous. Therefore, it will destroy itself.”
“But when the trial of this sifting is past, a great power will flow from a more spiritualized and simplified Church. Men in a totally planned world will find themselves unspeakably lonely. If they have completely lost sight of God, they will feel the whole horror of their poverty. Then they will discover the little flock of believers as something wholly new. They will discover it as a hope that is meant for them, an answer for which they have always been searching in secret.”
We are today experiencing this time of “sifting” within the Church, away from layers of political faith to foundational faith in Christ. It is a necessary time, a time of stripping away layers, an examination of conscience, where we must live the creed anew, and where “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church…” will take on new meaning.