Notebook

Marginality

‘Ratzinger’s double name — Joseph, at birth, Benedict, as pope — refers to an unlettered saint, a poor man of God who reminds us of the Russian yurodivy, those extravagant ‘fools for Christ’ who refused to abide by the rules of the world in order to expose the sins of humanity. Joseph Ratzinger did not break any laws — he was too German for that. However, he quickly understood that in a clearly post-Christian society the light of the Church naturally orients itself — eschatologically, one might say — towards the margins. He realised that the future of the Catholic faith depends on its ability to become a counterculture formed by small creative minorities that will be a leaven of salvation. This corresponds to Biblical experience, and to Christian experience as well. We recognise here the red thread that preserved classical culture after the fall of Rome […], that saved Eastern icons from iconoclastic fury, that challenged the seemingly unstoppable power of Arianism. It was also the experience of the Jewish people through a continuous diaspora that lasted for centuries and millennia. Ratzinger saw in this a sign of God’s will.’

From a perceptive essay by Daniel Capó Laisfeldt. Spanish original here.