Why Do Heretics Remain in the Church?

Fifty years ago, then-Fr. Joseph Ratzinger and Ida Friederike Görres were watching their era’s equivalent of a livestream of the implosion of the Church in Europe. And they were asking the same questions about the “reformers” in the Church that many of us are asking today:

Why are they so optimistic about their efforts that are patently leading to a decline in the Church? And why do these people remain in a Church they so clearly despise? And, daring to utter the s-word, when will the powers that be finally pull out a red card and declare, “schism”?

In the early 1970s, Ratzinger was a rising young prelate and Görres was an elderly lay author near the end of her life. Their lives intersected. Ratzinger and Görres carried on a correspondence from the 1960s until her death in 1971, when Ratzinger gave the eulogy at her funeral.

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