In December 1995, I began to engage in a discussion with a Protestant polemicist on several Usenet newsgroups about the Great Western Schism: from the latter part of the thirteenth century through the early part of the fourteenth century the papacy was claimed by three rival factions, only one of which had a legitimate claim.
The Ratzinger Quotation Dispute began innocently enough with the following cryptic challenge from my opponent: "Maybe someone will finally deal with the Ratzinger quote."
The following quotation "to deal with" was finally provided by my opponent:
For nearly half a century the Church was split into two or three obediences that excommunicated one another, so that every Catholic lived under excommunication of one Pope or another, and in the last analysis no one could say with certainty which of the contenders had right on his side. The church no longer offered CERTAINTY OF SALVATION. She had become QUESTIONABLE in her whole objective form. The true church, the true pledge of salvation HAD TO BE SOUGHT OUTSIDE THE INSTITUTION.
My opponent provided the following citation:
Rev. Michael Scott Horton quoting Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger at the Protestant and Roman Catholic Debates in Pasadena, CA. The emphases are his. [i.e. Horton's]
Little did I know at first how much I would "deal with" that "quotation".