(Allow me to note here that Rev. Horton is the head of Christians United for REformation, which, I am given to understand, is not exactly a pro-Catholic organization.)
I must insist that the following information be provided: when, where, how (in what language), and why (in what context) is Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger supposed to have said this?
I must also insist that we be provided with a reference to a specific document, not issued by CURE, to which we may refer for verification of this quote.
Why do I insist upon this?
Because I deny, with 99.99% belief that I am correct, that Cardinal Ratzinger ever said any such thing. He may have said something that some Protestant(s) have erroneously interpreted to mean what has been quoted here. But no Catholic theologian of standing could ever utter any statement so filled with contradictions of the Catholic faith.
I will address the several parts of the quotation separately.
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.
I don't think that any Catholic theologian of standing would use the phrase "one Pope or another" in this fashion. There can be only one pope at any given time (if there is one at all; there need not be a pope at all times; the longest lapse was of more than three years some time in the third century, if memory serves).
The church no longer offered CERTAINTY OF SALVATION.
No Catholic theologian of standing would ever say any such thing. That sentence is what indicates most clearly to me that the "quotation" from Ratzinger is bogus. (I do not mean to imply that I necessarily believe that the quotation is an outright fabrication; it might just be an example of how Protestants sometimes mangle what Catholics say.)
"Certainty of salvation" is a Protestant buzz-phrase (if I may be allowed to coin a word). The very phrase "certainty of salvation" betrays a Protestant mindset.
Catholics are, of course, certain that salvation is possible for all, through the ministry of the Church--that is why Christ founded the Church, to be the Sacrament of Salvation for the world.
However, the Catholic Church professes that nobody ever has certainty of salvation in this life. (For the scriptural foundation of this belief, see Romans 8:24,25; 1 Corinthians 4:4,5; and Phillipians 2:12,13. By the way, these are scriptures that Protestants seldom quote, unless I've been reading the wrong Protestants.)
I will also quote the Council of Trent, which I am sure Cardinal Ratzinger knows as well as he knows Scripture: "For, just as no devout person ought to doubt the mercy of God, the merit of Christ and the power and efficacy of the sacraments; so it is possible for anyone, while he regards himself and his own weakness and lack of dispositions, to be anxious and fearful about his own state of grace, since no one can know, by that assurance of faith which excludes all falsehood, that he has obtained the grace of God" (Session 6, 13 January 1547).
By saying all this, I am merely trying to show that a theologian of Cardinal Ratzinger's stature simply would never have said what he is quoted as having said about "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."Here again, the very notion of "the true church" over and against "the institution" betrays a Protestant mindset.
I will be so bold as to simply, flatly deny that Cardinal Ratzinger would ever have uttered those two sentences.
(I come away from this quotation with the feeling that somebody--like maybe Rev. Horton--is trying to convince us that, underneath his red hat and robes, Cardinal Ratzinger is really a Protestant at heart. But, really, I just don't buy that.)