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Pope Benedict XVI on Leaving a Clear Path for Evil

Pope Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger), quoting W. Heisenberg, Der Teil und das Ganze: Gespräche im Umkreis der Atomphysik, trans. Arnold J. Pomerans (R. Piper: 1969), p. 117. Continuing, in, Truth and Tolerance: Christian Belief and World Religions (Ignatius Press: 2004), pp. 139-40.

Wolfgang Pauli took up the thread of the discussion and agreed… “The complete division between knowledge and faith is surely just a temporary stopgap measure. In Western society and culture we could for instance, in the not-too-distant future, come to the point at which the parables and images that religion has used up to now are no longer convincing, even for simple folk; and then, I fear, traditional morality will also very rapidly break down, and things will happen that are more frightful than anything we can imagine.” At that time in 1927, those taking part in the conversation could have at most a vague suspicion that soon afterward the unholy twelve years would begin, in the course of which things did indeed happen that were “more frightful” than could previously have been thought possible. There were of course a good number of Christians, some of whose names we know and some who have remained nameless, who opposed the demonic forces with the power of their Christian conscience. But on the whole the power of temptation was stronger; those who just went along with things left a clear path for evil.