I'm going to make this short, and it will probably be inadequate. I closed a thread below because I didn't like it. No offense against anyone who posted, but I found some of the "You mean people are accusing everyone of being heretics" posts ill-founded and unfair, and some of the responses were less than helpful, in that they didn't quite match up to what the Church teaches and is all about.
Notice what the now-Pope does not say. He doesn't say this is fantastic. He doesn't say that this will be accomplished by kicking people out. He makes an observation that this well might be the case.
What struck me today, frankly, as I was scrubbing potatoes - was that the "orthodox" sometimes want to have it both ways. They tout the power and beauty of orthodoxy as a force that is attractive - orthodox dioceses have more vocations, orthodox religious orders are growing, mainline churches are in decline, etc.
But then they hop on Ratzinger's remnant allusions with vigor, as well.
I suppose it could be both ways, but I can't work that out right now.
But somehow this came to be an excuse for folks to state their displeasure with an exclusionary tone they detected in some posts - which was, in some cases, an accurate observation. I tried to address the exclusionary/inclusive issue below. Just a bit more:
The Catholic Church has been all over the place in this regard. In the Early Church, Christianity was, indeed, rather "exclusive," the process for entry was rigorous, and the consequences for serious sin quite harsh.
But then, things changed. Christianity was established, understanding of sin, reconciliation and baptism developed, and masses of Germanic tribes were incorporated into the Church. The Mass, once the exclusive domain of the initiated who were also in communion in the broadest sense, was open to all - receiving Communion eventually became the point of self-judgment, but as far as being Christian and participating in worship...anyone could sit in the back of the cathedral or the parish, and it was generally fine.
(I've written of this at other times, as I've mulled over the disappearance of the Bad Catholic. We are all Good Catholics now.)
And do you know what? It's still fine. The Church, as we live it, is made up of saints and sinners, and everyone in between. It's big and messy. Most people sitting in the pews live with points of dissonance between their lives and the call of the Gospel. Most people sitting in the pews wonder, doubt, have difficulties with certain teachings, and question.
That's not what anyone - I think it's safe to say - is talking about in that thread below.
Because if each of us were totally honest, we would be able to bring out our own points of dissonance, the teachings which we believe, but find so hard to live, the teachings that don't make sense to us. Therese of Lisieux lived with doubt. Mother Teresa was tormented by it.
None of us - not one - has any right or place to judge the interior faith of another, and I don't think anyone here is trying to.
But public statements and assertions by public Catholics and Church leaders who speak ignorantly or misleadingly, who mischaracterize the teaching of the Church - that's another. Again, the call is not ours, although public statements certainly can legitimately bring on public responses. But still, wishes for anyone to separate themself from Christ and his Church are wrong.