Ratzinger Report: An Exclusive Interview on the State of the Church Paperback – June 1 1985
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- Publisher : Ignatius Press; First edition (June 1 1985)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 197 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0898700809
- ISBN-13 : 978-0898700800
- Item Weight : 254 g
- Dimensions : 13.46 x 1.7 x 20.47 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: #550,447 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the Author
Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI) is recognized as one of the most brilliant theologians and spiritual leaders of our age. As pope he authored the best-selling Jesus of Nazareth. Prior to his pontificate, he wrote many influential books important for the contemporary Church, such as Introduction to Christianity and The Spirit of the Liturgy.
Top reviews from Canada
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Nevertheless, I found it extremely fascinating and worthwhile. For starters, Ratzinger's understanding of the Church speaks directly to why I was drawn to it in the first place. He conveys a sense of the Church's community of believers, the communion of saints, emphasizing the very important communal aspects of the Catholic faith and suggesting that theology is not just a matter for individuals and academicians and "theologians"--it is pursued as a community. He describes this community, this unity quite wonderfully, I think: "harmonic wholeness."
His description as the Church going up against the powerful cultural forces of our time was also quite convincing and appealing. Indeed, the Church stands virtually alone against the tide of permissivity. Ratzinger discusses the difficulties the Church was facing in the mid-1980s, from feminism and liberation theology to the dangers of extreme individualism. His proposed solutions are probably not surprising to those familiar--among others: not an abandonment of Vatican II but a discovery of its true spirit; a re-affirmation of traditional doctrines (such as the Virgin Mary); a recognition that the Church is not democratic but sacramental and hierarchical instead; and a restoration of the virtues of motherhood and virginity.
All in all, a great survey of the Catholic Church's position in the modern world, which deals with problems as well as possible answers. Moreover, Ratzinger speaks, either directly or indirectly, to the problems facing the world in general, and his solutions could just as easily be applied in that broader context. This book, then, in many ways, transcends its intended Catholic audience--a true achievement.
1. If you want to know the state of the Catholic Church from it's top "German Shepherd" whose voaction consisted of keeping the Catholicity of the faith: read this book!
2. If you don't want to know the state of the Catholic Church, well, that's your problem: read this book!
3. If you haven't heard before,
the whole problem of the Catholic Church,
is that we are all part of it,
and if we are all part of the whole problem,
that means we are also part of the whole solution
therefore: read this book!
Top reviews from other countries
The interviewer asked, "Can then a 'modern' Catholic again begin to read the Bible without bothering himself too much over complicated exegetical questions?'
"Certainly," [ Cardinal Ratzinger replies.]." Every Catholic must have the courage to believe that his faith (in communion with that of the Church) surpasses every 'new magisterium' of the experts, of the intellectuals."
"Exegetical" means "explanatory," and "magisterium" means "teaching authority, especially of the Catholic Church." The meanings of these words are implicit in Cardinal Ratzinger's prose, beautifully translated as it is, and I only used a dictionary to be sure that my reading was absolutely correct for this review.
My recommendation of this book extends not only to Catholics, but to all Christians.