The choicest selection of his most readable, most important, and most critical writings
Compiled by the students of the new Pope.
In 2002 to celebrate then
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger’s
75th birthday, a group of his
former students selected
essays, lectures, letters, and
conferences that the Pope
had written in recent years
and gathered them together
in this hefty and important
new volume. Here His
Holiness does lay out nothing
less than the basis of
theology for Catholics.
Pope Benedict Speaks
"The new ideological form of
dialogue, which unfortunately
has found its way even within the Catholic Church and into
certain theological and cultural spheres, aims at relativizing
'dogma'—this is the opposite of 'conversion' and 'mission'."
"The essential yardstick has just emerged of its own accord: that
of being rooted in the faith of the Church. Anyone who does not
share the apostolic faith cannot claim to do apostolic work."
"Now, almost all divisions will straightaway be justified on the
grounds of faith. Establishing whether or not this is well founded
is the first question of ecumenism. As we have shown, it looks for
the nontheological factors producing division. But the allegation
that someone else is ascribing to God what he himself has invented
can only become a shared conviction in the case of some of the
questions facing us. The really hard cases of division are only
those in which one or more of the parties is convinced that they
are not defending their own ideas but are standing by what they
have received from revelation and cannot therefore manipulate."
"The Church is there so that God, the living God, may be made
known—so that man may learn to with God, live in his sight and
in fellowship with him. The Church is there to prevent the
advance of hell upon earth…."
"I was thankful and rejoiced when the 1958 synod moved the
concept of ‘communion’ to center stage. Yet the years that
followed showed how no term is completely safe from
misunderstanding, not even the best and the most profound. In
the same measure as ‘communion’ became the current buzzword,
its meaning was distorted and rendered superficial."
"A living testimony to [Pope Benedict’s]
lifelong labors on behalf of the communion of
the Church, which is rooted in the love of Christ.
No one demonstrates better…that the Church’s
tradition is a living and dynamic reality, born
of a truth that everyone can know and love—
and, in doing so, be transformed."
—George Weigel, author of Witness to Hope
Quality sewn softcover, with full color cover