The Pope and the World: The Thoughts of Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI, while Pope, but also for years before that as Priest, Bishop, Theologian, Cardinal and Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has long engaged in a dialogue that has sought to clarify the relationship between the sacred and the secular. While initially considered progressive when engaged as peritus at the Second Vatican Council, the years have shown that he does not easily fit into any form of categorisation. While many of his peers have accused him of changing his views on the engagement of the Church in the world, Joseph Ratzinger argues that he has been consistent in his views while responding to a changing context. This book tracks the ideas of the Pope Emeritus across the years and across many themes as he battles with the rapidly changing modern world. It becomes clear that there has been no about-face in his positions over time, but, rather, that there is a definite consistency in his sense of directing the sacred—whether dealing with the Liturgy in a time of increasing worldliness or discussing the place of the faith in the civil-political sphere—across all spheres towards God and the transcendent. As he has lived and guided during an increasingly turbulent era for the Church, this has meant that his perspective and the clarity and precision of his words have placed him as a sign of contradiction in the world, just as he argues the Church should be.
Dualta Roughneen is a graduate Civil Engineer of the National University of Ireland, Galway, and holds an MSc in Human Rights from University College Dublin. He has worked in Sudan, Afghanistan, Liberia, North Korea, Ethiopia, Niger, Cameroon, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Nepal and the Central African Republic, amongst others, in humanitarian response. He has been a columnist for the Catholic Voice and editor of the ALIVE! newspaper in Ireland. His publications include the books North Korea: On the Inside Looking in (2014), The Right to Roam: Travellers and Human Rights in the Modern Nation State (2010), and Humanitarian Subsidiarity: A New Principle? (2017), and he is also the editor of The Best of Benedict: An Irish Perspective (2020).
“The Pope and the World is a comprehensive introduction to the thought of Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI. The author succeeds in presenting a vast range of topics covered by one of the greatest living thinkers, and does so in a logical, yet compelling, series of themes (chapters) which indeed form a complete and satisfactory whole. As the author shows, Pope Benedict’s insights into the richness of the Catholic faith never fail to enable his contemporaries to come to terms with the world we live in today. Extensive quotations from Ratzinger’s writings—especially the lesser-known texts of his pontificate—allow the reader to taste the originality and the freshness of a great mind inspired by God’s revelation, passionately engaged with the great thinkers of the past and present, and motivated by the desire to communicate in beautiful prose to his readers the truth that sets us free.”
D. Vincent Twomey SVD
Professor Emeritus of Moral Theology, Pontifical University of St. Patrick's College, Maynooth, Ireland
“Books about Popes are by no means uncommon or infrequent. What is less common is a book attempting to codify the thought of a recent Pope whose life’s work impacted at least as much before his election to the See of Peter as afterwards. Even at this brief historical distance, The Pope and the World is a well-timed opportunity to look again at the intellectual thought of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI in a less-charged atmosphere than that which surrounds the modern papacy. Given that historical distance generally refers to the growing clarity that comes with the passage of time, The Pope and the World is an earnest contribution to those seeking to arrive at a dispassionate, fair-minded understanding of the legacy of Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI in the geo-political, moral and ecclesial landscape of the post-conciliar era. Roughneen has gathered together a panoply of source material which will cause both enthusiast and enquirer to halt up and evaluate afresh the impact of Joseph Ratzinger on the papacy, the Church and the world.”
Rev Dr Seán Corkery
Diocese of Cloyne
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