Saturday, August 23, 2014

Pope Benedict Roundup!


  • Benedict XVI: Pope as Prophet, by Rev. George W. Rutler:
    If a prophet is not without honor save in his own country, a great prophet is not without honor save in the whole world. Pope Benedict XVI bent under that mantle in 2005 when he spoke in Regensburg. His only miscalculation was to assume that civilization might still be civil enough to respect reason. Quoting the Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus, himself a remnant of a decaying civilization which still distinguished good from evil, he considered how the Islamic notion of a divine power divorced from reason, whose absolute will is its own justification, could ransack the dignity of man. He condemned no one, and spoke only for truth without which the votaries of unreason, for whom there is no moral structure other than the willfulness of amorality, and whose God is not bound by his own word, rain down destruction.

    The response of some, who protested with violence, proved by that very violence the Regensburg hypothesis, if the Incarnate Christ whose word is truth, can be called a hypothesis. Pope Benedict said: “Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul…. God is not pleased by blood—and not acting reasonably is contrary to God’s nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats.… To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death….”

    Later, the distinguished Egyptian Jesuit scholar, Father Shamir Halil Shamir, wrote: “Benedict XVI is probably one of the few figures to have profoundly understood the ambiguity in which contemporary Islam is being debated and its struggle to find a place in modern society. At the same time, he is proposing a way for Islam to work toward coexistence globally and with religions, based not on religious dialogue, but on dialogue between cultures and civilizations based on rationality and on a vision of man and human nature which comes before any ideology or religion. ...

    And on a similar note, here's Hilary White (LifeSite): Pope Benedict was right about Islam at Regensburg. The world owes him an apology. 08/20/14.

    Meanwhile, Rorate Caeli remembers When Bergoglio attacked Ratzinger - Fausto Carioti, Libero Quotidiano 08/22/14.

  • Francis, Benedict, and MacIntyre?, by John Haldane. Ethika Politika 03/10/14:
    The conjoining of the names of the present Pontiff, the Pope Emeritus and one of the world’s leading moral philosophers poses an interesting challenge. How might one think to relate them? and why would one seek to do so? Should it be in an effort to use the thoughts of each to illuminate the ideas and words of the others? Should we see them as engaged in related tasks of addressing contemporary culture but bringing different interests, experiences, talents, and charisms to bear?
  • Adventures in the Liturgy with Benedict XVI, by Peter Strzelecki Rieth. The Imaginative Conservative 07/27/14. A review of The Spirit of the Liturgy (Readers are still discovering the riches of Pope Benedict!).

  • Michael Brendon Daugherty writes In defense of Pope Benedict and the Latin Mass (The Week 07/09/14). "One of Benedict's greatest legacies was to liberate the Latin Mass — and thereby restore beauty to the whole world."

  • The Ratzinger prize, referred to as the "Nobel of Theology," will for the first time this year recognize a woman theologian -- as well as a Polish theologian Zenit, 06/17/14:
    Cardinal Camillo Ruini announced today the award recipients as French professor Anne-Marie Pelletier, the prize’s first female winner, and Polish priest and scholar, Professor Waldemar Chrostowski, the first Polish winner.
  • Benedict XVI on Freedom in Obedience to the Truth: A Key for the New Evangelization, by Matthew J. Ramage. Homiletic & Pastoral Review 05/12/14.


  • Pope Benedict XVI's beliefs examined, by Jack L. Kennedy. Joplin Independent 08/04/14. Reporting the publication of a new doctoral thesis on Benedict from Rev. John J. Lynch (Anglican): The Logos as Reason, Word, and Love in the Theology of Joseph Ratzinger (June, 2014).

  • Just published: Truth and Politics: A Theological Comparison of Joseph Ratzinger and John Milbank by Peter Kucer:
    One of the perennial questions in political theology is how the concept of truth is defined and how such is grounded theologically. The answer to this determines, to a great degree, theological engagement with and appropriations of political systems and theological accounts of political and social order. Truth and Politics tackles this crucial question through an analysis and comparison of the thought of two of the most important contemporary Catholic and Protestant theologians, Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) and John Milbank.

    Peter Samuel Kucer here traces out the critical question of the relationship of theology and politics, particularly as it intersects with ecclesiology, through a focus on the issue of the theological relationship to socialism. In this, Kucer demonstrates the competing accounts in the theologies of Joseph Ratzinger and John Milbank, arguing that Ratzinger's theology is oriented in such a way that it maintains a provisional openness with regard to political forms—that theology and politics, while interconnected, do not demand commitment to a singular form of political model—in contrast to Milbank's work, which subscribes to a particular pattern of church and politics.

On a lighter note ...