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Posted July 26, 2005

Book: Pilgrim Fellowship of Faith: The Church as Communion
Author: Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
Ignatius Press, San Francisco, CA, pp.381

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI has been the most visible member of the Catholic clergy in the world, second only to Pope John Paul II. His status as the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith made him one of the most discussed churchmen in recent history.

On the occasion of Ratzinger’s seventy-fifth birthday, his former students selected essays, lectures, letters, and conferences that Ratzinger has written in recent years – writing that they feel best represents his position on issues of theology, the modern world, secularism, non-Christian religions, and other key topics of the Catholic Church. This book, characterized by Ratzinger’s concisely reasoned style, is an invaluable resource to those who wish to understand the modern Church, and the thinking of Pope Benedict XVI, as well as a treasured volume for those who are students of Ratzinger’s theology.

An Excerpt from the Book:

It is Augustine who brought this brought this out very well when he said all believers are servants of God, but the priests are the servants of the servants, and from the perspective of his mission he calls the faithful his masters. The New Testament priesthood stands in succession to the Lord who washes the disciple’s feet: its greatness can consist only in its humility. Greatness and humble status are intermingled, since Christ, as the greatest of all, became the least; since he, the first, took the last place. Being a priest means entering into this fellowship of taking a humble place and thus taking a part in the shared glory of the redemption.

Table of Contents:

Faith and Theology

What in fact is theology?

The Holy Spirit as Communion

Communion: Eucharist – Fellowship – Mission

Eucharist and Mission

The Ecclesiology of the Constitution Lumen Gentium

The Ministry and Life of Priests

Church Movements and Their Place in Theology

Presentation of the Declaration Dominus Jesus

Exchange of Letters between Metropolitan Damaskinos and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger

Exchange of Letters between Provincial Bishop Johannes Hanselmann and Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

On the Ecumenical Situation

The Heritage of Abraham

The Church’s Guilt

The Church on the Threshold of the Third Millennium

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger: Bibliography