home page links quotes statistics mission statement success stories resources Lighter Side Authors! Search Page
Posted April 15, 2006

Book: Benedict: The Man Who Was Ratzinger
Author: Michael S. Rose
Spence Publishing Co. Dallas, TX, 2005, pp. 182

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

Though the election to the papacy of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger stunned the world, very few expressed doubt about the direction in which the allegedly authoritarian pope would lead the Catholic Church. Yet Benedict XVI is likely to surprise those expecting uncritical adherence to the policies of John Paul II, according to Michael S. Rose, author of the bestselling Goodbye, Good Men. The first biographer seriously to probe Benedict’s vast intellectual record, Rose shed penetrating new light on the man who was Ratzinger.

Perhaps the most imposing intellectual ever to assume the papacy, Ratzinger has been recognized as a world-class theologian since the time of Vatican II. In two decades as the chief guardian of Catholic doctrine, he addressed every controversy facing the Church: clerical sex abuse, feminism, religious pluralism, sexual revolution and the culture of death, secularism, and militant Islam. This uncommonly rich record, Rose argues, promises a new Counterreformation, purifying and reorienting the Catholic Church.

Rose reveals that Cardinal Ratzinger, unquestionably John Paul II’s closest collaborator, was privately critical of certain ecumenical, liturgical, and administrative policies of the late pope. While Benedict will undoubtedly follow John Paul’s fundamental path, Rose predicts some critical departures that could enable this supposely “polarizing” figure to become a powerful unifying force, reviving the Church and reawakening the West’s Christian identity in its moment of crisis.

An Excerpt from the Book:

In addition to restoring the liturgy, Pope Benedict XVI’s “reform of the reform” also includes a veritable remodeling of the face of the Church through its sacred music, art, and architecture. His appreciation for sacred music is well known. A pianist himself, he once said that he is distrustful of theologians who “do not love art, poetry, music, nature: they can be dangerous.” Although the comment may come across as light and humorous, Cardinal Ratzinger was making a serious point: Those who cannot appreciate the artistic expression of the faith are often iconoclasts, who undermine Catholicism through their promotion of banality, reductionism, and fundamentalism. This strategy has produced a stripped down liturgy, barren church buildings, and a watering down of Catholic teaching in the decades following the Council. The result has been the secularization of the Church and obfuscation of Catholic identity.

Table of Contents:

1. The besieged soul of Christian Europe
2. The “Ideology of Dialogue”
3. Islam and the crisis of Christian identity
4. The “anti-culture of death”
5. Expelling the filth, purifying the Church
6. The invention of a “culture of homophobia”
7. Insisting upon sound doctrine
8. Remodeling the face of the Church
9. Shedding the “armor of Saul”