In this theological masterpiece on the ministry of the Pope and the nature of the Church, the great Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar examines the widespread hostility toward the Papacy—an attitude he claims attitude exists even within the Catholic Church. Hans Urs von Balthasar seeks to understand this by providing a balanced discussion of the papacy’s place in the Church. He shows how the Office of Peter is an essential aspect of the ongoing life and mission of Christ’s Church. He insists that, on the one hand, the Papacy is not “above” the Church, nor is the mystery of the Church reducible to the Papacy. On the other hand, writes von Balthasar, the Petrine ministry is a crucial element among other indispensable, constitutive principles, which include what von Balthasar calls the Johannine and Pauline dimensions—and above all else—on the Marian aspect of the Church.