In Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, people were told, the world was getting “God’s Rottweiler” as pope. Now, after Benedict’s first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est or “God is Love,” many people are wondering if he isn’t really the “Love Pope.”
God’s Revolution by Benedict XVI, the collection of his World Youth Day talks and other addresses in Cologne, only adds to the amazement. Thoughtful readers will discover in its author far more than they bargained for.
God’s Revolution isn’t only for young people, for Catholics alone, or even only for Christians. Benedict XVI’s thoughtful and inspiring messages to the Jewish and Muslim communities in Germany are included. Speaking in a synagogue in Cologne, Benedict urges Jews and Christians to grow closer to one another. He recalls the horrors of the Holocaust and warns against “new signs of anti-Semitism.” As he commemorates the 60th anniversary of the liberation from the Nazi death camps, the Pope’s words are especially poignant: as a teenager, Benedict XVI was forced to join the Hitler Youth, against his will and that of his anti-Nazi parents.
God’s Revolution also addresses Protestant Christians. Coming from the land of the Reformer Martin Luther, Benedict knows Protestant concerns. He presents Catholic teaching in a way that underscores Catholics’ and Protestants’ common Christian commitment. “Together we confess that Jesus Christ is God and Lord,” he states, “together we acknowledge him as the one mediator between God and man (cf. 1 Tim 2:5), and we emphasize together that we are members of his Body.”
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An informed and informative collection of inspired guidance drawn from the spirited writings in celebration of the World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany, and the influential role played by the pope in this international event. Knowledgeably covering a great array intriguing subjects, God’s Revolution introduces the reader to the inspiring love of Christ, a strong Catholic identity, and a profoundly idealist Christian vision. Manifesting a true wisdom of the Christian faith, in the enduring benefits of Christian fundamentals, and providing a situational perception through the authorship of Pope Benedict XVI, God’s Revolution is very highly recommended for all Roman Catholics.
—Bojan Tunguz, visiting scholar, Stanford University
Joseph Ratzinger is one of the most revered Catholic prelates, scholars, theologians, teachers, and authors of our time. He has spoken on many crucial subjects, including sexual consumerism, roles of men and women today, marriage, the priesthood, and the future of the world. On June 29, 1951, Joseph Ratzinger was ordained to the priesthood in the Cathedral of Freising on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. He also received his doctorate in theology in 1953 from the University of Munich. Starting in 1959, Ratzinger taught theology at the University of Bonn.
After many years of teaching at several German universities, Ratzinger was appointed by Pope Paul VI as Archbishop of Munich and Freising in March 1977, and was elevated to cardinal in June 1977. In November 1981, Ratzinger was summoned by Pope John Paul II to Rome, where he was named Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, President of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, and President of the International Theological Commission.
On April 19, 2005, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected to be the 265th pope. He took the name Benedict XVI, after St. Benedict of Nursia. As pope, he received worldwide respect and was a spiritual influence to Christians and non-Christians alike. In 2013, he resigned the papacy, becoming the first pope to do so in since the fifteenth century. He retired to a monastery in the Vatican Gardens, where he continues to study and write.