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Church, Ecumenism and Politics: New Endeavors in Ecclesiology Hardcover – June 25, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press (June 25, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586172174
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586172176
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,359,871 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in 1927 in Germany as Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI has been head of the Roman Catholic Church since April 2005. A prolific author, theologian and university professor, Ratzinger served as an "expert" at the Second Vatican Council, and was tapped in 1977 by Pope Paul VI to lead the German Archdiocese of Munich and Freising. In 1981, Pope John Paul II called him to Rome to head the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, where he served until his papal election.

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Eric Jackson on February 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Church, Ecumenism and Politics: New Endeavors in Ecclesiology, is a collection of lectures and papers by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. This slender volume takes a theme similar to that of his book, The New People of God, first published (in German) in 1969: "the question of the nature of the Church and her structure, the questions of ecumenicism and of the relation between the Church and the world." The threefold division given in the book will be followed in my review.

The first part, On the Nature and Structure of the Church, contains a useful chapter, "The Primacy of the Pope and the Unity of the People of God"; it offers insight into the Cardinal's understanding of the responsibility of the pope, which responsibility is now his. The pope's relation to the Church, as an individual, is not only biblically sound--we find Paul speaking, as Paul, for the members of his community, and addressing other communities through their leaders, such as Peter--it also provides a framework for responsibility. Ratzinger uses Reginald Cardinal Pole's observations to work his way towards a pope who leads and guides his Church even in, perhaps especially through, personal suffering. As Pole observes: "The office of the papacy is a cross, indeed, the greatest of all crosses. For what can be said to pertain more to the cross and anxiety of the soul than care and responsibility for all the Churches throughout the world?" Ratzinger was reflecting on this cross long before it became his as pope.

Part two deals with Ecumenical Problems. Given the recent actions by the author, as Pope Benedict XVI, in respects to the struggling Anglican Church, "Problems and Prospects of the Anglican-Catholic Dialogue" is most enlightening.
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By Dean Cox on September 15, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Cardinal is easy to read, and his concern for ecumenism is greatly appreciated. If only more, especially Protestants, would show his concern! He makes a great effort to understand the difference between internal and external unity, which is a valuable distinction. His concern about external unity is centered on the problem of authority, and certainly supports his view, but does not explain why it has to be that way. Can there be external unity without a central authority? This book not only does not convince me there must be central authority to reach an external ecuminity, but does not entertain the notion at all. Paul told Timothy to "not lord it over them" but to lead by example. When authority becomes the issue in the church, red flags go up in my head.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As usual, the then-Cardinal Ratzinger reviews other positions on various issues (such as the meaning of the People of God) before he sets out and thoroughly supports his own position. This is no book for those who enjoy "drive-by shootings" that merely criticize opposing theories through slogans or name-calling. A very thoughtful book.
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