The Vatican's Enforcer of the Faith
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Paperback / softback
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of Pages: 352
On Tuesday 19th April 2005: white smoke signals the election of a new Pontiff, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI. Reprint of Cardinal Ratzinger with a New Preface, revised title and jacket. The elevation of Joseph Ratzinger to the Papacy has raised more questions than it answers about what the future holds for the world's one billion Roman Catholics. Seasoned Vatican watcher, John L. Allen Jr is ideally placed to answer these questions tracing Ratzinger's story from his Bavarian routes (including a spell in the Hitler Youth movement), his support for Vatican 11, and the unique relationship he shared with John Paul 11 whilst number two in the Catholic Church. Whilst a Cardinal, Joseph Ratzinger never failed to polarise opinions, attracting adoration and opprobrium in equal measure He is certain to continue to do so whilst Pope. This book needs to be read by Catholic and non-Catholics alike to understand the mind of a man who now has one of the most powerful roles on earth.
"'A fair and unfailingly interesting account of one of the most controversial figures in religion today' The Irish Times 'Elegantly written and throughout its eight chapters engages one's interest. It never indulges in facile stereotypes. While being critical, Allen fully respects Ratzinger's stature as a theologian and intellectual. With verve, he traces the formation of one of the most controversial prelates in recent times' The Furrow 'We needed a book which was well researched, informative and analytic, adequately critical, yet thoroughly and determinedly fair. John Allen has given us just such a book' The Tablet 'Full of important information about Ratzinger career and changes of position... his most original contribution is to argue that Ratzinger sometimes promotes views even more conservative than the Pope's.' New York Review of Books 'It is not just because of the position he has occupied since 1981 as head of what used to be the Holy Office that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger is a key figure in the development of the Roman Catholic Church since Vatican II... John L. Allen puts us all in his debt by tracing how this has come about... The resulting book is essential reading.' Church Times"