Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Pope's Next Book

That's right... I've heard this before, but it now seems to be official. Here's what Reuters is reporting:

Pope Benedict is writing a book on Jesus that will become the second major theological work of his pontificate, a Vatican source said on Tuesday.

The book, expected to be completed by the end of the summer, focuses on Jesus, the human race and Christianity's relationship with other faiths.

The work, which Benedict started before becoming pope in April 2005, comes at a time when he seeks to restore a strong sense of faith among Catholics in the face of growing secularism and competition form other religions, including Islam.

Benedict, a leading Catholic theologian and prolific author, aimed to include reflections from his experience as pope in the book written in the form of a "theological narrative," the Rome-based la Repubblica newspaper said.
Recently, I saw this picture of the Pope on vacation, writing something. I thought, "That looks like a book project." I can hardly wait. Here's the whole story.

PHOTO: Reuters/L'Osservatore


Danny Garland Jr. said...

This is going to be great! I can't wait for it to come out.

Anonymous said...

What do you make of this little touch of controvery which is imbedded into the reports of this new work:

"La Repubblica noted that his focus on Jesus might revive the controversy surrounding "Dominus Iesus," a document he issued in 2000 when he was the Vatican's top doctrinal authority.

It said the Catholic Church was the only real church, an assertion many Protestant leaders took as insulting, and that Jesus was the only path to salvation."

Danny Garland Jr. said...

Ratzinger was proclaiming what the Church has always taught:
The fullness of the Faith is found in the Catholic Church and Jesus is the only name under which we are saved.

In Dominus Iesus, he was commenting on Lumen Gentium which said that the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church. By "subsist" it means only one substance. If you have the substance of something, you have the deepest reality of it. The Catholic Church is the deepest reality of the Faith. Protestant churches only have bits and pieces of the Truth.

As for Jesus being the only path to salvation, Ratzinger was writing about the uniqueness in what Christ came to do. He came to save us. It is only through Christ that we are saved.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church talks about this in paragraph's 846-848. Also see paragraphs 836-845.

Inspector Fruiteau said...

Islam and Catholicism both claim to be the fullness of the faith, in which the other subsists.

I prefer to see the fullness dwelling in Jesus Christ himself. The book of Colossians describes the preeminence of Jesus, and the danger of looking for "fullness" anywhere else (e.g. in a church). The substance belongs to Christ, not the church. I find many of the problems that plague religion stated in Colossians chapter 2: philosophy, man-made traditions, required abstinence, ascetism, promotion of visions, reliance on religious festivals. Add-ons that muddy the simple truth that Christ died for sinners, and that any who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.

Placing the fullness of the faith in the church makes the church a mediator between the Christian and Jesus. Mediators tend to minimize Jesus. He must increase, all mediators must decrease.

So then let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you... and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God.

Danny Garland Jr. said...

Saying that the Church contains the fullness of the Faith does not put a mediator between Christians and Jesus. Christ is in the Church! The Church is the Mystical Body of Christ. Christ is the one who established the Church. The Church points to Christ and exists to keep the Faithful on the path of salvation found in Christ.