Monday, October 10, 2005

Speaking of Catholics

I read Ratzinger's Salt of the Earth: The Church at the End of the Millennium: An Interview With Peter Seewald a few weeks ago and found it a striking book to read. Here's what a reviewer had to say about it in Amazon and it is the lack of polemic that stands out.
There is also a notable serenity here and lack of polemic. Whereas Ratzinger has been called an inquisitor by figures such as Küng, note what Ratzinger says of Küng, I think most sincerely: `I respect his path, which he takes in accord with his conscience, but he should not then demand the Church's seal of approval, but should admit that in essential questions he has come to different, very personal decisions of his own.'

The man who emerges here is very striking and very human. One senses, if one is open, a man who has dedicated his adult life to sincere prayer, to careful, painstaking thought, to profound - and often thankless - commitment to humanity and to God. One senses this total dedication of a man, now 78 years old when many a man aspires only to peaceful retirement, a man who has taken on a crown of thorns and is scourged by the world.
This was the only book Ratzinger's available at our library. The held many and all were checked out. So everyone in St Charles seems to have been devling into the Catholic fringe that week.

I'll be back for more. I found him just as comforting as Oriana Fallaci does here,
"I feel less alone when I read the books of Ratzinger." I had asked Ms. Fallaci whether there was any contemporary leader she admired, and Pope Benedict XVI was evidently a man in whom she reposed some trust. "I am an atheist, and if an atheist and a pope think the same things, there must be something true. It's that simple! There must be some human truth here that is beyond religion."

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