Pope Benedict XVI: A Biography of Joseph Ratzinger

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A&C Black, 2001 - Biography & Autobiography - 340 pages
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A vivid blow-by-blow of the controversies that have wracked the Catholic Church during the past twenty yearsLiberation theology, birth control, women's ordination, inclusive language, "radical feminism," homosexuality, religious pluralism, human rights in the church, and the roles of bishops and theologians-one man has stood at the dead center of all these controversial issues: Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. A teenage American POW as the Third Reich crumbled and a progressive wunderkind at the Second Vatican Council, Ratzinger, for twenty years, has been head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (until 1908 known as the Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition, or Holy Office). The book goes a long way toward explaining the central enigma surrounding Ratzinger: How did this erstwhile liberal end up as the chief architect of the third great wave of repression in Catholic theology in the twentieth century? Based on extensive interviews with Ratzinger's students and colleagues, as well as research in archives in both Bavaria and the United States, Allen's account shows that Ratzinger's deep suspicion of "the world," his preoccupation with human sinfulness, and his demand for rock-solid loyalty to the church run deep. They reach into his childhood "in the shadow of the Nazis" and reflect his formative theological influences: Augustine, Bonaventure, and Martin Luther(!) rather than the world-affirming Thomas Aquinas. When the cardinals of the Catholic Church next gather in the Sistine Chapel to elect a pope, Allen argues, they will in effect be deciding whether to continue the policies Ratzinger has been the central force in shaping."The servility of the sycophants, of those who shy from and shun every collision, who prize above all their calm complacency, is not true obedience. . . . What the church needs today as always are not adulators to extol the status quo, but men whose humility and obedience are not less than their passion for the truth; . . .men who love the church more than the ease and the unruffled course of their personal destiny."-Joseph Ratzinger (1962)>
 

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Pope Benedict XVI: a biography of Joseph Ratzinger

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On Tuesday, April 19, 2005, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger appeared on the loggia of St. Peter's Basilica as Benedict XVI. Having already served more than 20 years as a leading "defender of the faith" for ... Read full review

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Thirty-eight of the largest U.S. billionaires joined the initiative of the founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet financial guru, to donate at least half of their fortunes, which together are around 230,000 million. The founder of CNN, Ted Turner, filmmaker George Lucas and the hotelier Barron Hilton, the list
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Thirty-eight of the largest U.S. billionaires have joined the initiative of the founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet financial guru, to donate at least half of their fortunes, which together are around 230,000 million, officials said Wednesday the proposal.
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Among the tycoons who have accepted the challenge are the mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, and the co-founder of Oracle, Larry Ellison, and the media executive Barry Diller and CNN founder Ted Turner.
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The list also includes the likes of George Lucas, energy tycoon T. Boone Pickens, the hotelier Barron Hilton and David Rockefeller.
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Gates and Buffett, who Forbes magazine considered two of the world's richest men with a net set of 90,000 million dollars, last month launched the initiative "The Giving Pledge" ("The commitment to donate" to the to convince the country of billionaires who devote their wealth to philanthropy.
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"We just started and we've gotten a terrific response," Buffett said in a statement, owner and financial holding company Berkshire Hathaway known as the "Oracle of Omaha" for his ability to predict the performance of markets.
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In addition to asking for money, Gates and Buffet also asked who would accept his challenge exhibited in a letter the reasons why they decided to donate most of their wealth.
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Bloomberg, who made his fortune from the current financial information company that bears his name, said in his letter that philanthropy is the best investment in the future of new generations.
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"If you do something for your children and show them how much you love, the best thing you can do with difference is to support organizations that build a better world for them," he added.
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Lucas, father of the sagas of the "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones," he said, meanwhile, that his interest as donor centers on the world of education.
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"It is the key to our survival as a species. We have to plan for our collective future, and the first step are social instruments, emotional and intellectual we provide to our children, "he said.
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The U.S. has around 400 fortunes in excess of one billion dollars, accounting for 40 percent of assets in this level that is in the world.
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If the millionaires who appear on the list of the 400 richest U.S. donate half of its net assets, could raise for charity and social over 600,000 million dollars, according to estimates by Fortune Magazine
 

Contents

An Erstwhile Liberal
45
All Roads Lead to Rome
89
Authentic Liberation
131
Cultural Warrior
175
Holy Wars
216
The Enforcer
257
Ratzinger and the Next Conclave
295
Notes
315
Index
329
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

John Allen is still the Rome bureau chief for the National Catholic Reporter and CNN's on-camera expert on the death of JP II and the elction of the new pope. He is the author of the definitive Enlish-language biography of Cardinal Ratzinger (Cardinal Ratzinger: The Vatican's Enforcer of the Faith, Continuum, 2000). Since then he has published 2 books with Doubleday: Conlave: The Politics, Personalities, and Process of the Next Papal Election (2002) and All the Pope's Men: The Inside Story of How the Vatican Really Thinks (2004). From 1993-96, he ran the journalism program at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California. During that time the student newspaper consistently ranked in the top ten in the nation and dozens of his students won national writing awards. He holds an M.A. in religious studies from the University of Kansas.

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