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GOD'S WORD: Scripture, Tradition, Office, by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger

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 Contents - Jul 2009AD2000 July 2009 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: The Feast of Saints Peter and Paul (29 June) - Michael Gilchrist
St Marys Cathedral: Sydney ordinations and a new beginning for Australian Catholicism - Fr Gregory Jordan SJ
News: The Church Around the World
Life Marriage Family: The secular culture's flawed view of sexuality - Bernard Toutounji
New Evangelisation: Catholics Come Home: a fresh approach to re-evangelising - Bob Denahy
Ryan Commission: Irish report: child abuse in Church institutions - Br Barry Coldrey
India: Christians in India rejoice at election results - Babette Francis
Foundations of Faith: Galileo: heretic or hero? What are the facts? - Noel Roberts
History: Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust: revisiting Jewish sources - Fr Michael Butler
Letters: Climate change - Michael Griffiths
Letters: The unborn - Brian Harris
Letters: Belloc and Chesterton - Peter Hunt
Letters: Latin Mass - Anthony Bono
Letters: Priestly celibacy - Brian Bibby
Letters: Vatican II - Valentine Gallagher
Letters: Women priests - Kevin McManus
Books: GOD'S WORD: Scripture, Tradition, Office, by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger - Br Barry Coldrey (reviewer)
Books: The Catholic Church and the Bible, by Peter Stravinskas - Br Barry Coldrey (reviewer)
Books: Before the Dawn, by Eugenio Zolli - Michael Daniel (reviewer)
Books: LIKE A SAMURAI: The Tony Glynn Story, by Fr Paul Glynn SM - Tim Cannon (reviewer)
Books: Books available from AD Books and Freedom Publishing
Reflection: The full meaning of love: Christ and St Peter in St John's Gospel - Andrew Kania

Profound insights into Benedict XVI's efforts to renew the Church

Scripture, Tradition, Office
by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
(Ignatius Press, 2008, hardback, 126pp, $29.90.
Available from Freedom Publishing)

God's Word: Scripture, Tradition, Office was released a short time before Cardinal Ratzinger was elected Pope Benedict XVI. In the book, which includes material written over a period of 20 years, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger presents the Word of God as a living reality in the Church.

God's Word is encountered in the Bible, in Tradition and through the teaching office of the bishop, who, as a successor of the Apostles is the witness to divine revelation. Cardinal Ratzinger examines the relationship of the bishops to the Pope, separately and as a whole.

The nature of apostolic succession is considered and the author explores the views of non-Catholic Christians while remaining faithful to Catholic teaching and practice.

The book is intended for theological faculties, libraries and seminaries and makes serious demands on the reader. It has the style, formality and tone of a papal document, but is squarely in the tradition of modern Catholic apologetic writing facing the increasingly secular values of modern Western society.

In this situation, Church leaders have constantly to restate Catholic teaching to a world which ignores or marginalises God, religious issues and religious people.

Modern Catholics

Many modern Catholics are influenced by the agnostic tone of their secular societies and have adopted an ˆ la carte or "pick-and-mix" approach to traditional Catholic teachings which they find unpalatable and overly challenging.

With those Catholics, the Church has to restate that it has a Magisterium and that its teachings matter. The Church may generate a vast range of charitable activities for poor people, marginalised and excluded by dominant elites, but its doctrines and its worship are important too.

God's Word: Scripture, Tradition, Office includes the famous Erasmus Lecture given by Cardinal Ratzinger which assesses the strengths and weaknesses of modern critical approaches to the interpretation of the Bible.

God's Word provides profound insights into Pope Benedict XVI's efforts to renew the Church's participation in God's Truth through the divine Word, as well as the Church's mission to proclaim the Word to all people.

Since some modern Catholics find the demands of a full Christian living burdensome, Cardinal Ratzinger has the theme of "joy" as a central one in many of his addresses, some of which appear in this book.

The theme of "joy" pervades his theology: that the Christian faith, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, is not a terrible imposition but truly "glad tidings" for mankind, the key to true and lasting joy and a hope that lives in the middle of life's anxieties, difficulties and struggles.

For priests, religious and laity who are concerned with presenting the Christian message in a positive, convincing and attractive way, as well as for all who wish to delve into the rich and exciting thought of Benedict XVI, this book will prove timely and provide insights for personal reflection, preaching and teaching.

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 22 No 6 (July 2009), p. 16

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