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God's Choice: Pope Benedict XVI and the Future of the Catholic Church [Paperback]

By George Weigel (Author)
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Item description for God's Choice: Pope Benedict XVI and the Future of the Catholic Church by George Weigel...

George Weigel's bestselling biography of Pope John Paul II, Witness to Hope, set the standard by which all portraits of the modern papacy are now measured. With God's Choice, he gives us an extraordinary chronicle of the rise of Pope Benedict XVI as well as an unflinching view of the Catholic Church at the dawn of a new era.

After more than twenty-six years of John Paul II's guidance, the Catholic Church is entering a new age, with its bedrock traditions intact but with pressing issues to address in a volatile and changing world. Beginning with the story of John Paul's final months, God's Choice offers a remarkable inside account of the conclave that produced Benedict XVI as the next pope, drawing on George Weigel's unrivaled access to this complex event.

Reflecting on John Paul II's greatness, painting an intimate portrait of the new pope, and boldly assessing the Church's current condition, God's Choice is an invaluable book for anyone seeking to understand the Catholic future and the larger human future the Church will help to shape.

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Item Specifications...

Format: Large Print
Studio: Thorndike Press
Pages   563
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.94" Width: 6.1" Height: 1.13"
Weight:   1.64 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 15, 2006
Publisher   Thorndike Press
ISBN  0060883545  
ISBN13  9780060883546  

Availability  0 units.

More About George Weigel

George Weigel GEORGE WEIGEL, Distinguished Senior Fellow of Washington's Ethics and Public Policy Center, is a Catholic theologian and one of America's foremost commentators on issues of religion and public life. A Newsweek contributor and Vatican analyst for NBC News, Weigel is the author of fifteen books, including the New York Times bestseller Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II. His work has been translated into more than a dozen languages.

From the Hardcover edition.

George Weigel currently resides in Bethesda, in the state of Maryland. George Weigel was born in 1951 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Ethics and Public Policy Center, Washington, DC the Ethics and Public.

George Weigel has published or released items in the following series...

  1. Library of Religious Biography
  2. Pennsylvania-German History and Culture Series

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1Books > Large Print > Large Print
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4Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Leaders & Notable People > Religious
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Reviews - What do customers think about God's Choice: Pope Benedict XVI and the Future of the Catholic Church?

Pope Benedict Watcher  Dec 22, 2007
If you are Catholic and try to keep up with the Pope's writings, decisions and his thinking in general, this is a great starting point. For instance, his opinion of the Church's bigest threat is 'Realativism' which precipitated his notion that the Catholic Church is the intended way of Christianity. Realativism or thinking that all religions, Christian or other, is equal before the eyes of God is his target and much more complex than Catholic upmanship. Such ideas and concerns are included in this book.
Catholic? Christian? John Paul admirer? READ THIS BOOK  Aug 18, 2007
Contrary to the review, I was not at all inclined to skip over the first three chapters, but found the descriptions of the end of John Paul's life completely enthralling, deeply moving, and succinctly written. The book is worth reading for this alone!

But then it gets better, going beyond the superficial media labels and misnomers for Joseph Ratzinger, and painting a much more detailed and accurate picture of a complex man. We follow the inner workings of the Church hierarchy and see with their eyes how it became apparent that Ratzinger would truly be the best person to continue the mission of John Paul.

The two men are very different and have different purposes for the Church. When John Paul was elected it was only a short time after Vatican II and the social "revolutions" of the 1960's. The church was struggling for identity and losing members left and right in the process. John Paul because the face of Catholicism for many, and opened the Church back up to youth.

Ratzinger now takes over almost half a century after Vatican II and it's vague progressive "spirit". He is a gentle man who never used much of the power he had as CDF head, and even now is leading not through authority, but pastorally, truly in the steps of his predecessor.

Anyone who does not like Ratzinger or does not understand why he was elected, should read this book. Those who do like him will find Weigel's descriptions of the current state of the Church incisive and accurate. For history buffs or Catholics who want a broad and clear perspective, this book is packed with fascinating analysis. Easy to read and understand, yet very carefully researched and explained in a fluid, unpretentious style.

This book is now a few years old, but by no means out of date. If anything, it points to the future, as the reader realizes some of the author's speculations and predictions have now come to pass. There are real problems the Holy Father has to grapple with, but he is doing it in a way no one expected, except those who know the real man behind the images.

"Thou hast made us for Thee,and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee."  Apr 6, 2007
This book gives an excellent analysis of where the Catholic Church is today,how it came to be what it is and what changes it will likely undergo in the future.From the time of St. Peter, the Catholic Church via the Pope and the Vatican, has been the interpreter of God,s plan for mankind. There have been many Popes,265 to date, that have guided the Chorch throughout history. There have been good times and difficult times;where all kinds of things have influenced the directions taken;but in the final analysis God's message has not changed.Where there have been problems,lack of direction,straying from the course,etc.;these have been through the weaknesses of man himself.
In this book, we see how John Paul II guided the Church ,how Benedict XVI was chosen to follow him, and what differences we are likely to see ,and why.
Much has been written about these two Popes by a variety of people;but I believe this book does as good a job of it as you are likely to find. I believe every Catholic should read it.It will clear up a lot of confusion an misinformation that exists in the media and literature. For people who are Christians of other faiths,people who believe in other faiths or even people who have no faith,they will see what the Catholic Church is all about. A read of the book will show you that there are no secrets.
Of course the belief in God is a fundamental of the Catholic Church and when man strays from that belief and adopts Relativism,Skepticism,Nihilism ,Secularism ;a civilization is doomed to failure. This has been proven throughout history and as recently as in the 20th Century under Marxism , Germany's Nazi experience
,as well as others who have tried and failed to eliminate God and replace it with politics and/or power systems.
There arte many axioms in the book that bring these points home;

"Christianity is not an Idealism"

"It is not true,as is sometimes said,that man cannot organize the world
without God. What is true is that,without God,he can ultimately only
organize it against man. Exclusive humanism is inhuman humanism."

Charles Krauthammer ,a widely read columinist, reminds us of Stailn's cynical formulation,and today's quite fashionable philosophy that all that ultimately matters in relations among nations is power.
He once asked; "The pope? How many divisions does he have?"
John Paul II gave his answer to Stalin and to the ages.
"More than you have. More than you can imagine..."

"The Church's teaching authority cannot be modeled on political protest,and the truth of faith is not measured by opinion polls."

Another interesting part of the book is where we see how the influence in the Church has changed in recent yesrs. Italy's influence has drastically waned as has the rest of Europe's .It is not inconceivable that we may be seeing the last pope from Europe.The numbers of Catholics, 1.1 Billion worldwide has shifted from Europe to the Southern Hemisphere and this will have great influence on the Catholic Church.
I have been a practicing Catholic all my life and found this book extremely interesting and informative.

A Nice, Brief Look at the 265th Pontiff  Feb 23, 2007
Having studied the work of Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) and read more than half-a-dozen works on him, I came to "God's Choice" with a significant cache of knowledge on the subject. While Weigel's work and social commentary (perhaps best known through his syndicated column) remains a source of contention and, at times, controversy, I was rather pleased with this book. I believe that the major fault of the work rests in the initial focus on John Paul II (which occupies more than 100 pages of the 268-page book). Like David Gibson in his "The Rule of Benedict," Weigel apparently felt it necessary to remind the reader of all the great details of Benedict's predecessor - a task I find to be superfluous. That said, it is a good book.

I was delightfully surprised at times while reading this book to find that Weigel had occasionally rendered his advisories an appropriate level of respect. Citing John Allen, Jr., (chief Vatican correspondent for National Catholic Reporter, often noted by being at ends ideologically with the views of Weigel) and others, Weigel significantly avoids polemical spin in a way that has garnered new respect from this reader. However, it should also be noted that there remains a peppering of Weigel's clear and present agenda throughout the book. While at times is appears fleeting or subtle, reader beware that his ecclesial and cultural politics surface here and there. Perhaps one example would suffice.

While addressing his opinion of a "progressive Catholic movement" and its possible Cardinal-elector representatives, he makes the unfounded and impertinent remark: "That, in turn, may explain why the progressive project is infertile - increasingly unable to attract the brightest students in graduate schools of theology in the United States." (Weigel 136-137) Without any substance, using vague terms, Weigel makes a sweeping statement regarding the state of graduate theological students - as it pleases him.

All in all, this is a wonderfully written work. Weigel is clearly intelligent, while politically transparent, and his writing style engages the reader. I would recommend this book as a companion volume to the many other works dedicated to elucidating the life and work of Benedict XVI (see John Allen, Jr.'s "Pope Benedict XVI," H. J. Fischer's "Pope Benedict XVI: A Personal Portrait," and Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger's "Milestones.").
The transition of the papacy brought to life  Jan 18, 2007
George Weigel chronicles the last days of Pope John Paul II and the election of Pope Benedict with clarity and sensitivity. Weigel blends with ease the narrative of the story and the profound human and spiritual legacy of John Paul II.

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