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Joseph and Chico: The Life of Pope Benedict XVI as Told By a Cat [Hardcover]

By Benedict XVI (Author) & Michael J. Miller (Translator)
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Item description for Joseph and Chico: The Life of Pope Benedict XVI as Told By a Cat by Benedict XVI & Michael J. Miller...

Presents the life of Pope Benedict XVI, from his teenage years in Nazi Germany all the way up to his election as Pontiff on April 19, 2005, through the eyes of his friend, a cat named Chico.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Ignatius Press
Pages   36
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.28" Width: 6.64" Height: 1.09"
Weight:   1.28 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 2008
Publisher   IGNATIUS PRESS #1427
Age  5-12
ISBN  1586172174  
ISBN13  9781586172527  

Availability  0 units.

More About Benedict XVI & Michael J. Miller

Pope Benedict XVI Benedict XVI (Latin: Benedictus XVI; born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger on 16 April 1927) is Pope emeritus of the Catholic Church, having served as Pope from 2005 to 2013. In that position, he was both the leader of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State. Benedict was elected on 19 April 2005 in a papal conclave following the death of Pope John Paul II, celebrated his papal inauguration Mass on 24 April 2005, and took possession of his cathedral, the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, on 7 May 2005.

Ordained as a priest in 1951 in his native Bavaria, Ratzinger established himself as a highly regarded university theologian by the late 1950s and was appointed a full professor in 1958. After a long career as an academic, serving as a professor of theology at several German universities—the last being the University of Regensburg, where he served as Vice President of the university in 1976 and 1977—he was appointed Archbishop of Munich and Freising and cardinal by Pope Paul VI in 1977, an unusual promotion for someone with little pastoral experience. In 1981, he settled in Rome when he became Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, one of the most important dicasteries of the Roman Curia. From 2002 until his election as pope, he was also Dean of the College of Cardinals, and as such, the primus inter pares among the cardinals. Prior to becoming pope, he was "a major figure on the Vatican stage for a quarter of a century" as "one of the most respected, influential and controversial members of the College of Cardinals"; he had an influence "second to none when it came to setting church priorities and directions" as one of John Paul II's closest confidants.

He was originally a liberal theologian, but adopted conservative views after 1968. His prolific writings defend traditional Catholic doctrine and values. During his papacy, Benedict XVI advocated a return to fundamental Christian values to counter the increased secularisation of many Western countries. He views relativism's denial of objective truth, and the denial of moral truths in particular, as the central problem of the 21st century. He taught the importance of both the Catholic Church and an understanding of God's redemptive love. Pope Benedict also revived a number of traditions including elevating the Tridentine Mass to a more prominent position. He renewed the relationship between the Catholic Church and art, viewing the use of beauty as a path to the sacred, promoted the use of Latin, and reintroduced traditional papal garments, for which reason he was called "the pope of aesthetics". He has been described as "the main intellectual force in the Church" since the mid-1980s. Several of Pope Benedict's students from his academic career are also prominent churchmen today and confidantes of him, notably Christoph Schönborn.

On 11 February 2013, Benedict announced his resignation in a speech in Latin before the cardinals, citing a "lack of strength of mind and body" due to his advanced age. His resignation became effective on 28 February 2013. He is the first pope to resign since Pope Gregory XII in 1415, and the first to do so on his own initiative since Pope Celestine V in 1294. As pope emeritus, Benedict retains the style of His Holiness, and the title of Pope, and will continue to dress in the papal colour of white. He was succeeded by Pope Francis on 13 March 2013, and he moved into the newly renovated Mater Ecclesiae monastery for his retirement on 2 May 2013.

Pope Benedict XVI was born in 1927.

Pope Benedict XVI has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Benedict XVI
  2. Bioethics & Culture
  3. Communio Books
  4. Fathers (Our Sunday Visitor)
  5. Publication
  6. Ressourcement: Retrieval & Renewal in Catholic Thought
  7. Spiritual Thoughts

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1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Government > Constitutions
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Catholic
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Ecclesiology
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Church & State

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Roman Catholic

Reviews - What do customers think about Joseph and Chico: The Life of Pope Benedict XVI as Told By a Cat?

Chico and the Man  Sep 17, 2008
I really wanted to love this book. After all, the narrator is a ginger tabby (my favorite color and type of cat) and the subject is Pope Benedict XVI (a learned and compassionate man), who, as titular head of the Roman Catholic Church, is one of the most highly revered men on the planet.

This particular story is the authorized biography of Benedict's life for children. And it is a lovely, well-written story for children.

So, what's my objection? It pains my heart to write this and is meant in no way a criticism of the pope or the church. This cat Chico was there in the town of Marktl-on-Inn, April 16, 1927, when Joseph Ratzinger was born, and he was still alive when Joseph was declared the new pope, on April 19, 2005. That makes that cat 78 years old (or older)--that's in people years. In cat years, he is 546 years old.

At first, I thought I was mistaken until I double-checked the illustrations. No, Chico is there in Joseph's life right from the beginning. Was I supposed to go with artistic license to pretend I didn't notice how old the cat is? Reservations aside, the story is interesting, informative, and quite pleasant.

My other objection is the copious amount of words used in a children's story. As it is written for ages 9-12, then the target audience is correct. However, this book is designed with illustrations--beautiful ones at that--to show various scenes from Joseph's life. The book, then, becomes an unusual combination of words for older children and illustrations for younger children. However, one thing is for certain: Children should never outgrow their love of picture stories. Truthfully, this book is as much for adults as children, for cat lovers as much as Catholics, for the aesthetics as much as the information.

As for the information therein, here is a list of things one learns from reading this book:
1. Joseph's father was a police officer.
2. Joseph took piano lessons
3. Joseph had to fight in the war. His job was to guard an airplane motor factory.
4. In seminary he studied Latin, philosophy, and theology. He wanted to become a priest and teacher.
5. He was part of Vatican II.
6. He became good friends with Pope John Paul II.
7. In 2005 he became Pope Benedict XVI.
8. He had a ginger tabby named Chico.

I highly recommend this book. The art is beautiful, the story is interesting. Readers do gain an excellent sense of who this man is and what he is about. Whether we are on an intimate terms with him, like Chico, and call him Joseph, or reverent terms to call him Pope Benedict, he is one of the central figures of history in the making.
Joseph & Chico  Jun 13, 2008
I thought this book had loads of potential. The illustrations are wonderful, the theme terrific, but its a bit wordy for the young audience I read it to.
for children or cat lovers?  May 28, 2008
It's hard to tell for whom this short biography of Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) is intended. The narrator is a cat, whose storytelling style is very much in the vein of picture books intended for quite young children, much younger than the 9-12 age group suggested by the publisher. But the vocabulary and sentence structure are too advanced for young children and some 9-year-olds will be challenged by a sentence like "While Joseph and Georg set off toward would become their future life in the Church, a tragedy was developing in Germany that would throw the whole world into turmoil." There are some excellent bits of feline wisdom, such as the Latin words for "cat" and "mouse," and the observation that cats choose their people, rather than the reverse; and the text is illustrated by truly outstanding drawings that can be appreciated by children and adults of any age. It makes a very attractive coffee table book, and one that Catholic parents may enjoy reading with their children.
gift for 1st Communion  May 27, 2008
I bought this book for my daughter for her 1stCommunion. (2nd grader) I thought by the cover that it would be at her level, but it was a little advanced and I lost her at a few pages in.
Joseph and Chico:The Life of Pope Benedict XVI as Told By a Cat  May 24, 2008
Very cute idea as a way to introduce a child to Pope Benedict. Nicely illustrated and a presentation of the pope's life before he became Pope Benedict XVI. I gave the book to my grandaughter for her First Communion and she and her parents like it very much.

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