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Milestones: Memoirs 1927-1977 [Paperback]

By Benedict XVI (Author), Benedict (Author) & Pope Benedict XVI (Author)
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Item description for Milestones: Memoirs 1927-1977 by Benedict XVI, Benedict & Pope Benedict XVI...

Presents the life and acccomplishments of the man who became Pope Benedict the Sixteenth, from his early life in Nazi Germany, through his theological education, to his appointment as archbishop of Munich and Freising in 1977.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Milestones: Memoirs 1927-1977 by Benedict XVI, Benedict & Pope Benedict XVI has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Booklist - 10/01/1998 page 287

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Ignatius Press
Pages   300
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.14" Width: 5.38" Height: 0.5"
Weight:   0.45 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 21, 2005
Publisher   Ignatius Press
ISBN  0898707021  
ISBN13  9780898707021  
UPC  008987070214  

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More About Benedict XVI, Benedict & Pope Benedict XVI

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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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Leaders & Notable People > Religious
3Books > Subjects > History > Europe > Germany > General
4Books > Subjects > History > Europe > Germany
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > General
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > Inspirational
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > Popes
8Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > Church History

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

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Reviews - What do customers think about Milestones: Memoirs 1927-1977?

Still want to know more about him  Jul 12, 2007
The first 50 years of Joseph Ratzinger's life. I liked Joseph Ratzinger very much prior to 2005, and have loved him very much since he's been Pope.

Not being an intellectual myself, I can only marvel at the life and character of this man. Maybe the reading of this small book is a little dry, but if you are interested in learning about him - it is well worth the reading. However, because it is written by himself, there is a lot about the man that I would like to know that isn't covered.

I like the fact that the love for his family and his Bavaria is very evident - almost tangible - all throughout the book, but it is difficult to "crack the code" of his obviously deep and complex personality. Yet, I can understand that unwillingness to expose the deeper self in a book.

For me the book is gratifying, if only for getting the basics but a biography would be better.
Milestones, a review of the first half of the life of the current pope  Nov 20, 2006
Milestones is a highly readable, name-dropping autobiography that illuminates some of the life and thinking of the current pope. Our church chose this for one of the selections of our book club. We reviewed it just after Benedict XVI's controversial talk at the University of Regensburg, which we read in its entirety. The consistency of the sentiment of that talk (advocating, basically, for a repudiation of violence in the practice of religion, and a dialogue with other religions and with science) with Benedict's early life is very clear. He is an actor on the world's stage, but also an important religious leader, whose vision directly affects nearly a billion people and indirectly the entire world. Important, easy-to-read and gentlemanly book.
Was Ratzinger a Nazi?  Sep 3, 2006
When Cardinal Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI over a year ago, many journalists quipped that "Ratzi the Nazi" is now Pope. Indeed, the image of the German Pope being an ex-Nazi will probably never be lost for the remainder of his life, and though this extremely learned and dignified man shouldn't for a second be upset over the attacks made on him by people whose learning amounts to no more than a tiny fraction of his own, addressing the "Ratzi the Nazi" myth is worthwhile, if for no other reason than that it may teach some people to read something instead of making judgments on the basis of the lies and leftist clichés their brains are inculcated with in modern "schools."

So what evidence can you find in Ratzinger's memoirs that he came from an anti-Nazi family and himself disdains Nazism?

He wrote that "time and again, in public meetings" his father took "a position against the violence of the Nazis" (p. 12), that after the January 30, 1933 "seizure of power" in which Hindenburg transferred to Hitler the position of chancellor of the Reich his father was " have to work...for a government whose representatives he considered to be criminals" (p. 14), that his father "would warn and aid priests he knew were in danger" due to the Nazi practice of spying and informing on priests who behaved as "enemies of the Reich" (p. 14), that his father "saw that a victory of Hitler's (in World War II) would not be a victory for Germany but rather a victory of the Antichrist that would surely usher in apocalyptic times for all believers, and not only for them" (p. 27), and that his father "voiced all his ire against Hitler" to the faces of two SS men given shelter in the Ratzinger house (in either April or May of 1945), an action which "as a rule should have had deadly consequences for him," or, in other words, an action that put his life in danger (p. 36-37). In September of 1944 Ratzinger was assigned to a Nazi forced-labor camp run by Nazis who Ratzinger described as "fanatical ideologues who tyrannized us without respite" (p. 32-33); and, in either late April or early May of 1945 (Ratzinger doesn't remember precisely) he risked his life to escape the Nazi forced-labor camp; he made the escape attempt with the knowledge that soldiers "had orders to shoot deserters on the spot" (p. 36). On page 42 he refers to Nazism as a "destructive ideology."

On Paul Gottfried briefly explained that the "Ratzi the Nazi" charge is entirely grotesque:

"Except for a forced membership in the Hitlerjugend and a minor role protecting German cities against the Allied bombing of German civilians, Ratzinger had no links to the Third Reich. Before the War's end, he surrendered to American forces, which allowed him to return to a Catholic seminary. He and his brother Georg, who also became a priest, came from a staunchly anti-Nazi Bavarian family, which made only the smallest necessary compromises to survive in a regime they plainly disliked."
Pleasant reading limited by years covered  Aug 29, 2006
Like most people, I read this book, to see what the new Pope had to say about his own life. This book is most interesting when he talks of his childhood. Once he goes off to his theological studies, it's less so. The biggest drawback is that the book was written years ago, it stops at 1977. What we would have loved was to have a memoir encompassing his years with JPII and as the Prefect. Considering the very moving speech he gave at JPII's funeral, I would have loved to read something about those years. I truly hope he will have time to put those down.
Wish it were a lot longer (actual memoir consists of only 113 pages, plus 36 pages of B&W photos).   Aug 2, 2006
"As a rural policeman, my father was transferred frequently, so we were continually on the road." That is, until 1937 "when my father turned sixty and retired." Ratzinger was "born on Holy Saturday, April 16" only ten years earlier; on the eve of Easter, a time of "not yet standing in the full light but walking toward it full of trust." In his twelth year, aso at Easter time, he enters the minor seminary, but Ratzinger doesn't go into much by way of detail on this 'milestone' of his. Of course, Hitler was on the war path during this time. "At first," Ratzinger remembers, "the war appeared to be almost unreal." His brother was not drafted until 1942. The following year Joseph was himself drafted, not into the German army, but into "a very peculiar kind of boarding school in Munich." Then on September 10, 1944, having reached military age we [Joseph & his boarding school cadets] were released from the FLAK in which we had actually served as students." (FLAK is an acronym for batteries of the anti-aircraft defense.) "When I arrived home, the draft notice of the Reichsarbeitsdienst [work service of the Reich] already lay on the table." After some weeks spent in the labor detail he was finally assigned to infantry barracks in Traunstein, his home town. Basic training began in mid-Jauary 1945 & not long after its completion Joseph found himself a POW in American hands. He was a free man again on June 19; his brother reappearing the following month. At this point we are at page 40 of the 113 pages of text. The balance of this "biographical sketch" (as Ratzinger refers to these memoirs) touches upon a two-year study of philosophy, followed by theological studies in Munich; and the conferment of his theology degree in July 1953. Not long after this milestone Ratzinger loses his father. ("I sensed that the world was emptier for me and that a portion of my home had been transferred to the other world.") Then, having developed a good relationship with the archbishop of Cologne (Cardinal Frings), Ratzinger accompanies him to the Second Vatican Council proceedings in Rome as the cardinal's theological advisor. Ratzinger does not at all, however, enter "into a detailed portrayal of these very special years;" not believing that "the theological and ecclesial drama of those years belong in these memoir." The story thus jumps to Munster where Ratzinger takes a position lecturing as he begins to divide his time between this locale and his ongoing advisory role in Rome. 3 years later he ditches Munster for Tubingen during a time of turmoil, a time when "at almost a moment's notice, there was a change in the ideological 'paradigm' by which the students and a part the teachers thought." It was 1967 when "almost overnight the existentialist model collapsed and was replaced by the Marxist." By 1969 he moves yet again, this time to Regensburg (where he brother was then living) to work in a "less agitated environent." But the "waves of Marxist revolt...pounded there too." The crisis in theology, though, had a cause; having emerged out of a crisis in culture and, indeed, out of a cultural revolution." Out of this turmoil came the idea to start an international journal; a project that "was to gather together all those who did not want to do theology on the basis of the pre-set goals of ecclesial politics..." Ratzinger's book ends with his appointment as archbishop of Munich, but many more 'Milestones' were still to come, thank God. (06Jul) Cheers!

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