Item description for The Fathers by Pope Benedict XVI...
Overview Pope Benedict XVI carefully explains the stories of early Church fathers, their rich history, and the vital role each one played in not only preserving the church at the time, but anchoring the church of today as well as the future.
Citations And Professional Reviews The Fathers by Pope Benedict XVI has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Christian Retailing - 08/25/2008 page 35
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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...
Bioethics & Culture
Fathers (Our Sunday Visitor)
Ressourcement: Retrieval & Renewal in Catholic Thought
Reviews - What do customers think about The Fathers?
Excellent resource for learning about the Church Fathers May 4, 2010
The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has given to all people an outstanding resource for learning about who the people who are our fathers in the Christian faith were and what they believed and taught. The chapters for each father is short and sweet, but you get the point that's trying to be made and there's ample data for further research, if you need it.
High quality Starter Text Dec 11, 2009
The Pope very competently synthesizes sequentially the protectors of the Deposit of Faith as taught by Christ, received, protected and passed on without blemish or alteration by the Apostles and disciples, to these early Fathers who in like manner defended it against all comers (who were many)for the benefit of the Holy Catholic Apostolic Church which blesses us with it saving grace through the Sacraments instituted by Christ for our salvation.
Twenty-Six Lives of the Church Fathers, Animated with Spiritual Insight and Packed with Scholarly Knowledge Jun 15, 2009
In this summary account of the early Church Fathers, the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI, in a series of catechetical addresses, introduces and instructs his audience on the life, writings and teachings of the primary ecclesiastics of nascent Christianity from St. Clement of Rome (ca. 30-100 AD) to St Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD). Pope Benedict's accounts of each of the Fathers lives is very dense with quotations from their own writings and from the testimonia of their contemporaries, so that these are very lively, inspiring accounts that capture the heart and soul of the Church Fathers and the era in which they thrived. Furthermore, these accounts are firmly grounded upon Apostolic authority and are the fruits of the Holy Father's life-long devotion to patristic scholarship. But these accounts are far from being only "scholarly," for they are--and it goes without saying--pastoral and catechetical, as well. They are pastoral in the sense of cultivating not simply a literary, biographical, or doctrinal understanding of the Fathers, but in encouraging an active and spiritual devotion to they, who were themselves true exemplars of Christ. They are catechetical in the sense that these accounts are didactic, instructional, characterizations of many of the central figures who have made their own unique contributions to theology, biblical scholarship and the religious life, while preserving the apostolic confession during the developmental stages of the Church. Let it also be said, that twenty-six of the Church Fathers are surveyed here, from both East and West, on Fathers greater and lesser known. Overall, this finely written, concise overview of the early Church Fathers is a perfect fusion of scholarly knowledge and spiritual insight--just the kind of work you would expect from the Holy Father on a subject such as the Fathers of the Church.
The Holy Father and the Fathers Nov 21, 2008
In "The Fathers," Pope Benedict XVI continues walking through, to use his charming phrase, "the portrait gallery" of the founders of the Church that he began in "The Apostles." Once again, Our Sunday Visitor assembled a collection of the Holy Father's weekly addresses. On the book jacket, OSV says that the book focuses on the generation or two after the Apostles but the vast majority of the theologians, bishops, monks and holy men that Benedict mediates on come from the tumultuous fourth century. While more historically grounded than his sketches in "The Apostles," Benedict continues to reflect on spiritual lessons that can be learned from the thoughts as well as the lives of these key figures. While the Holy Father's thoughts on a number of the more obscure figures offers light on a number of neglected thinkers, one has to concede that Benedict's meditations on Jerome and, especially, Augustine are the highpoint of the book. Benedict had focused on Augustine during his grad school days and he returns to that great doctor of the Church now, over five decades after he first encountered Agustine's books. These sketches provide a welcome introductory mediation on a number of the key figures who developed the Church.
What could be more needed now than to reflect on the fathers Nov 2, 2008
In our time, with Europe and the west slowly falling into the sinkhole which is secularism, it is wonderful to have this new resource by Pope Benedict. It's a reminder of just how deep Christianity's roots go into the western world, and how many people have been martyred for the church.
The collection starts with Clement and ends with Augustine, covering all of the the fathers with a brief biography as well as an overview of what they wrote about.
Ignatius of Antioch (in about 105 AD) was the first to use the word 'Catholic' to describe the church. Although Ignatius, and all others, plead for unity, by "the second century the Church was threatened by...Gnostics (who) claimed to" (p 25) have secret knowledge that could save a few. Irenaeus responded that "truth and salvation are available to all" (p 27). The Catholic church, said Irenaeus, was "dispersed throughout the world...having received this faith from the apostles...For the churches which have been planted in Germany do not believe anything...different, nor do those in Spain...." p 28) but holds to the same Catholic teachings everywhere.
It is interesting to find the pope calling Origen 'crucial" (p 35) because he defended allegorism in scripture.
No matter how well acquainted you are with the fathers, you will find gems to ponder. For example, Eusebius of Vercelli is not well known. As with so many of the other early Christians, he was "condemned to exile, as were so many other bishops of the East and West: such as Athanasius, Hillary of Poitiers...and Hosius of Cordoba.
Everyone will be touched by Pope Benedict's frequent personal statements. At one point he says, "to dialogue with God, with his Word, is in a certain sense a presence of heaven, a presence of God. To draw near to the biblical texts, above all to the New Testament, is essential for the believer" (p 145).