My OSV article for Pope Benedict’s Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week is now available online:
New ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ book is pope’s opus
In the second volume of his series on Jesus, Pope Benedict XVI shows himself a master theologian, pastor and mystic
The greatness of a great man is not always recognized in his own time. Although some figures are so incredible that everyone immediately realizes their significance, others are only later recognized for their full import. This is true for popes as well. When Pope John Paul II reigned from the chair of Peter, almost everyone realized what a world-changing man he was. But when Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became pope, few considered him as much more than a “place-holder” pontiff. Now that he has been pope for almost six years, most pundits would still dismiss his achievements on the stage of Church history.
Yet Joseph Ratzinger — now Pope Benedict XVI — is one of the greatest theologians to ever hold the office of the papacy, and his impact on the life of the Church — especially in theological studies — can hardly be overstated. Centuries from now, his works will still be studied and examined, and will be impacting Catholic theology in ways we cannot today imagine. He is one of the great minds of our day, despite the fact that the unthinking still paint him as a hard-line “conservative” Catholic.