Celebrating the 5th Anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s Pontificate

April 19th marked the 5th anniversary of the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI. (It also marked the birth of my second son, which is why I’m a little late to the celebration). Following are some links commemorating the occasion:

Get to know Pope Benedict XVI …

The Essential Pope Benedict XVI The Essential Pope Benedict XVI

Edited by John F. Thornton & Susan B. Varenne, with introduction by D. Vincent Twomey, S.V.D.

On April 24, 2005, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI, the successor of the Apostle Peter and the spiritual leader of more than one billion Roman Catholics. This collection lays out Benedict’s thinking and relates it to a variety of contemporary issues, including modern culture’s abandonment of traditional religious values, social mores regarding conception and the sanctity of life, current challenges to the priesthood, and the Catholic Church’s relations with other world religions.

Benedict XVI: An Intimate Portrait Benedict XVI: An Intimate Portrait

In the person of Benedict XVI, the Church has a Pope who is one of the most significant of Europe’s intellectuals. The journalist Peter Seewald, who has known Ratzinger since 1992, conducted the longest interviews in Church history with him for two books which were best-sellers world-wide, Salt of the Earth, and God and the World. Now, for the first time, Seewald describes these intensive encounters in detail, and draws a portrait of this brilliant theologian who has put his life entirely at the service of the Catholic Church. This book is also the story of a long dialogue that changed Seewald’s life. Many people are trying to understand who Benedict XVI really is. On one point they all agree: in the person of Joseph Ratzinger, the chair of Peter is occupied by one of the most brilliant minds in the world. Peter Seewald’s portrait of Benedict recounts details about the personality and life of Benedict that were hitherto completely unknown.’

Pope Benedict XVI: The Conscience of Our Age Pope Benedict XVI: The Conscience of Our Age

Fr. D. Vincent Twomey, a former doctoral student of Joseph Ratzinger and long time friend of the Pope, felt the need to respond to the common question he heard often after the papal election, “What kind of person is the new Pope?” So often Twomey had read false depictions of both the man and his thought, especially the image presented by the media as a grim enforcer.

Twomey offers here a unique double–presentation of the man, Pope Benedict XVI — a “theological portrait” that encompasses both an overview of the writings, teachings and thought of the brilliant theologian and spiritual writer, as well as the man himself, and his personality traits and how he communicates with others.

Twomey shows that the secret to the serene dignified behavior of Benedict is that he is open to beauty as much as truth, that he lives outside himself, and is not preoccupied with his own self. He also is a man that Twomey says “has the courage to be imperfect”, showing he has a deep humility and strives for teaching the truth even when misunderstood or not presented as well as he would like.


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