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Light of the World: The Pope, the Church, and the Signs of the Times Hardcover – 24 Nov 2010


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Light of the World: The Pope, the Church, and the Signs of the Times + God and the World: A Conversation with Peter Seewald
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Catholic Truth Society (24 Nov. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1860827098
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860827099
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 2.5 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 140,182 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Popes do not usually grant book-length interviews to journalists. And never before has a pope given as in-depth and extensive an interview as this one, answering so many direct questions on so many personal and controversial topics. Five years after his election, Pope Benedict XVI openly discusses the criticisms of his pontificate, the crisis in the Church brought on by the clergy sexual abuse scandal, the need for Church reform, the problems of uniting faith and reason today, as well as contemporary issues such as abortion, climate change, same-sex unions, the global economic crisis, and the new atheism. He also examines the quest for unity among Christians, the relations with Islam, the message of Fatima, and the prospects for peace. An unabashed follower of Jesus Christ, Benedict addresses the Church's drive for a new evangelization and the challenges it involves.
Twice before the authors held a wide- ranging conversation, which became the best-selhng books Salt of the Earth and God and the World. At that time, Seewald's discussion partner was Joseph Ratzinger, head of the Vatican's chief doctrinal office. Now, he is Pope Benedict XVI, leader of the Catholic Church and a man whom many regard as the moral compass for our age. Seewald's respect for Benedict is evident, but the journalist does not let that stop him from posing some of the thorniest, most challenging questions any pope has had to answer. As believers and unbelievers alike read this book, many will be challenged to reconsider what they think they know about Pope Benedict XVI and the future of the Catholic Church.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Mr. B. Shepherd on 28 Dec. 2010
Format: Hardcover
It is no secret that never in modern history has a Pope given an actual interview where free questions can be asked on what it is that he actually believes. Well, here is that book.

The book is written very definitively. Primarily, it is what it says on the tin. It's an interview between the Pope and Peter Seewald. The book is structured along the lines of questions asked and answers given. The interview itself was conducted over a 7 day period and so included many different topics.

A short summary of each chapter is as follows:

1. On the Pope's election, and his thoughts on it.
2. The Pope's response to the abuse scandal.
3. The Pope's response to the lifting of the excommunications of Marcial Maciel Degollado.
4. The Pope's response to the current economic and environmental crisis's.
5. The Pope's arguments against relativism, and against liberal intolerant tolerance.
6. The Pope's call to re-evangelise and the possibilities of a third Vatican counsel.
7. Clarification on the Pope's election, whether he is up to the task and whether he is scared of being assassinated.
8. The Pope's response to Judaism.
9. The Pope's ideas on cooperation with Islam.
10. The Pope's comments on sexuality and marriage.
11. The Pope's response to the political belittling of Christianity, despite all the good the church does for the world. He lists a few examples also.
12. The Pope's response to the Williamson affair and the sadness that he feels with regards to holocaust deniers.
13. The Pope's ideas on the unity of the church and whether it has a role to play in the modern world.
14. The Pope's comments on issues of reform.
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70 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Jose Carvalho on 3 Dec. 2010
Format: Hardcover
I start by saying that like any other Catholic, I adored Pope John Paul II, and was a bit dismayed when Pope Benedict XVI was elected... as time went by, I started do admire his culture and intelligence, and I found that, John Paul II we went to see Him, while Benedict we go to hear Him. This book, an interview, is a marvelous account of the how fundamental this Pope will be in the history of the Church. He may not yet be the Star the we would like Him to be, but He really cares for His flock,as I had the opportunity to see for myself when I attended His Angelus in Rome on January 1st, and His mass in Oporto in May the 14th! A Catholic or not, a must read book, that will surprise most of the readers, who will find a Pope with a deep knowledge of the world of today, in ALL its areas, be it religious, economical, environemental, social, technical, sexual, moral... He justifies consistently every view of the Church in all these areas, leaves no doubt about His view and total disapproval of the sexual crimes of the clergy, shows an amazing understanding of this ever changing world, and an amazing will to connect (not convert!) with other religions... for those who thought this to be an inflexible man, previously head of what was centuries ago the Holy Inquisition, it will be a changing experience, and an easy book to read... which is not the norm. His Holiness's books (for example Jesus of Nazareth) are of very dificult reading... this is not the case.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By K. Lindsell on 24 Dec. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a staunch Vatican II Catholic I had been concerned that Pope Benedict was trying to turn the clock back - this interview shows that, on the contrary, he is even more of a reformer than his predecessor and that he has been very seriously mis-represented by both traditionalist and liberal Catholics and by the secular forces undermining Christian teaching. In this book, and in his own words, he shows tremendous wisdom and understanding of the real world, whilst nevertheless promoting timeless Gospel values. He also demonstrates a degree of humility which other, more vociferous, leaders and would-be opinion makers would do well to imitate.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By ChrissyB on 15 Dec. 2010
Format: Hardcover
I like many was a little disappointed when Ratzinger was elected Pope. However, seeing him in Hyde Park and witnessing the care he took of his flock changed my opinion. I read this book with enormous interest and the breadth of his intellect, knowledge but more importantly love, shines through.

I dipped in and out of it rather than read it from cover to cover and I will refer to it again. He addresses head on the abuse scandal, women priests, priest and marriage and many more issues.

It is readable and worth reading to anyone wanting more about this interesting character.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Gershonite on 21 Jan. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am not a Catholic but having studied Theology at University, I enjoy reading about the subject from various viewpoints. This book shows Pope Benedict VXI to be an honest and a humble person. The answers given in the interview are heartfelt and above all, honest. I would recommend the reading of it, especially by those who are not of the Catholic "persuasion" This Pope is considered by some to be a controversial figure[given that he served in the German army during the second world war] but this interview shows that he is a deep seated thinking man with much to offer the Church and humanity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Maureen C on 2 April 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is quite different in style and content from other work by Pope Benedict xvi /Cardinal Ratzinger. It is definitely not a theology book. What it does, via an interview with a German journalist, is give a useful and clear view of the Pope's thoughts on a wide range of current issues and developments and the Church's response. There are also one or two personal insights which give it a human dimension. It is quite short ,easy to read and shows Benedict is more in touch than he is given credit for, and clearly acknowledges where things have gone wrong. The book will be interesting not only to Catholics but to anyone open to a broader and more balanced account of this Pope's personality and views than the one frequently portrayed in the media.
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