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Theological Highlights of Vatican II [Paperback]

Benedict XVI , Pope Benedict XVI
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 13.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Theological Highlights of Vatican II + Vatican II: The Essential Texts + A Concise Guide to the Documents of Vatican II
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Paulist Press (1 Dec 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080914610X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809146109
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 12.7 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 575,594 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Clear Insight into the way of the Fathers 16 Mar 2014
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This gives a great insight into how the Church Fathers thought and struggled to come to agreement on what the Church was saying
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4.0 out of 5 stars Benedict XVI's insights into Vatican II 30 Nov 2012
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A lucid and insightful personal account of the theological implications of the second Vatican Council for the structures of the modern Church
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
87 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A significant look into the thoughts of Benedict XVI 13 Sep 2010
By Leonard Wathen - Published on
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As someone who has read a number of works by Joseph Ratzinger, I must admit that this one is uniquely significant. Media sound bytes and commentaries from those who are displeased with Pope Benedict XVI often unfairly characterize him as someone who is opposed to the Second Vatican Council. Such critics seem to imply that Pope Benedict would like to remold the Church into it's Pre-Conciliar form. In this book, however, we see a valuable glimpse into the thought of Fr. Joseph Ratzinger, as a theological expert who attended and contributed to the Second Vatican Council. We see his frank analysis of the problems facing the Church prior to Vatican II and the excitement of the bishops of the world who assumed their role as pastors to improve the life of the Church. Ratzinger broadly chronicles and comments on the events of each session of the Ecumenical Council, offering his own insight into the significance of each development. Someone who has accepted the charicatures of Ratzinger that are so common would be surprised at his own unambiguous support of the Council reforms.

It would be a mistake, however, to conclude that Ratzinger's theological opinions have changed dramatically since these early reflections. Already in the text of these theological highlights, we see his caution about potential misunderstandings regarding Council buzzwords like "Pastoral," "Ecumenical," etc. In this earlier work, these prophetic cautions are overshadowed by his excitement at the renewal awaiting the Church at the time of the Council; in his later works, like Ratzinger Report, we see the same theologian's reflection on the fact that some of the potential misunderstandings of the work of the Council had in fact become the dominant understanding in many circles. While there is perfect continuity in his thought, the situation of the Church had changed dramatically.

In summary, this is a very significant work for anyone who wants an authentic glimpse into the thought of Pope Benedict XVI.
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very worthwhile 22 Mar 2011
By Ed - Published on
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The historical perspective is very enlightening, in particular as regards the situation prior to Vatican II, which warranted Pope John XXIII's call to the bishops, and Pope Paul VI's continuation of that mission. The enormous scope of the project is revelatory. So often, in perplexity about developments since Vatican II, the times before the council can seem either halcyonic or anachronistic, perhaps especially for those who hadn't yet been born.

Ratzinger, writing as a young, already brilliant scholar, lays the cards, the reasons, on the table clearly and fairly, as one who was there. His writing even then was extraordinary. The perspective this brings to later, sometimes troubling developments in our Church is valuable. If you have current concern for, and hope in, the Catholic Church in our day, this text is worth the price and your time.
34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In the Direction of Christian Unity 24 Nov 2010
By Dennis J. Koupal Jr. - Published on
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The more I learn of the doctrinal views and theological positions of Pope Benedict XVI (Card. Joseph Ratzinger) the more I see the "unity of faith" all true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ share. Though Ratzinger discusses with due scholarly specificity a multitude of many Church related topics gone inadaquately addressed for nearly 500 years, it's his personal narratives of, and introductions to the agenda items presented at the Council that give this book its unique, compelling character.
To the degree all unworthy participants in Christ's salvation see "Reference to Christ as the only mediator, as the hope that guides our vision and our work" (Preliminary Notes p.67) and recognizes the beautiful call to christian unity of Ratzinger's statement "The primacy of love overcomes doctrinal doubts" (Opening of the Session p. 201) we stand a chance of demonstrating to the doubtful world the True Faith, empowered by the Holy Spirit, brought together by the unity of love, without unnesessary conformity, in particular liturgical practices.

By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, that you love one another. John 13:15.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What Happened?! 5 April 2012
By MJM - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
if you are interested in the history of the Catholic Church, The Second Vatican Council and what is going on now, this will be a book you want to have. Not only for some insights into Pope Benedict XVI but also a reference point for how his thinking seems to have changed/digressed/progressed (take your pick) and a start to asking what happened to make it move so. Thank you Paulist Press for making it available.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some surprises inside 3 Dec 2012
By Ray S. - Published on
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This book was authored by Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, immediately following Vatican Council II. As a theological expert at the time, he was definately on the inside. It has some humerous comments, but mostly a straightforward view of what happened from his point of view. He was at the time considered somewhat progressive.
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