Pope Benedict XVI (Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) is widely recognized as one of the most brilliant theologians and spiritual leaders of our age. As Pope he authored the best-selling Jesus of Nazareth; and prior to his pontificate, he wrote many influential books that continue to remain important for the contemporary Church, such as Introduction to Christianity and The Spirit of the Liturgy.
God's Revolution: World Youth Day and Other Cologne Talksby Pope Benedict XVI
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God's Revolution isn't only for young people, for Catholics alone or even only for Christians. Benedict XVI's thoughtful and inspiring messages to the Jewish and Muslim communities in Germany are included. Speaking in a synagogue in Cologne, Benedict urges Jews and Christians to grow closer to one another. He recalls the horrors of the Holocaust and warns against "new signs of anti-Semitism." As he commemorates the sixtieth anniversary of the liberation from the Nazi death camps, the Pope's words are especially poignant: as a teenager, Benedict XVI was forced to join the Hitler Youth, against his will and that of his anti-Nazi parents.
Benedict speaks to representatives of Muslims in Germany of the common faith in one God that Christians and Muslims share. He acknowledges how some Muslim leaders have rejected terrorism. Yet he adds: "Those who instigate and plan these attacks evidently wish to poison out relations and destroy trust, making use of all means, including religion, to oppose every attempt to build a peaceful and serene life together."
God's Revolution also addresses Protestant Christians. Coming from the land of the Reformer Martin Luther, Benedict knows Protestant concerns. He presents Catholic teaching in a way that underscores Catholics and Protestants' common Christian commitment. "Together we confess that Jesus Christ is God and Lord," he states, "together we acknowledge him as the one mediator between God and man (cf. 1 Tim 2:5), and we emphasize together that we are members of his Body."
To the German Catholic leaders he urges renewed efforts to present Christ and Christianity to the modern world. While challenging them to respect people's search for the truth, the Pope call on them to be true to the Christian message: "We must teach patience, discernment, realism, but without false compromises, so as not to water down the Gospel!" He asks the bishops to find new ways to address young people, the future of the Catholic Church.
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