January 19, 2023 / 12:20 p.m.
In a new book titled “What is Christianity?” and published posthumously, Pope Benedict XVI defends Christianity against accusations of intolerance.
In the volume, published in Italy, the late Pontiff warns against a “radical manipulation of human beings” and about “the distortion of the sexes by gender ideology” in the name of tolerance.
It is a collection of 16 texts that the Pope Emeritus wrote in December 2018 -4 of them unpublished-, and that have seen the light thanks to an Italian publisher as a spiritual “quasi-testament”.
In the book, Benedict XVI also rejects the argument of a German theologian who defends that monotheism is linked to intolerance.
The Emeritus Bishop of Rome affirms rather that “the authentic counterweight to all forms of intolerance” is, in fact, Christ crucified.
According to CNA Deutsch, the German news agency of the ACI Group, all the texts were written after the resignation of Pope Benedict in 2013.
In addition to his reflection on monotheism and modern intolerance against Christianity, the texts cover other theological topics, from intercommunion to liturgical reform and the Church’s dialogue with Islam.
Several of these issues aroused vehement responses from German bishops and theologians and in turn pitted the Church in Germany against the Vatican and Benedict XVI himself.
One of those contentious issues is the question of intercommunion between Protestants and Catholics.which the leading German bishops have pushed forward over the objections of the Vatican.
The late Pontiff reflects on the sacrament of the Eucharist in his essay on intercommunion, and explains why true ecumenism must take into account the differences between Protestants and Catholics, instead of hiding them.
The responses from German circles against such explanations and from his own person in the past were one of the reasons why – according to the editor – Pope Benedict XVI opted for a posthumous publication, and in Italian in the first place.
Translated and adapted by Almudena Martínez-Bordiú. Originally posted on CNAs.
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