This is a book of wisdom and insight that explains how providential are the trials through which the Catholic Church is now passing. The need of the Papal Primacy to ensure Christian unity; the true meaning of the Priesthood as a sacrament and not a mere ministry; the necessity of the Eucharist as the Sacrifice of the Savior now offering Himself on our altars; the role of the Bishops as successors of the Apostles, united with the successor of St. Peter, the Bishop of Rome; the value of suffering in union with Christ crucified; the indispensable service of the laity in the apostolate - all these themes receive from Cardinal Ratzinger new clarity and depth.
"Cardinal Ratzinger offers us what he calls a 'primer of Catholic ecclesiology.' As a true theologian, he clarifies the nature of Church, bishop and priest, basing his remarks on Scripture and Tradition. The book offers penetrating insights into the Church from a profound thinker. This is Catholic theology at its best and as it should be." — Fr. Kenneth Baker, S.J., Editor, Homiletic & Pastoral Review
"Cardinal Ratzinger guides us through today's confusion about the faith back to the core from which the life of the Church unfolds: communion. At the end of the journey, we not only have a better grasp of the controverted issues of the day, but also a renewed understanding of the central mystery of the Church and a powerful encouragement to the theological and spiritual renewal envisaged by the Second Vatican Council."— David Schindler, Editor, Communio
"This is a goldmine of insights which brings out the development of Catholic doctrine in our day without surrendering one iota of the deposit of faith entrusted to the Church by her Divine Founder."— Fr. John Hardon, S.J., Editor, The Treasury of Catholic Wisdom
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) 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.