Never has a Pope, in a book-length interview, dealt so directly with such wide-ranging and controversial issues as Pope Benedict XVI does in Light of the World. Taken from a recent week-long series of interviews with veteran journalist Peter Seewald, this book tackles head-on some of the greatest issues facing the world of our time. Seewald poses such forthright questions to Pope Benedict as:
- What caused the clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic Church?
- Was there a "cover up"?
- Have you considered resigning?
- Does affirming the goodness of the human body mean a plea for "better sex"?
- Can there be a genuine dialogue with Islam?
- Should the Church rethink Catholic teaching on priestly celibacy, women priests, contraception, and same-sex relationships?
- Holy Communion for divorced-and-remarried Catholics?
- Is there a schism in the Catholic Church?
- Should there be a Third Vatican Council?
- Is there any hope for Christian unity?
- Is Christianity the only truth?
- Can the Pope really speak for Jesus Christ?
- How can the Pope claim to be "infallible"?
- Is there a "dictatorship of relativism" today?
Twice before these two men held wide-ranging discussions, which became the best-selling books Salt of the Earth and God and the World. Then, Seewald's discussion partner was Joseph Ratzinger, head of the Vatican's chief doctrinal office. Now, Joseph Ratzinger is Pope Benedict XVI, the spiritual leader of the world's over one billion Catholics. Though Seewald now interviews the Pope himself, the journalist "pulls no punches", posing some of the thorniest questions any Pope has had to address. Believers and unbelievers will be fascinated to hear Benedict's thoughtful, straightforward and thought-provoking replies. This is no stern preachment or ponderous theological tract, but a lively, fast-paced, challenging, even entertaining exchange.
About the Authors:
Peter Seewald is a veteran German journalist who has done two other internationally best-selling book length interviews with Joseph Ratzinger (now Benedict XVI): Salt of the Earth and God and the World. He is also the author of Benedict XVI : An Intimate Portrait, and the photo-biography, Pope Benedict XVI: Servant of the Truth.
Pope Benedict XVI is the spiritual leader of over one billion Catholics, and a highly regarded theologian and the author of dozens of best-selling spiritual and theological books, including Jesus of Nazareth, Introduction to Christianity, and Spirit of the Liturgy.
"The extraordinary personal and professional chemistry of Peter Seewald and Joseph Ratzinger has proven itself over the years in previous book-length interviews. Light of the World is Seewald's latest conversation with the man who is now Pope Benedict XVI -- and arguably the most compelling. The Benedict XVI who emerges from these pages is a man of profound faith and intellect, combined with disarming simplicity, and willing to engage any issue frankly and without rancor. For anyone interested in the future of the Church, this book is ‘must' reading."
+Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Denver
"What the Pope sees, and what he discusses with frankness, clarity, and compassion in this stimulating conversation with Peter Seewald, is a world that has lost its story: a world in which the progress promised by the humanisms of the past three centuries is now gravely threatened by understandings of the human person that reduce our humanity to a congeries of cosmic chemical accidents: a humanity with no intentional origin, no noble destiny, and thus no path to take through history.
Benedict XVI brought to the papacy more than a half-century of reflection on the truths of biblical faith, and a master teacher's capacity to explicate those truths and bring them to bear on contemporary situations in a luminously clear way. I have had the privilege of knowing many men and women of high intelligence, even genius, in my lifetime; I have never known anyone like Benedict XVI who, when one asks him a question, pauses, thinks carefully, and then answers in complete paragraphs - often in his third, fourth or fifth language. Peter Seewald's well-crafted questions give Benedict XVI good material with which to work. But it is the remarkably lucid and precise mind of Joseph Ratzinger that makes the papal answers here sing."
-George Weigel, From the Foreword