I august/september hørte jeg gjennom to lange lydbøker (til sammen litt over 40 timer) der Peter Seewald fortalt om Joseph Ratzinger / Pave Benedikts liv fra fødsel til i dag. Boka kom på tysk for et par år siden og ble vel et år senere utgitt på engelsk i to bind, og jeg kjøpte lydbokutgaven fra Audible. Bøkene var veldig gode og personlig syntes jeg første bind var mest interessant, siden det der var mye nytt stoff for meg (jeg har jo fulgt nøye med på hva Ratzinger/Benedikt har gjort etter 1995). Slik presenterer Audible bøkene:
Benedict XVI: A Life, Volume 1
Volume One: Youth in Nazi Germany to the Second Vatican Council, 1927–1965
Benedict XVI: A Life offers insight into the young life and rise through the Church’s ranks of a man who would become a hero and a lightning rod for Catholics the world over. Based on countless hours of interviews in Rome with Benedict himself, this much-anticipated two-volume biography is the definitive record of the life of Joseph Ratzinger and the legacy of Pope Benedict XVI.
This first volume follows the early life of the future pope, from his days growing up in Germany and his conscription into the Hitler Youth during World War II to his career as an academic theologian and eventual Archbishop of Munich. The second volume, set to be published in 2021, will cover his move to Rome under Pope John Paul II, his ascension to the papacy, and his controversial retirement and news-making statements under his successor, Pope Francis I.
This necessary companion to Benedict’s own memoir, Last Testament, is the fullest account to date of the life of a radical Catholic leader who has continued to make news while cloistered in retirement in the Vatican gardens.
Benedict XVI: A Life, Volume 2
Volume Two: Professor and Prefect to Pope and Pope Emeritus, 1966 – The Present
Emeritus Pope Benedict commands both adulation and unremitting criticism. In this second volume of Peter Seewald’s authoritative biography, the story runs from the Second Vatican Council (1965-68) that shaped Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s conservative ideas about the role of the Catholic Church, through his short, scandal-ridden papacy and unprecedented resignation. Volume two introduces listeners to the Pope Emeritus living in the Vatican Gardens, contemplating the future of the church and his controversial legacy within it.
We see how Benedict was influenced by the Vatican Council and the ensuing political unrest all over Europe in the 1960s. Appointed in 1981 as Prefect of the Congregation of Doctrine of the Faith, and quickly nicknamed “God’s Rottweiler”, he was intransigent on the controversial issues of abortion, contraception, gay rights, and gay marriage. But elected Pope in 2005, his tenure of office was riven with shocking revelations of controversy and scandal and it seemed that by his resignation in 2013, he was incapable of handling the complexities of the church in the modern world.
Vatileaks, sexual abuse by priests, the Regensburg speech which became the spark of an eruption of rage in the Muslim world – all these hit the world’s media headlines.
Peter Seewald is the only person close enough to Benedict to assess the man himself and to uncover the truth about so many of the controversial issues surrounding this papacy.