First book by Benedict XVI published today

The first book by Pope Benedict XVI, entitled "The Example of Benedict in the Crisis of the Cultures," will focus on the marginalization of Christianity in modern-day Europe and will be in stores in Italy today.

The Catholic News Agency reports the Holy Father began writing the new book while still a cardinal and its title refers to the patron saint of Europe who is the inspiration behind his papal name.

According to excerpts published by the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, the Pope maintains that "the extreme attempt to shape things without considering the presence of God leads us more and more to the edge of the abyss."

The axiom of the enlightenment should be turned on its head, writes the Pontiff: "Even if one cannot find the way to belief in God, one ought to live as if God existed anyway." The live in such a way poses no threat to man's freedom, he states.

Likewise, he challenges readers with the question, "Who is threatened or offended if a call to the Christian roots of Europe is put forth?" to which he responds, "Muslims do not feel threatened by our Christian moral foundation, but rather by the cynicism of a secularized culture that denies its own foundation () It is not the mention of God that offends the faithful of other religions, but rather the attempt to build a human community without God."

"A confused ideology of freedom leads to an increasingly oppressive dogmatism," the Pope adds.

First book by Benedict XVI to be published Tuesday (Catholic News Agency 20/6/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
The Vatican | Benedict XVI
Ignatius Press: Books by Pope Benedict XVI

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21 Jun 2005