Thursday, May 26, 2005

Book Review: The Ratzinger Report

There's nothing wrong with this book, and I think it would have been very useful to get a handle on the thinking of Cardinal Ratzinger before he became Pope.  The book was published in 1985, after all.
However, I think there is not so much to gain from reading today, when Pope Benedict's thinking has been widely laid out everywhere.
I think if a reader had just come back from a wilderness expedition and wanted to get up to speed fast, this book would be valuable.  Otherwise, no.
The only thing that really stuck out for (okay, I read it fast) was Ratzinger's sympathy for the "anti-nuns" (my word, not his.  Short hand for habit-less, activist, feminist types), whom he viewed as victims of a society that had de-emphasized the differences between men and women to the point where the anti-nuns had become tragically misguided about their vocations.   He did seem to have a great deal of compassion for the anti-nuns,  as well as (I suppose) the "anti-priests", which is perhaps why heads are rolling a lot slower than less compassionate people might have hoped for upon his election.