God's Choice: Pope Benedict XVI and the Future of the Catholic Church

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9780066213316: God's Choice: Pope Benedict XVI and the Future of the Catholic Church

From the bestselling author of Witness to Hope comes an inside account of the election of Pope Benedict XVI and an unflinching view of the Catholic Church at the dawn of a new era.

After 25 years of John Paul II′s guidance, the Catholic Church is entering a new age, with its bedrock traditions intact but pressing questions of its vitality to address in a rapidly changing world. Beginning with a portrait of John Paul′s last months, God′s Choice will then offer an account of the complex conclave process that produced Benedict XVI as the next pope. Drawing on Weigel′s unprecedented access during the post-John Paul II intrerregnum, readers will be offered an inside view of the issues and personalities that shaped the conclave′s deliberations.

Weigel will also survey the current state of the Church around the world: the remarkable vitality of Catholicism in Africa; the new center of the world′s Catholic population -- Latin America; the collapse of Catholic faith and practice in much of western Europe, contrasted with its strength in Poland and other parts of the post-communist world; the continuing struggles of Catholicism in Asia; the vibrancy of some aspects of Catholic life in the United States, even as the Church in America struggles to overcome its recent experience of scandal. God′s Choice will paint a personal portrait of the new pope and analyze the crucial issues facing world Catholicism in the first decades of the 21st century. It will be a major reference point for anyone seeking to understand the Catholic future, and the larger human future the Church will help to shape.

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About the Author:

George Weigel is one of the world's foremost authorities on the Catholic Church and the author of the New York Times bestseller Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II. He is a Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., and a consultant on Vatican affairs for NBC News.

From Booklist:

One of the foremost biographers of Pope John Paul II (Witness to Hope, 1999) has five objectives in this exemplary book: to chronicle John Paul's last days, to assess the church as John Paul left it, to report the deliberations of the conclave that elected Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger to succeed John Paul, to sketch the new pope's career and personality, and to suggest what Benedict XVI's papacy could bring. Weigel adopts a different manner for each objective. He is a magisterial historian for John Paul's decline and death, an authoritative analyst of the state of the church, a creative journalist reporting about the conclave (literally creative: this part of the book appears in diary form), a judicious profiler in his precis on Ratzinger, and an interested counselor in his prognostications. Most impressive is the treatment of the end of John Paul's reign as a drama of reciprocal love between the pope and the church--indeed, the world--that climaxes in the cries of "Magnus" ("great") and "Santo subito" (roughly, "sainthood now") that interrupt the papal funeral. Only Weigel's advocational forecasting seems a little wanting. Curial reform, better-coordinated Vatican communications, reestablishing bishops' pastoral responsibilities, principled rapprochement with still-Communist China and conflict-laden Islam, and other good things are nice to encourage. But Weigel says nothing about one of the most important themes of John Paul's papacy, the church's teachings on social justice, prominently including the just wage (one sufficient for one worker to support a family and modestly save). Certainly John Paul's right-hand man for 24 years, Cardinal Ratzinger, won't ignore those teachings, though neoconservative fellow traveler Weigel may wish he would. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. UNUSED, BRAND NEW, NOT EX-LIBRARY, 307 pages. George Weigel's bestselling biography of Pope John Paul II, "Witness to Hope," set the standard by which all portraits of the modern papacy are now measured. With "God's Choice," he gives us an extraordinary chronicle of the rise of Pope Benedict XVI as well as an unflinching view of the Catholic Church at the dawn of a new era. When John Paul II lapsed into illness for the last time, people flocked from all over the world to pray outside his apartment. He had become a father figure to millions in a world bereft of strong paternal examples, and those millions now felt orphaned. After more than twenty-six years of John Paul II's guidance, the Catholic Church is entering a new age, with its bedrock traditions intact but with pressing questions to address in a rapidly changing world. Beginning with the story of John Paul's final months, "God's Choice" offers a remarkable inside account of the conclave that produced Benedict XVI as the next pope, drawing on George Weigel's unrivaled access to this complex event. Weigel also incisively surveys the current state of the Church around the world: its thriving populations in Africa, Latin America, and parts of the post-communist world; its collapse in western Europe; its continued struggles in Asia; and the vibrancy of many aspects of Catholic life in the United States, even as the Church in America struggles to overcome its recent experience of scandal. Reflecting on John Paul II's greatness, drawing on firsthand interviews to paint an intimate portrait of the new Pope, and boldly assessing the Church's current condition, "God's Choice" is an invaluable book for anyone seeking to understand the Catholic future and the larger humanfuture the Church will help to shape. Bookseller Inventory # 11773

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