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May 07, 2007

Comments

Dan Hunter

God bless His Holiness the Supreme Pontiff Pope Benedict XVI!

Brian

I'll second that motion!

Esau

Pope's Book Passes 1 Million in Sales

Rome, Apr. 30, 2007 (CWNews.com) - More than 1 million copies of the new book by Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news), Jesus of Nazareth, have been sold in just 2 weeks.

The Italian edition of Jesus of Nazareth has sold 510,000 copies, while the German edition has sold 480,000, and the Polish edition 100,000, the latest figures show. The book went on sale on April 16, the Pope's 80th birthday.

The English-language version of the book, to be published by Doubleday, is due to appear on May 15.


Link:
Pope's book passes 1 million in sales

Mark

And thanks to John Allen for helping to redirect the standard boilerplate media commentary on the Holy Father's new book to it's real message:

"Over the course of the book, Benedict critiques a number of popular modern interpretations of Jesus: Jesus as a preacher of liberal morality, Jesus as a social revolutionary, Jesus as an inspired prophet or sage on the level of other founders of religious movements ... In the end, Benedict believes that all such exegesis puts the cart before the horse. Out of impatience to get to desired social outcomes, Benedict argues, revisionist Christologies subvert the only basis for real humanism, which is belief in God, and in an objective truth that comes from God and stands above the human will to power."


Brian

Mark, your point made me think of something. John Allen says that the media often misses the point of books like this because the books are devoted to one religion's specific teachings and the media prefers to pick out the less prominent ideas that can be applied broadly to politics or culture.

It made me wonder, why does the media seem to always like to promote the "popular modern interpretations of Jesus: Jesus as a preacher of liberal morality, Jesus as a social revolutionary, Jesus as an inspired prophet or sage on the level of other founders of religious movements..." whenever someone comes out with a new book redefining who Jesus is? These ideas are just as sectarian as the traditional Christian view of Jesus.

Mark

Brian,

I suspect it's becasue the Media, like other social elites, gravitate towards progressive politics as a replacement for religion and faith. Progressives like to carp that they are "just as religious" as Conservatives but they frequently recast our redeemer into the role of social progressive (in their own image).

Look, it's a lot easier to carp about global warming and patriarchy then it is to apply the Gospel message to one's own life. As an example of this, I was struck by Sheryl Crow's recent rant about the "great heights of arrogance in our refusal to acknowledge that the earth is changing". The selectivity of Ms. "Pro-abortion" Crow's outrage is stunning. But it more or less bears out the Holy Father's thesis that revisionists tend to hurt the very people (in this case, women) they think they are helping.

Tim J.

The media and liberal politicians have another important thing in common(and I'm starting to think that almost all politicians are really liberals, in this sense).

They are both driven by their profession to cultivate the perception of imminent crisis.

The media needs headlines (the more alarming the better) in order to sell advertising, and politicians need problems to fix (the more desperate the better) in order to justify thier paychecks (and our taxes).

I really think this is why media types are naturally sympathetic with politicians who constantly tell us that things are *just about* to fall apart... that we are *nearly* at some "point of no return". It makes a good story - for a while. After a time they need to find a NEW crisis.

A Christian (at least one who understands the implications of the faith) should not so easily panic. He already KNOWS about the state of the world... "Of COURSE things are bad, we live in a fallen world, clouded with original sin - what do you expect?"

Esau

Pope condemns abortion on Latin America trip

Excerpt:

SAO PAULO, Brazil - Pope Benedict XVI began his first trip to Latin America Wednesday by laying down church law on abortion, suggesting that he agrees with bishops who said Catholic politicians in Mexico had excommunicated themselves by legalizing abortion in that nation’s capital.

Brian

From the article:
The Mexican politicians who supported the measure shrugged off Benedict’s comments Wednesday. “I’m Catholic and I’m going to continue being Catholic even if the church excommunicates me,” said leftist Mexico City lawmaker Leticia Quezada. “My conscience is clean.”

I've never understood this type of thinking. When my faith was casual I fell away from the Church and the Sacraments. I don't get the "I don't care what the Church says, I'm going to receive Communion anyway" response of Catholic dissidents. Shouldn't they say "I don't care what the Church says and I don't need their stupid Eucharist anyway." I mean they already know better than the Church, shouldn't they also consider themselves too good to receive its Sacraments.

Brian

I think the so-called Catholic politicians really highlight one difference between Cafeteria Catholics and Protestants.

The Protestant says the Catholic Church is wrong about X, Y, and Z and then makes the logical conclusion that the Catholic Church isn't the Church that Christ founded and leaves to join a denomination.

The Cafeteria Catholic says the Catholic Church is wrong about X, Y, and Z yet still insists on being Catholic even though being wrong about X, Y, and Z clearly means that the Catholic Church is either mistaken or lying about its claim to be the One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church.

Esau

I don't get the "I don't care what the Church says, I'm going to receive Communion anyway" response of Catholic dissidents. Shouldn't they say "I don't care what the Church says and I don't need their stupid Eucharist anyway." I mean they already know better than the Church, shouldn't they also consider themselves too good to receive its Sacraments.

and

The Cafeteria Catholic says the Catholic Church is wrong about X, Y, and Z yet still insists on being Catholic


Brian:

I don't get this myself.

In fact, I know of many Catholics like this who not only disagree with the social teachings of the Church but even its dogmas and actually believe that the Eucharist is nothing more but a symbol and who do not believe in the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

I just don't understand what's their reason for remaining in the Church when they disagree with 99.9% of its Teachings other than perhaps being too complacent or even lazy to leave it.

Brian

Esau, the error in our judgments may be that we assume most people think things through.

But that makes me wonder what it is that keeps it them in the Church if its not for theological reasons. I guess it's because many Catholics are Catholic for cultural reasons. Yet these are the same Catholics who work to tear down the culture of the Church and make it exactly resemble the secular culture around them. Which would seem to indicate that they're not actually in it for the Catholic culture. And now I'm stuck in another conundrum.

Brian

So the book has been out a week now. Anyone read it yet? Any thoughts?

Esau

Brian,

Barely got mine from Amazon.com.

Oh yeah, by the way, it actually used the RSV!!!! (hooray!!! -- so much for the NAB-Only slogans some folks keep harping on)

The only sad thought is that it only goes up to the Transfiguration.

Hopefully, the Pope will be able to complete the series.

I'm planning to read it this Memorial Day weekend.

Have you read it?

Brian

I've only read the reviews on Amazon. My reading list is so backed up I don't plan on getting to it any time soon. (Actually my reading list only has a few books on it, but given the amount of time I allocate to reading lately it might as well have dozens of books on it)

I wish the Amazon reviewer Joseph O'Leary would stop by Jimmy's blog. Certain misguided radical traditionalists tend to assign his liberal views to the official teachings of the post-Vatican II Church. Yet Mr. O'Leary shows that, instead of being in step with the post-VII Church, the people who hold those views actually accuse the Church of being too, well, radically traditional.

Pope Benedict and the Church must be doing something right if they're taking it from both sides.

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