Ratzinger Was Neither “as Progressive as Was Said Nor as Conservative as Now Affirmed”

Says Pablo Blanco, Author of a Biography of the German Cardinal

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PAMPLONA, Spain, OCT. 22, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger stirs passions, but there is more to the man than polemics says Pablo Blanco who calls the prelate “one of the main protagonists of a theology poised between two millennia.”

Blanco recently published «Joseph Ratzinger: A Biography» through the Spanish publishing house Eunsa. The biography attempts to “show something more of the life” of the cardinal.

In statements to ZENIT, Blanco said that the prefect of the Congregation for the Faith «is better known as a public personality,» however, «he has never failed to express his own theological opinion in books and publications, even after he was bishop of Munich and prefect in Rome. He requested this of John Paul II who was happy to accede. Until then, that was something unheard of. In fact, even the Pope himself has published his own books!»

For Blanco, among the important topics of Ratzinger’s theology are «the meaning of the Church and of ecclesial communion; the claim of truth in a skeptical world; the relationship between truth, history, and freedom; the necessity of reason and intelligence in Christianity; and, finally, the unity of truth, love and beauty.»

To those who say that Ratzinger moved from being «progressive» to «conservative,» the author of the biography explains that Ratzinger «acknowledges a certain evolution in his thought (renew oneself or die, as the saying goes), but of course I do not think that there is in him the radical and absurd change that some of the media affirm.»

«It is difficult to believe that a progressive German theologian can become a ‘Panzerkardinal,’ a total Inquisitor overnight,» he said jokingly. «There is clear continuity in his thought, apart from the logical and obvious evolutions. When one sees such a radical change in a person, either it is true or, on the contrary, it might be due to a change in one’s own point of view.»

«Perhaps Ratzinger hasn’t been the only one to change. I don’t know, but I believe that he was neither as progressive as was said, nor as conservative as is now affirmed,» Blanco asserted.

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