Limits of authority and menaces to truth: Some thoughts of Joseph Ratzinger on politics and liturgy


Joseph Ratzinger has never produced one theological opus that would encompass his whole theological vision and its corollaries in particular matters. However, despite this, during his long and prolific theological career, in his many publications and interventions he has touched upon nearly every conceivable theological topic. Although these topics are often very diverse, they are also interrelated by the general intellectual framework on which Ratzinger operates. By analysing his insights about particular issues that, at first glance, may appear to have little relationship with each other, it is possible to find some interesting connections that point to the existence of a greater vision. This article will examine the questions of power, authority and truth in Ratzinger’s theology and will link the notions of politics and liturgy to demonstrate the existence of such a single, holistic approach. Questions that will be asked in this short study include: How does Ratzinger understand authority and power in general? What are some limits of power that, according to him, both secular and ecclesiastical authorities must recognise and respect? What are some threats to the correct understanding of legitimate authority in the church and in politics today? How do all these issues relate to the main principles of his theology as a whole?


Christian theology, Roman Catholic Church, Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI

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