Written in late 2004, shortly before Joseph Ratzinger’s election as Pope Benedict XVI, this book addresses the serious issues concerning the new European Union and the drafting of a European Constitution, events with far-reaching consequences for the West and, indeed, the world.
The main questions Cardinal Ratzinger raise include: How did Europe originate and what are its boundaries? Who has the right to call himself European and be admitted into the new Europe? What about the spiritual roots of Europe and the moral foundation she is founded on?
Ratzinger sees the lack of focus on these fundamental questions in the formation of a new Europe as a grave problem for the future of Europe and the world. Europe’s link to America and the rest of the world make these questions and reflections by the current Pontiff of critical importance in facing the future together.
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Ratzinger is at his finest—not writing above our heads as with some theological works, but as a teacher warning us about the inevitable consequences of our behavior. . . . Ratzinger explains how the refusal of Europeans to accept their Christian roots is contributing to a declining culture. The text examines models of government, specifically the two totalitarian regimes of the previous century and insists that we allow the state to provide moral guidelines once again. Finally, a good argument against the acceptance of Turkey into the EU is explained, drawing on the ancient history of this continent we call Europe today and how Christianity forged those boundaries, cultural identities and systems of faith. This is a call to return to the moral center; a faith based civilization that was once great but has recently shunned the core that made it so. This is an example of how man—s enlightenment and greatness should be accepted as gifts from God and therefore attributed as such.
—Deacon Brandon B. Justice, SFO, MA, Archdiocese of Washington DC