“I've known a few people in life with such a breadth of vision and intellectual preparation” says Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, speaking about Joseph Ratzinger – now Pope Benedict XVI – and his teaching both before and after his election to the Chair of Peter.
Archbishop Müller, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of
the Faith, recently presented the book “Expanding the Horizon of Reason”
which aims at presenting a “reading” of the teaching of the theologian
In an interview with Alessandro De Carolis, Archbishop Müller speaks about Pope Benedict and his works:
Müller: [Pope Benedict] has come a long way in his life and in his
reflections. He began at age 15; he is now 85. So he has over seventy
years of deep reflection and meditation. He has had many experiences in
his life: as a young man, he experienced Nazism and fascism, war,
various events of human life ... For this reason, he has never been an
intellectual who lives in an ivory tower, but is present in the life of
all people, deeply embedded in the history of the twentieth century, but
also in the current moment. He is one of the few men to have such wide
horizons: he knows the development of philosophy in Europe, starting
with the Greeks and Romans, and ending with the modern philosophers. He
knows, too, the history of the Church, the questions and challenges
posed by the natural sciences today. I know few people with this depth
of thought, which is so necessary today.
De Carolis: In his years of
service as the Pope, Benedict XVI has shown that even a great theologian
can speak the language of the common people, finding new expressions
for the ancient truths of the faith. What is striking about this?
We say: Jesus Christ is the Word of God, but when he came to this
world, He spoke in a very simple way, to the hearts of all. He did speak
to the Pharisees, to the great intellectuals of the world of his time,
but always witnessed to the great respect that God has for all people.
For this reason, it is necessary and very important that all theologians
should be pastors who reach out to all, because God loves not only
intellectuals and geniuses, but all people.
De Carolis: In a
paragraph from the book you address the issue of the language of new
media. What is particularly relevant in the specific Magisterium of
Müller: Faith and Revelation are means that God uses to
communicate with us. Through these media we are able to communicate,
not in an ideological fashion - that is, wanting to influence people
against their reason - but in an open dialogue with the truth, because
only truth can save humanity – not propaganda.