A German Pope Travels to the Land of Luther
A very interesting article in National Catholic Reporter and, on the whole, balanced and fair. Link here.
Snippet from the article:
Back in 1966, a young German Catholic theologian penned a commentary on the final session of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), expressing some fairly strong reservations about what he saw as the overly optimistic and “French” tone of its concluding document, Gaudium et Spes, the “Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World.” The document’s lofty humanism, this theologian charged, “Prompts the question of why, exactly, the reasonable and perfectly free human being described in the first articles was suddenly burdened with the story of Christ.” He worried that concepts such as “People of God” and “the world” were given an uncritically positive spin, reflecting naiveté about the corrupting effects of sin. Along the way, this writer offered an arresting aside. Gaudium et Spes, he opined, breathes the air of Teilhard de Chardin, the French Jesuit, but not enough of Martin Luther, the German father of the Protestant Reformation. Saying so required a certain ecumenical chutzpah, given that Pope Leo X’s 1520 condemnation of Luther’s ideas as “heretical, scandalous, false, offensive to pious ears and seductive of simple minds, and against Catholic truth” remained on the books. That’s an irony worth recalling, given that the young theologian in question is today Pope Benedict XVI, and that in two weeks he’ll be heading back to the Land of Luther for his first official state visit.