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 Contents - Nov 2009AD2000 November 2009 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Catholics and Orthodox: improving relations - Michael Gilchrist
Climate change alarmism: a new 'religion' for Christians? - John Morrissey
News: The Church Around the World
The work of Courage and EnCourage supported by Melbourne priests - Marie Mason
A Christian response to post-abortion trauma - Julie Cook
Campion College celebrates its fourth Year of operation - Br Barry Coldrey
Schools: How to rebuild Catholic education from the grass-roots - Sr Mary Augustine OP
Foundations of Faith: 'O happy fault': the Christian doctrine of original sin - Noel Roberts
Holocaust: English nun who saved Jews from the Nazis put forward as saint - AD2000 Report
Missionaries: Mary Glowrey (1887-1957): Australian witness to hope in India - Robyn Fahy And Fr Dan Strickland MGL
Letters: Global cooling - M.J. Gonzalez
Letters: Pius XII vindicated again - Arnold Jago
Letters: Women priests - Robert Prinzen-Wood
Letters: Dissenting views - John Schmid
Books: THE CHURCH AND THE WORLD: Essays Catholic and Contemporary, by John Haldane - Tracey Rowland (reviewer)
Books: JESUS AND THE EYEWITNESSES: Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony, by Richard Bauckham - Peter Westmore (reviewer)
Books: CHRISTIANITY AND THE CRISIS OF CULTURES, by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger - Br Barry Coldrey
Update: The 2009 Fighting Fund
Books: This month's selection from AD Books
Reflection: The Feast of All Souls and the Communion of Saints - Fr Dennis Byrnes

by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
(Ignatius Press, 2006, 116pp, hardback, $29.90. Available from Freedom Publishing)

This is a short, elegantly produced volume of ten pithy essays based around three major headings, "The Crisis of Cultures", "The Right to Life" and "The Meaning of Belief". There is a scholarly introduction by Marcello Pera.

These essays were written shortly before Cardinal Ratzinger was elected to the Papacy as Pope Benedict XVI.

The principal focus is the crisis of culture evident in contemporary Western Europe where a majority of the European Parliament would vote to exclude all reference to God or the Christian roots of European civilisation from the Preamble to the European Constitution. The Christian roots and foundation of Western civilisation are being replaced by "modern Enlightenment philosophy".

Such philosophies recognise only what can be proven mathematically or scientifically and deny any metaphysical reality. They do not acknowledge God's existence or objective truth and therefore reduce morality to a relative concept, leading to a confused ideology of freedom. What Europe requires, said Cardinal Ratzinger, is spiritual renewal, not a secular denial of its Christian heritage.

The book is not for the general reader for the material is challenging and crafted at a high level of generality. It presumes a reasonable knowledge of philosophy, theology and the public debate in the West on religious and moral issues.

The book should be in religious community and tertiary libraries along with the author's many other works, both as Cardinal Ratzinger and Benedict XVI, in which he explores a wide range of religious and moral issues.

Dr Barry Coldrey is a former teacher in Christian Brothers colleges and is active in youth ministry.

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 22 No 10 (November 2009), p. 16

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