Interesting article in the American Spectator called What Made Benedict Conservative? I goes into more of the background of what happened at Tubingen with the student protests. Though I do think the concept of Josef Ratzinger being once a progressive becoming a conservative is mistaken. More likely it was his views that did not change, but the labels around him that were shifting.
Ummm… actually, he himself has admitted that many of his early views, such as his doubts about the perpetual virginity our our Lady, were wrong and that he has repudiated them.
Do you have a reference about this?
Jeff, I think you’re right on this. Anyone who attempted to hold ground while everything around him lurched violently (literally) leftward, would look like someone taking a reactionary jump to the right. Particularly if the observer was also taking a similar leftward lurch…
GFvonB, I, too, would be interested in a citation/reference for your claim. After reading Cardinal Ratzinger’s memoirs (“Milestones”), “Salt of the Earth”, “The Ratzinger Report”, and some articles that he has written, it seems to me that the claims calling him a “progressive who turned conservative” are false. Often, the company that he kept ended up turning this way (e.g. Kung), but he himself never went that far, and ended up breaking contact with them or distancing himself from their views. It is clear, at any rate, that his intention always was to seek the truth within the Church.
My bad, it was Theotokos that he had a problem with. It’s right in the Ratzinger Report, here’s the pertinant excerpt:
I believe there are other examples too. Remember, Ratzinger authored the speech that Cardinal Frings used to overthrough Pope John’s intentions for the Council at the First Session.
Yikes, too late to be typing. That should be “overthrow,” and here’s the link:
Ratzinger Report Excerpt
Uh, that excerpt does NOT say that he had a problem with “Theotokos”! Here is what it says:
“So it was difficult for me later to understand the true meaning of another famous expression (current in the Church since the first centuries when�after a memorable dispute�the Council of Ephesus, in 431, had proclaimed Mary Theotokos, Mother of God). The declaration, namely, that designated the Virgin as ‘the conqueror of all heresies.’“
I have always held that I have no problem with liberal theologians perse, considering that Benedict was one of the most liberal men in the Council. He has hardly shifted position at all, but the world has certainly spun out od control around him.
Thank God for discerning — and German — readers. It seems Mark Gavreu Judge’s central point was in error, and John Allen Jr.’s reporting is vindicated. details here.
Benedict is the man for the job for this time and place. I’m truly excited to watch the Church shake. Maybe all the way to it’s foundation. But it will be a slow and steady prosess, and possibly there will be those who have been feasting at the cafeteria counter for way too long who won’t like the old menu brought back. To pick and choose will be one of their last choices. Choose to stay or …..go.