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Benedict XVI & Youth: A Survey

February 12, 2010

I have recently been asked to write a short chapter on “Benedict and Youth” for a book celebrating the fifth anniversary of his election as Pope.  As part of my preparation for this endeavor, I am hoping to hear from some of the young people in our audience.  I would very much appreciate if those readers who consider themselves youth would take a minute to share their ideas about our current Holy Father.  (If you want to share your ideas with me, but not to have them made public, simply note this in your comment and I will honor your request in the moderation process.)

Some questions to consider for your reflection:

What is your favorite thing about Pope Benedict?

What is your least favorite thing about him?

Have you read any of his books?  Which is your favorite/least-favorite?  Why?

Have you read his encyclicals?  Which is your favorite/least-favorite?  Why?

Where do you get most of your information about Benedict?

What has surprised you about his pontificate?

What has been his best move as Pope?  What has been his worst?

What hopes do you have for the rest of his pontificate?  What fears?

Please do not feel that you must limit your responses to these questions.  They are meant as inspiration, not boundaries.  Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.

Brett Salkeld is a doctoral student in theology at Regis College in Toronto.  He is a father of two (so far) and husband of one.

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3 Comments
  1. Dcn. Brian Carroll permalink
    February 12, 2010 7:23 pm

    I had to quit trying to read “Jesus of Nazareth” about half way through. I was sincerely looking for the Jesus that Benedict loved, but all I found was Benedict’s sniping at theologians who’s Christology he didn’t like.

  2. David permalink
    February 13, 2010 2:49 pm

    Favourite thing? – Courage, his willingness to tackle tough issues head on.

    Least favourite thing? – As above, but this time with an emphasis on the consequences.

    I’ve read most of his books. My favourite would have to be “Eschatology…” because it’s so thoroughly incisive and informative a read. My least favourite is probably “Jesus of Nazareth” because there’s little in it that I haven’t already come across in his other works. I expect when the book is published in full I’ll have a change of mind due to the fact that throughout volume one he seems aware, as does the reader, that volume one is really more of a preface, a necessary set-up to the major part of the entire work. We don’t have long to wait.

    I’ve read all his encyclicals. “Spe Salvi” is the best, followed by his most recent one.

    I get most of my information about him from the internet, Catholic news sites.

    What continues to surprise me about his pontificate is how intent he is on accommodating himself to the culture by appointing and then delegating to those younger than himself the task of engaging the rapidly changing world, as in the case of the Church’s presence on the internet.

    Best move? The quality of his appointment of bishops.

    Worst move? I don’t think the SSPX attempted reconciliation by the lifting of the excommunications and the current theological discussions going on will prove successful. The are Protestants now, not Catholics.

    Hopes? That he’ll remain with us for at least another five years. An Encyclical on “Faith”, one on “Creation” bringing together meaning/reason, sexuality, the Eucharist, the Cosmos and New Creation.

    Fears? None

  3. 53to3qjogdaj permalink
    February 14, 2010 10:49 am

    Dave had some good answers that I think I would agree with, including his opinion on reconciliation with SSPX. I get most of my information on the subject from Fr. Z’s site, but I never quite understood why this is a priority to some. Low hanging fruit, perhaps? In other words, maybe a large return on a small investment of effort? I don’t know.

    For encyclicals, my favorite is the topic of “greater” and “lesser” hopes leading to the great hope “which must surpass everything else.” The rest of Spe Salvi is very arcane, like when he begins section 37 with, “Let us return to our topic”, I’m like, “uh-oh, I didn’t know we weren’t on topic.”

    Most of your readers probably already know this, but just in case, there is lots of free material from Pope Benedict at the Vatican website: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/index.htm

    See the sidebar on the left side of that site. Much of the material is available in English. I like that his weekly Audiences are a review of the saints where you get a biographical sketch with a theological message.

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