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Seattle University


What the Pope Really Thinks

Written by Mike Thee
June 20, 2012

One of the world's foremost experts on Joseph Ratzinger is coming to Seattle University for a special lecture next month. Philipp Gabriel Renczes, S.J., who has extensively studied the writings and thought of Ratzinger (Pope Benedict VI), will speak at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 12, in Wyckoff Auditorium.

Renczes, left, is being hosted as Visiting Scholar from Rome by the School of Theology and Ministry. His lecture is titled "Secularism, the New Evangelization and the Meaning of Vatican II:
Benedict XVI's Impact on the Future of Catholicism."

"As the person in charge of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith for 24 years, and the Roman Catholic Pontiff since 2005, few people have impacted the Catholic Church in the last quarter century more than Joseph Ratzinger," the event flyer reads. "Few will have as much influence in the next 25 years as well. 

"Although the current pope is often characterized in different ways, Fr. Renczes will demonstrate that Joseph Ratzinger is actually a very complicated thinker who believes the church must both dialogue and confront the contemporary world. Consequently, he is often misunderstood on the right and the left. This lecture is an opportunity to get a clearer understanding about how the current Pope really thinks, and how his ideas might impact the future of Catholicism." 

For more than a decade, Renczes has been teaching dogmatic and patristic theology at the Gregorian University and at the Patristic Institute Augustinianum (both Pontifical Roman Institutions) in Rome. He recently shared his thoughts about his love for teaching, which began at an early age, how his formative experiences as a Jesuit have drawn him to Israeli culture and what sort of research he is focused on today.