Born in Bavaria in 1927, Joseph Ratzinger, having been ordained priest in 1951, was to teach theology successively in Freising, Bonn, Munster and Tubingen, before being appointed professor of systematic theology in Regensburg in 1969. There he became the Dean of the Theological Faculty in 1976. The following year he was to be raised to the archiepiscopal See of Munich, and made a cardinal.
He had been one of the periti in Vatican II and later a member of the International Commission of Theologians created by Paul VI. He was especially influential in the redaction of the most important document on theological pluralism in the Church. This, together with any firsthand knowledge of his various publications, is enough to dispel the absurd legend propagated by the media, on his appointment as head of the Roman Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, depicting him as a kind of Grand Inquisitor, after the pattern provided by Dostoevsky! As will be seen in the present book, above all, he is in fact an outstanding example of fidelity to "the faith once for all given to the saints" combined with the widest openness of mind and, moreover, a constant attention to the pastoral problems of the Church of today.
"Concerning the authentic foundation of Catholic doctrine and the ever-expanding expression of its substance, the ecumenical problem of the present generation, the relation of faith with history and especially with the development of philosophical thinking, this volume offers a most lucid and courageous treatment of the proclamation of the Christian gospel in the midst of a neo-pagan world."
-Louis Bouyer, C.O.