Joseph Ratzinger, 58 years old, German, renowned theologian, Cardinal Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (the former Holy Office), which is the most important Vatican curial office, charged with the preservation and promotion of Catholic orthodoxy.
Vittorio Messori, 44 years of age, a writer and journalist whose books of religious essays are world-wide best sellers.
A Cardinal and a layman - meeting in the Tyrolean Alps for an interview of several days. Ratzinger responded with extreme candor to Messori's many questions - including the most controversial. It is the longest and most complete interview with a head of a Congregation whose name has been linked for centuries with mystery and secrecy.
Here is the complete text of a meeting many have called a "historical turnabout" in the Church. The roots of the crisis that has troubled Catholics in the twenty years since the Council are analyzed with forthright clarity by one of the most authoritative voices in the Vatican. Here is a clear and uncompromising report on the dangers that threaten the Faith, from one who every day receives the most reliable information from every continent. Yet Ratzinger's observations are as hopeful and balanced as they are clear-sighted, forcefully re-affirming the immense and positive work of Vatican II, whose genuine fruits this book provides a guideline for achieving.
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