Rémi Brague: Ratzinger’s ‘Progressivism’ During Vatican II Was Really an Effort to Return to the Sources of the Faith| National Catholic Register

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

The noted French philosopher, who rubbed shoulders with the future pope in the years following Vatican II, discusses the main aspects of his legacy as well as misunderstandings surrounding his thought and work.

Rémi Brague
Rémi Brague (photo: Courtesy photo)

Solène Tadié InterviewsJanuary 10, 2023

Although the intellectual stature of Benedict XVI is a commonly accepted fact, even by many of his most fervent opponents, the true essence of his thought remains subject to all sorts of interpretations, as subtlety does not lend itself to labels. 

Classified as a conservative and nicknamed “God’s Rottweiler” during his later years as the cardinal prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the young Father Joseph Ratzinger of the Second Vatican Council had troubled some of his peers due to his reforming audacity.

But according to French philosopher Rémi Brague, the evolution of the thought of the man who subsequently became pope under the name of Benedict XVI must be read in the light of the historical context, in order to be understood.

He engages with this task in this Register interview, delivering his personal analysis of the work of the German Pope in the wake of Benedict’s Dec. 31 death.

A professor emeritus of medieval and Arabic philosophy at the Sorbonne, Brague is the recipient of a number of awards, including the Ratzinger Prize in 2012. He first met the Pope Emeritus in the 1970s, not long after the foundation of the international theological review Communio, in which they both participated. He has been an firsthand observer of the theological and philosophical debates that have taken place in the Church in recent decades.

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Rémi Brague: Ratzinger’s ‘Progressivism’ During Vatican II Was Really an Effort to Return to the Sources of the Faith| National Catholic Register

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