Benedict XVI by Laurence Paul Hemming


Benedict XVI by Laurence Paul Hemming

The focus of this paper is to provide an analysis Laurence Paul Hemming’s “Benedict XVI”

The first four pages of the paper provide a summary of the main theological ideas found in the book. The paper proceeds to discuss students believes of the best theological points made by the author. The paper dedicates the final page to arguments or points made by the author.

Laurence Paul Hemming’s Benedict XVI is dedicated to the theological view of the Catholic Church. The author talks about the reign of the pope from the time of his election in 1995. The book thus acts as a biography of the life of the pope before and during his election.

One of the theological ideas in the book talks about liberation theology. This idea calls for the merging of the gap between the rich and the poor. The theology gets its ideas from the Marxism and socialism roots which fights against the oppression of the common man. This movement is mostly concentrated in Latin America the strength of the Catholic Church is felt the most. The church plays a significant role in addressing social ills such as oppression, inequality, and injustice by the influential in the community (Hemming, p. 241).

The theology challenges political systems that focus on the growth of individual people as opposed to society as a whole. The governments are known to cater to the need of the wealthy minority. This ignores the plight of the majority who live under the poverty line. Pope Benedict takes on the role of his predecessors who oppose this system of governance. Over the years, Catholic leaders have changed their stance on theology due to the change in society.   Pope Benedict is at the forefront of the opposition of the theology due to its association with the laws of Marxism.

One of the reasons for his position is the impact of the socialist movement on the economy. Sociology controls all the aspects of the lives in a socialist community. This makes them oppressed due to the lack of choice. The system is meant to improve the livelihood of the community. This is not the case in that people in socialist states do not have the power to improve their situation in society (Hemming, p. 246).

The Catholic Church has changed its view of the democratic theory which advocates for working for the truth. The truth, in this case, reflects on the image of pope benedicts and his message to the new Roman Catholic Church. This, as a result, has changed the dynamics of the governance of the Latin countries. Pope Benedict is one of the advocates for the phasing out of the liberation theology. The theology is said to be outdated and more oppressive compared to other systems. The author ensures that he explains the inception of the theology from its inception to the present day. Its existence has played a significant in the running and the Catholic Church and the Latin countries.

The liberation theology has not only had an impact in the Latin American countries. It has spread to other continents such as Europe and Africa. The book gives examples of Africa which is the poorest continent in the world. Most of the people in the continent are underprivileged due to the immense corruption that exists in the continents. The Catholic Church places emphasis on the treatment of the poor. This is due to Jesus association with the less privileged in the community. Pope Benedict’s visit to Benin saw his call for the unification of the country. He taught about perseverance in times of hardships so as to succeed in life. The book elaborates on the Pope’s contribution to the less fortunate in the community as a whole.

The theology seeks to condemn the evil activities in the Catholic Church. Over the years, the church has received a bad reputation for its treatment of followers. One of the issues is the corruption within the clergy. The clergy is known to ask for payments in exchange for prayers. This defies the teachings of the Bible which state that people should not pay for prayers.

The church is also known to support the upper-class society which tends to mistreat the poor. This is different from their stance to fight for the rights of the less fortunate. The book is significant in the study and the understanding of the church’s history. It guides the reader on the introduction of different policies over the years. The church has undergone a number of deformations due to the dissatisfaction of followers. The protesting of the Catholic Church led to the creation of Marxism ideas which are predominantly liberating theologies. This is one of the factors that distance the church from the new theories (Hemming, p. 303).

The book talks on the progress the church has taken to improve the state of the church in social matters. One of the steps taken by the church is the call to distance the church from political matters. This gives the church a neutral stance and maintains its initial role which is to observe the religious aspects of the country.  The Catholic Church has been accused of taking over public matters not related to the church. This takes away the original intention of the church whose role is to observe the moral standing of the society. The Catholic Church has a significant role in all matters political. The church has on several occasions determined the selection of new leaders into the respective governments.

Theological ideas are reflective of the beliefs and cultural norms of society. Most of the ideas are intended to improve the livelihood of the members of the community. The church is responsible for overseeing the needs of the common man. One of the ways this is made possible is through its involvement with all aspects of the society’s activities. One of the areas that the church makes its position known is the political situation of the Latin countries.

The current Catholic Church, however, insists on distancing itself from public matters. This involves making a public statement on political issues concerning society. Hemming talks about the evolution of the church from the earlier rule of the previous popes to Pope Benedict’s rule.  He showcases the difference in the way Benedict’s approaches to different situations. The liberalization theory is one of the many theories that were practiced in the church. This theory stands out due to its implication on society. The author brings out the impact of the theory on the rest of the world.

The best theological arguments students believe made by the author

As a student, it is essential to form a personal opinion in relation to the content of the book. One of the arguments that the author brings out is the change of the role of the Catholic Church from the times of its inception to the present day. The church has gone through a number of changes over the years. This is owed to the change in ideological ideas, leaders, and factors such as globalization. The Catholic Church is one of the most authoritative churches in the world. This is credited to the role it has in terms of social and political influence. The change in culture is inevitable due to the level of innovations over the years. The shift from the Catholic Church to protestant displayed the dissatisfaction the people had with the church.

This is one of the aspects that have led to the change of the organization of the church. The church, as a result, has changed the way they interact with their members. Pope Benedict represents the modern Catholic Church. This is displayed by his recent statement on the support of democracy. Democracy is the opposite of liberal socialism in that it supports the elements of a free market. Liberal socialism aimed to fight for the needs of the less fortunate. The church was one of the advocates for social liberalism. Despite this, they did not follow the teachings of theology. This led to the failure of the theology which paved the way for the introduction of new theologies.

Arguments made by the author

The author formed his own argument based on the study of the life of the pope. One of the arguments the author makes is the contribution of Pope Benedict to the Catholic Church from the time of his inauguration. Pope Benedict was sworn as the new pope. He managed to maintain the principles of the Catholic Church while embracing the new society.

The author main argument is based on the pope’s role in improving the public image of the church. Pope Benedict has made an impact on the church’s relations with other denominations. This is reflective of the new ideas that support integration and respect. The author looks at the strength of the current pope in political society. The pope still uses his authority to fight for the quest of the ordinary man. Despite the shift from the liberation theology, the pope maintains the same objectives forms by the church. The author elaborates on Pope Benedict’s motto that states the “Fellow worker for the truth”. This places emphasis on the popes desires to maintain a truthful nature when practicing the Catholic religion (Hemming, p. 123).

The author has dedicated the better part of his life researching the life of Pope Benedicts. The book acts as an analysis of the pope’s successes and failures during his leadership of the church. The pope has managed to oppose the extreme conservatives of the church who oppose the rule of the Vatican. The pope, on the other hand, has distanced the church from traditional theological aspects such as liberation theology. This has managed to maintain the balance of the church in terms of their traditional roots and their adaptation to the modern world.


Works Cited

Hemming, Laurence P. Benedict Xvi: Fellow Worker for the Truth; an Introduction to His Life and Thought. London: Burns and Oates, 2005. Print.

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