Thursday, October 29, 2009

Romano Guardini and Pope Benedict: An Encounter of Two Original Thinkers

One was born in Italy but moved to Germany, the other was born in Germany and moved to Italy. The pair wrote several similar works. One wrote a book called The Lord and the other penned Jesus of Nazareth. One authored The Essence of Christianity and the other later wrote Introduction to Christianity. The younger wrote Introduction to the Spirit of the Liturgy and the older authored The Spirit of the Liturgy.

Father Romano Guardini was born in Italy in 1885 and lived and died in Germany. Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict, was born in Germany in 1927 and has lived in Rome since 1981. There are many similarities in their approach to reality and Cardinal Ratzinger wrote “…we are taught by Guardini, the essence of Christianity is not an idea, not a system of thought, not a plan of action. The essence of Christianity is a Person: Jesus Christ himself.” This thought is echoed in Pope Benedict’s writings. Guardini’s response to the failure of liberalism was valuable and he was able identify dangers to Europe brought about by its philosophical and cultural collapse. Guardini identified a way forward and his ideas deeply influenced a young 20 year old student in Freising, Joseph Ratzinger. This encounter was important as both have made inestimable contributions to the Church.

See Also: Pope Benedict has a Father: Guardini & A Decisive Encounter

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