Six texts by Prof. Joseph Ratzinger as peritus before and during Vatican Council II

Gregorianum 89 (2):233-311 (2008)
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Further research on the theological contributions of experts at Vatican Council II has led to identifying six texts by Prof. Joseph Ratzinger, which are presented here. The theological themes expressed in these texts include an insistence on the interior dynamics and questioning of human beings in conceiving the present-day "hearer of the word" to which Vatican II will speak. One is not surprised by the Professor's repeated call for doctrinal formulations drawn from the biblical and patristic sources instead of borrowing from recent theological textbooks. The lecture of October 10, 1962, develops, among other topics, an impressive account of God's self-revelation, which has primacy over the codified witness given by Scripture and tradition, which derive from the one fons that is God's self-manifestation. On biblical inspiration the Council should not attempt a systematic account but simply make reference to essential aspects: those active as human authors, their context which is salvation history, and the communities that they served by writing. All missionary activity in the Church arises ultimately from God's love poured out upon the world in the missions of the Son and Spirit and such action has its summa in Jesus' inaugural proclamation, "Be converted and believe in the Gospel" . In approaching its dialogue with the contemporary world, the Church speaks out of a complex conviction combining awareness that hum



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