Saturday, March 26, 2016

Pope Emeritus Benedict's Grand Uncle's Prize Winning Book on the Poor

Father Georg Ratzinger (1844-1899)

Geschichte der Kirchlichen Armenpflege von Georg Ratzinger, 1868.

The last line of that book (page 433) reads

Every beginning is difficult;
but in the development,
in growth, it increases,
strength is hardened in combat,
so, audacious, put your hand to the task!

Being an historical survey of the Catholic Church's solicitude for the poor, it is a page right out of Pope Benedict's Deus Caritas Est (especially the first section beginning with the first Christians famously caring for the needy), and now Pope Francis' famous concern.

Georg's book gives a central role to agape as does Joseph Ratzinger in the encyclical, and the second half of the Ratzinger encyclical is THE PRACTICE OF LOVE BY THE CHURCH AS A “COMMUNITY OF LOVE," very much a transposition of the thesis of the earlier Ratzinger.

This theme of the Church's large and unique social contribution is an answer by both Ratzingers to the modern hypothetical and failed notion of progress without God. Is modern man more generous, more kind, more chaste, more just or less bellicose or otherwise violent than ages past for it's rejection of God? That is the theme of the second encyclical of Pope Benedict: Spe Salvi, viz. that man gets his bearings on right action from Christ, and the only adequate and complete motive force in the human heart for wanting to do what is right is the same love of God, perfectly realized in the person of Christ.

The other titles of the previous Ratzinger are
  • Geschichte der Armenpflege, Friburgo in Brisgovia 1868;
  • Die Volkswirtschaft in ihren sittlichen Grundlagen. Ethischsociale Studien über Cultur und Civilisation, Friburgo in Brisgovia 1881;
  • Forschungen zur bayerischen Geschichte, Kempten 1898;
  • Das Concil und die deutsche Wissenschaft, Keinz 1872;
  • Die Erhaltung des Bauernstandes, Friburgo in Brisgovia 1883;
  • Georg Ratzinger alias Robert Waldhausen: Jüdisches Erwerbsleben. Skizzen aus dem sozialen Leben der Gegenwart, Passau 1892;
  • Georg Ratzinger alias Gottfried Wolf: Das Judentum in Bayern. Skizzen aus der Vergangenheit und Vorschläge für die Zukunft, München 1897
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