The Rule of Benedict
Author: David Gibson
There was no neutral response to the announcement that the “enforcer”-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger-had
been elected Benedict XVI, the next pope of the Roman Catholic Church. Conservatives saw it as the final
triumph of their agenda. Liberals were aghast. Everyone else wondered what to expect. Award-winning
religion journalist David Gibson explores how a “war of ideas” will be the defining feature of this new
papacy. Gibson persuasively argues that by tackling the modern world head-on Benedict XVI is gambling
that he can make traditional, orthodox Catholicism the savior of contemporary society. But if the elderly
Benedict fails in his battle with modernity, will Catholicism wind up as a “smaller-but-purer church”-a new
kind of “fortress Catholicism” that some conservatives want? These fears are in the forefront for millions of
American Catholics pressing for change. Gibson points to the early warning signs of a papacy hyper-
focused on “right belief” and will show how the key decisions of this surprising papacy will profoundly
impact the future of Catholicism.
DAVID GIBSON is an award-winning religion writer and a committed lay Catholic. He writes frequently
about Catholicism for various newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Boston
Magazine, The New York Observer, Commonweal, America, and was the religion writer at the Newark
Star-Ledger. Gibson worked in Rome and traveled with the Pope for Vatican Radio in the late 1980’s, and
has recently co-written and co-produced two television documentaries on the Catholic Church for CNN.
He is widely regarded among his peers as having the best sources among American Catholics and their
bishops, as well as Vatican insiders. He lives in New York City.Visit www.AuthorTracker.com for
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