Close study of the body of his writings suggest that, had Professor Ratzinger been left alone to pursue his scholarly interests and ambitions, his achievements would have rivaled or surpassed those of the greatest Catholic theologians of the last century.
Never before in the history of the Catholic Church has a world-class biblical theologian been elevated to the papacy. The election of Pope Benedict XVI, on April 19, 2005, brought to the Chair of St. Peter one of the world’s finest theological minds, a public intellectual long engaged in dialogue over the crucial issues of the modern period, especially the relationship between freedom and truth.
The former Joseph Ratzinger was a young academic theologian with a very bright future when, in 1977, he was chosen to be archbishop of the historic Bavarian diocese of Munich and Freising. At the time, he expressly identified a continuity between his scholarly work and his new service in the hierarchy of the Church, taking for his episcopal motto a biblical expression: “cooperators in the truth.”