Benedict XVI: A Life Volume Two: Professor and Prefect to Pope and Pope Emeritus 1966-The Present
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Emeritus Pope Benedict commanded both adulation and unremitting criticism. To millions, he was a beacon of light in a turbulent modern world. In this second volume of Peter Seewald's authoritative biography, the story continues from the Second Vatican Council (1965-8) right up to his resignation in 2013.
We see how Benedict was influenced by the Council and the ensuing political unrest all over Europe to move from a liberal perspective on the Church and the modern world to one that was profoundly conservative. Appointed in 1981 as prefect of the Congregation of Doctrine of the Faith, and quickly nicknamed 'God's Rottweiler', he proved to be intransigent on the controversial issues of abortion, contraception, gay rights and gay marriage. But elected Pope in 2005, his tenure of office was so riven with shocking revelations of controversy and scandal that it seemed that by the time of his resignation in 2013 he was incapable of handling the complexities of the Church in the modern world.