Today, in “On the Square,” instead of the regular column we offer Archbishop Charles Chaput’s review of the now controversial book by Pope Benedict, Light of the World . It is, he writes, a “remarkable book” and “an absolutely mandatory read for anyone who wants a sense of the Petrine ministry and its burdens from the inside.” And yet, he writes in Open, Disarming, and Inevitably Misunderstood ,
one comes away from this text with a mix of exhilaration and sympathy. The exhilaration springs from meeting in Benedict an extraordinary Christian intellect, articulate and unfiltered; a man prudent, generous, and penetrating in his judgment, candid in his self-criticism, brilliant but accessible in his thinking, and unshakeable in his faith. The sympathy flows from knowing that, in the current media climate, almost anything Benedict says may be hijacked to serve other agendas. And exactly this happened even before the book’s formal release.