This week at Q & A, we are looking at the contributions Pope benedict XVI has made to the Church to call attention to the publication of a new book from the USCCB, Pope Benedict XVI: Essays and Reflections on His Papacy.
Today we hear from Fr. Ken Himes, who teaches theology at Boston College.
The question: What do you perceive as a specific contribution Pope Benedict XVI has made to the Church?
Father Himes: After Joseph Ratzinger was elected Bishop of Rome, a friend told me that I should take a vacation from my study of Catholic social teaching since there would be no new social encyclical coming out of Benedict’s papacy. While my friend was joking, it is fair to say the expectations of many people were low regarding Benedict’s interest in social teaching. Yet this papacy has continued the practice of commemorating the social encyclicals of predecessors while adding its own voice and perspective to social questions.