Pope Francis, in his foreword to Faith and Politics, states that one of the major themes central to the thought and writing of Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI has always been that of the relation between faith and politics: “His firsthand experience of Nazi totalitarianism led him even as a young student to reflect on the limits of obedience to the state for the sake of the liberty of obeying God.” In support of this, he quotes from one of Ratzinger’s texts presented in this volume: “The state is not the whole of human existence and does not encompass all human hope. Man and what he hopes for extend beyond the framework of the state and beyond the sphere of political action.”
Ratzinger has explored various aspects of this subject in books, speeches, homilies, and dialogues throughout his career, from his years as a theology professor to his tenure as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and most recently as Pope. The reader will find some of these texts collected in this volume. Titles such as “Politics and Truth: Jesus before Pilate”, “Truth, Values, Power: Touchstones of Pluralistic Society”, and “If You Want Truth, Respect the Conscience of Every Person” give some idea of the range of topics covered.
As Pope Francis concludes, these texts “can help all of us not only to understand our present day and to find a sound orientation for the future but also to be a true and genuine source of inspiration for political action that places the family, solidarity, and equity at the center of its attention and of its planning and thereby truly looks to the future with far-sighted wisdom”.