‘Ordinary believers, scholars react to new book’

Metrowest Daily News

December 3rd, 2012 by 

In a recent article in the Metrowest Daily News, Rev. Thomas W. Worcester, S.J., professor of history at the College of the Holy Cross, commented on the significance of Pope Benedict XVI’s new book, “Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives.”

In the book, the pope disproves the popular notion that angels trumpeted Christ’s birth, or that animals were present in the manger in Bethlehem, which sparked controversy among clergy, religious scholars, and believers.

“[T]radtionally Catholicism has been a visual religion with a lively visual tradition,” explained Fr. Worcester. “I think the pope is trying to distinguish what we know of the historical Jesus.”

The third book released by Pope Benedict, “Jesus of Nazareth” approaches the life of Jesus with a scholarly lens, and attempts to distinguish differences between Catholic traditions, beliefs, and realities.

“I think it’s fair to say his focus in these books is more on the human side,” said Fr. Worcester, reflecting on the pope’s intentions. “The birth of Jesus in Bethlehem continues to capture his imagination, to intrigue him,” he continued.

This ‘Holy Cross in the News’ item by David Cotrone ’13.

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