Several members of this forum over the past few years have voiced the wish that they could have been students in Herr Professor Dr. Ratzinger's classes or be participants in his continuing Schulerkreis meetings. Unfortunately, since Cardinal Ratzinger's assignment as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and now his calling as Pope, that is not possible for newcomers.
But it is possible, in a very modest way, to pay tribute to Pope Benedict XVI's phenomenal pedagogical talents by engaging in thoughtful discussions about questions of Catholic teaching and belief. Such discussions occur periodically on various threads in this section and in other, less frequently visited, sections in this forum. However, often discussions in the threads are cut off by the posting of news items or other worthy distractions. This new thread is intended to be a place where questions of all kinds can be asked about the Catholic faith and, when the subject arises, other faith traditions or belief systems.
I envision this thread as encompassing questions that go to the heart of Catholic belief (e.g., what is the Trinity?)(actually I'm sort of kidding with that question as a starter because I think the only sensible answer ultimately is that it is a Mystery) to those that are more peripheral (e.g., what do you do with holy water and what are holy cards?).
The ground rules are the same as for the forum as a whole: reasoned discourse, courtesy, respect for opposing views, no name-calling, ad hominem attacks or allegations that someone is a heretic or a schismatic. Please note that it's OK to state (if true) that a view expressed or a position taken does not comport with Catholic teaching and belief, and OK to identify such a view or position are being, according to Catholic teaching or belief, heretical or schismatic. I hope all who participate can understand and appreciate the difference.
In other words, those who post on this thread should follow the example of the man after whom this fanclub is named. Pope Benedict XVI's Angelus comments about the La Sapienza incident set the standard.
So, forum members, go to it: you're invited to post your questions or make your comments here. I hope this thread will prove helpful to everyone in understanding Roman Catholicism better and enabling all to grow to love the Catholic faith and Our Lord more.