This week and next, I reflect on the life and work of Joseph Ratzinger, the man who now leads the church as Pope Benedict XVI. Ratzinger was strongly shaped by his Bavarian Catholicism, by his struggle against Nazism, and by the “nouvelle theologie,” the new theology inaugurated by Henri de Lubac and others. This set of influences made him a unique and powerful voice at the Second Vatican Council. More on his post-conciliar career next week.