Archbishop Cordes Looks at "Eclipse of the Father"

Book Focuses on Revelation as a Key to a Current Social Problem

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MADRID, Spain, APRIL 3, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" has come out with a new book that emphasizes biblical revelation as a key means of overcoming the crisis of fatherhood.



Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes presented his book, "The Eclipse of the Father," on Wednesday in Madrid.

Cardinal Antonio María Rouco Varela, archbishop of Madrid and president of the Spanish episcopal conference, and Archbishop Manuel Monteiro de Castro, the papal nuncio, were among those who attended the presentation, organized by Editorial Palabra at San Pablo-CEU University.

Archbishop Cordes said he discussed the book's topic with the Pope and discovered, while doing his research, that when John Paul II was still a priest in Krakow, he did a study on the "radiance of the Father." Father Karol Wojtyla had developed this as a meditation in the form of a play, which gave Archbishop Cordes "pointers on which to reflect."

The author said that the anthropological viewpoint of the book brings to the fore the problems connected with "calling God 'Father.'"

In the New Testament, Jesus calls "God 'Father' 170 times," which shows the "intimacy implied in this word" and the importance that it had for Christ, said the archbishop.

"This is why we engage in this struggle, both for the human being as well as the faith," he said, explaining the reason for writing the book.

According to Cardinal Rouco, Archbishop Cordes has written a "brilliant, courageous, literally alive, very learned, and theologically and pastorally very rich book."

The cardinal noted the depth reflected in the work's original title, "Die verlorenen Väter -- ein Notruf" (The Lost Fathers -- a Distress Call) which not only speaks about the eclipse of the father, but about "the parents who have been lost."

Cardinal Rouco said that, through the figure of the father, Archbishop Cordes has addressed man's most profound problem. "The problem of man raises the question of the relation with God and of God as Father in its most profound sense, which Jesus Christ reveals to us."