Religion: A Holy Boldness

For many Roman Catholic clerics at the Second Vatican Council, the most vital arena was not St. Peter's Basilica, where the prelates gathered for discussion, but a room on the third floor of Rome's college for German seminarians. Scores of cardinals and bishops from Germany, France, Africa and Latin America made pilgrimages there for theological advice. Theologians visited to discuss the issues and events of the council with the sad-eyed, soft-spoken man who occupied the room. He was Karl Rahner, 58, whom many eminent Roman Catholic thinkers regard as the most profound and...

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