cover image The Church of Mercy: A Vision for the Church

The Church of Mercy: A Vision for the Church

Pope Francis. Loyola Press, $22.95 (200p) ISBN 978-0-8294-4168-0

Former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio recently celebrated his one-year anniversary as Pope Francis. This collection of homilies and public addresses serves as a mission statement for this papacy. Francis preaches the gospel of mercy and invites anyone who will hear him to have a personal relationship with Jesus. He writes about Jesus as a close friend, an intimate companion. Another major theme in Francis%E2%80%99 theology is equating the Catholic Church with the Church of the Poor. This pope is a son of liberation theology, and he believes wholeheartedly that the poor of the world have much to teach Catholicism. He is quick to declare that there is one Catholic Church for all, not multiple churches for multiple constituencies. All are sinners, all require salvation, and all have a place in an open and inviting church. Francis implores the faithful to view one another as brothers and sisters, and to reach out in mercy to one another to alleviate pain, suffering, loneliness, and dread. This collection offers fascinating insight into the mind and heart of someone who has rapidly become one of the world%E2%80%99s most beloved public figures. (Apr.)