cover image The Name of God Is Mercy

The Name of God Is Mercy

Pope Francis. Random House, $26 (176p) ISBN 978-0-399-58863-1

Pope Francis proclaimed 2016 "the extraordinary jubilee year of mercy"; in this small, persuasive book, he explains that "we need constantly to contemplate the mystery of mercy." The first two-thirds consists of questions posed by Andrea Tornielli, a Vatican journalist, and answered by Francis. Tornielli's questions range in tone from catechism ("Why are we sinners?") to eliciting Francis's personal and pastoral experiences, as well as questions that clarify his theology and vision for the Roman Catholic Church. Pope Francis quotes saints, Scripture, and his papal forefathers in the beautiful book, with endpapers that repeat the title in many languages. The pope briefly addresses homosexuality and the ecumenism of mercy throughout the world's religions; he more fully considers mercy in relation to compassion, scholarship, confession, and justice, juxtaposing mercy and corruption most profoundly. The last third of the book presents his proclamation about the year of mercy, delivered in March of 2015, in all its poetry, clarity, and appeal: "Let us live this jubilee intensely..." (Jan.)