The Francis Effect: A Radical Pope's Challenge to the American Catholic Church

John Gehring. Rowman & Littlefield, $32 (272p) ISBN 978-1-4422-4320-0
Gehring, Catholic director at the advocacy group Faith in Public Life, presents a well-researched work that features dozens of Catholic voices driving the conversation about Pope Francis and his universal call for a radical embrace of the Gospel. Gehring is a veteran journalist who digs for the nuances at the heart of a story; in a media climate often filled with suspicion and polarization, it is refreshing to read something with true journalistic integrity. While not afraid of offering criticism, Gehring is most interested in finding common ground. The book focuses on the consistent, challenging message that Pope Francis proclaims regarding care for the poor and the resonance of faith in all aspects of life. This message has transformed many faithful who felt disenfranchised by the Church's sex scandal, and injected new and vital energy into Catholicism—a progression the author describes in a punchy style. Gehring is able to cover numerous topics that are accentuating Francis's effect on the worldwide church, including LGBTQ rights, Catholic identity of institutions, religion and politics, and the necessity of stemming the tide of millennials exiting the Church in droves. Anyone curious about where the Catholic Church is headed in the 21st century will be fascinated by Gehring's take. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/24/2015
Release date: 08/01/2015
Genre: Religion
Open Ebook - 286 pages - 978-1-4422-4321-7
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