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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Excellent introduction to the new pope
on 22 July 2013
This small book, about the size of a larger coat pocket, is packed with information on the opinions of the new Pope on a whole variety of topics. If you want to catch up on the opinions of this, the new leader of the Roman Catholic, this is probably one of the best places to begin and easiest place to get a pretty comprehensive overview.
There are seven or eight pages of contents, although some of the headings have just a single quotation/citation or two each, at the back of the book there is a four page timeline from birth to election as pope, the rest of the book is a very detailed list of citations providing publication and website references for every single quotation. There is no index but in the case of this book the contents is equivocal to an index, each topic or word is precisely referenced, for instance "on cities", "on citizenship", "on the conclave", "on conversation".
This publication is similar to, and as good as, publications of its kind produced by or with a focus upon the opinions of other public leaders/spokespeople or spokespersons for world religions. It is a publication which obviously will be of interest to members of the faith community of which Pope Francis is now the leader but it could interest anyone who collects quotations of public figures or a generally interested reader who may wish to find out his opinions on ethics (the Pope's view of law, morals, mercy and injustice for instance) and spiritual matters (Homolies, the virgin mary, Jesus and religious life for instance).
There are also opinions on what could be more popular concerns, since they have been taken up by the media and opponents of the Roman Catholic church, such as peadophile priests (Francis states that those in authority must take unflinching views of peadophilia, a condition predating ordination and not caused by celibacy, also that the previous idea of moving peadophile priests between parishes was wrong), there are also topics of more public or popular kinds (the relationship between church and state, freedom, money and neo-liberalism).
Like any collection of citations and quotations the pace can be uneven and style of delivery jump about a bit but that is to be expected, the assembly of the citations and ordering of them will to some extent reflect the priorities or interest of the editors but I cant imagine a more comprehensive and cohesive collection as the one right here. Some of the quotes are a bit obscure, not making perfect sense, others prove to be more banal and having read some other Latin American Roman Catholic thinkers, like Oscar Romero, there's a definite style in the delivery.