Pope Francis Paperback – 1 Aug 2013
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Paul Vallelys biography of Francisstands, in terms of seriousness of purpose and depth of understanding, head and shoulders above other recent rushed cuttings jobs.,By the end of this stint of reviewing I have read through 10 biographies of one sort or another of the new Bishop of Rome. This emboldens me to say, without hesitation, that Vallely's is undoubtedly the most satisfactory of an otherwise lacklustre bunch...Vallely, as befits a long-time journalist, has done the legwork...Read this book, forget the rest.,Of the new literature rushed out to capitalise on the great interest and the extraordinarily long honeymoon period that Francis is experiencing, Paul Vallelys Pope Francis: Untying the Knots is perhaps the best in the English language..Vallely, with great insight, posits that this painting in some way represents the enigma of Bergoglio: a former provincial with a complicated legacy, but also a man spiritual and humble enough to recognise his mistakes and learn from them... The focus is on Bergoglio the Jesuit provincial, and then Bergoglio as bishopand cardinal. It is both challenging and illuminating...Vallely is an excellent, well-connected writer, and Pope Francis: Untying the Knots is an engaging and thoughtful read throughout.,No biography, however diligent, can capture someone's interior life. But what this book does demonstrate is that Pope Francis is a tougher, more complex figure than meets the eye...Anybody who reads this book will eagerly await his next move.,[an] absorbing portrait of the show-stopping new popeVallely invokes the image of untying the knots to explain his goal. --The Sunday Times
About the Author
Paul Vallely is a top-flight journalist with a international reputation as a commentator on religion, society and political issues. He was correspondent for The Times in Ethiopia during the famine of 1984-5 for which he was commended as International Reporter of the Year. He was the co-author of Bob Geldof's massive-selling autobiography, Is That It? and was later involved in the organisation of Live 8. In 2004 he was seconded to the Commission for Africa set up by the British prime minister, Tony Blair where he worked on the Commission's report Our Common Interest (later published by Penguin). He is the editor of The New Politics: Catholic Social Teaching for the 21st century and has advised the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales. He was created a CMG 'for services to journalism and to the developing world' in 2006 and is currently associate editor of the Independent newspaper.
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Top Customer Reviews
Despite being a relatively short book it is teeming with detail, including sketches of Argentinian politics, the origins and conduct of the "Dirty War", and the machinations of two papal elections, as well as the origins and career of the new pope, Francis.
The central issues of the book relate to Bergoglio's personal conduct during the Dirty War and what sort of a pope he will be. In relation to the first question Vallely explores in some depth the key question relating to Bergoglio's role in the kidnapping and torture of two Jesuit priests by the military junta when he was Provincial of that order.
The answer to that first question is fundamental in Vallely's assessment of the second. In the end Vallely paints a convincing picture of a man who was politically conservative and personally authoritarian in his youth, making some dreadful mistakes as a result. But while remaining quite conservative Bergoglio appear to be someone who, as a result of deep shame at past misconduct and misjudgement, has grown into a generous and courageous figure.
It will be interesting to see the sort of pope that Bergoglio becomes as Francis but Vallely presents considerable evidence to suggest a hopeful prospect based on his radical conduct in the first months of his pontificate.
A real page turner that keeps you reading right till the end.
" Four years of Bergoglio would be enough to changes things" Cardinal Cormac O'Connor Murphy page 187
I await Vallely's 2017 edition !!!!!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellently balanced account of the Pope's life. I gave it away as a present to an Anglican clergyman!Published 16 months ago by Mrs. J. M. Evans
Wonderful book about Pope Frances' life before he became The Pope. A real insight into what has made Pope Frances the wonderful, charismatic yet humble Leader of the Catholic... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Elizabeth
My choice of ratings was how I felt this book was written with sincerity, it has helped me to understand where Pope Francis came from and his understanding of people and his Love... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Valerie Callister
I purchased THIS book because the author is reknown for his attention to detail and after I had read about half of it I felt as if he, Paul Vallely was making a concerted attack on... Read morePublished 18 months ago by P. WILLIAMS