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4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 4 October 2013
When I was younger I tried to read the documents of the Second Vatican Council, but the language was so heavy that I gave up almost before starting. They seemed to be trying to comunicate "mind to mind" - all very well for the clergy, trained for this kind of thing.
Now, with a new Pope who is so highly acclaimed I decided to try again to find "food for faith" in this new encyclical letter. I have found that it speaks to me "eye to eye, heart to heart". And I can understand it!
I hope to persuade our parish priests to develop an adult course of catechesis around it, for I am sure that Pope Francis's approach can help us reconnect the everyday world we live in to our faith in Christ.
And isn't that the reason for which encyclical lettters are written?
I would suggest this work for personal and group meditation among Christians of all denominations.
Really! It's wonderful!!
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on 25 February 2014
I rated this book at five stars simply because I wanted initially to get a quite time book that would set me up spiritually for the day ahead. I am still reading it and re-reading it to gain the enormous benefit from the inspirational text and the many scripture insights Pope Francis gives. It is a source of strength through a challenging journey in a godless society where to be Christian really means to love others in the perfect way God loves us.

Christopher Vasey:
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on 10 February 2014
Like other books written about Francis, he defines the problems of the world - priest pedophilia, contraception, abortions, etc. - without offering any viable solutions.

In those few cases where he does take a stand, his record tells us he says these things only for political purposes. His words say one thing while his actions say the opposite.

For example, he strikes out against capitalism. Yet, for twenty years he fought against every social program to help the poor - the reason left wing socialists in Argentina were so enraged by his election.

Francis has been compared to John Paul I because both men defined their papacies as being for the poor. Yet, nothing could be further from the truth. John Paul - like Marx before him - would force (tax) the rich to help the poor. The Vatican Murders: The Life and Death of John Paul I. Francis - like Christ before him - would ask the rich to help the poor; something one knows does not work.

Francis has also been compared to John Paul I concerning women in the Church. He has made it clear that women should aspire to high position. Consider his record.

There are about 40 curial posts (a pope's cabinet) Secretary of State (Vice President), Prefecture of Economic Affairs (Chief Financial Officer) and Prefecture Apostolic Tribunal (Attorney General), etc. About 200 cardinals make up a pope's Senate. Concerning a pope's governors, 600 bishops rule the field.

In the past year, in addition to taking women ordination off the table, Francis has confirmed a man to every single one of these positions together with over 800 deputies. No women allowed. Even the Supreme Court is a man (Francis).

And why are no women allowed? Francis claims Christ chose only men for his cabinet. Not withstanding that only men wrote the gospels, what would the United States Congress be today if one considers only men made up its first Congress?

At a time the most powerful nation in the world is looking forward to its first woman president, the Roman Catholic Church will not allow a woman to occupy the lowest rung in its mainstream management.

Francis says one thing to gain political favor, yet, does the opposite. He knows he can get away with this because - in his mind - he knows women are not too bright. He has very sound reason to think this way as more than half his congregation is women; women who have been condition since early childhood by his predecessors that little boys are better than little girls. He intends to keep it that way. The question is: When will little girls grow up to see the light?

Conversely, in his Sunday Angelus September 10, 1978, John Paul I declared: "God is the Father. More so, the Mother." He was right. According to tales told by ancient 'men' God is a 'man'. Yet, according to all we really know, God is the Mother. In 1978, the Church was not only looking at its first woman priest but it was looing at its first women cardinal. The thought of a woman pope would bring a smile to the lips of John Paul I; it strikes a dagger into the chauvinistic heart of Francis I.

Concerning women and a host of other issues John Paul told a symposium of cardinals: "It is time for Mother Church to catch up to the world she lives in." One reason he was the youngest pope to die in four hundred years. The Vatican Murders: The Life and Death of John Paul I answers the question: Did his struggle for women, homosexuals and the poor cost him his life?

`The Light of Faith' discusses problems - no real solutions.
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on 23 December 2013
thought it was a very enlightening booklet and would recommend it to everybody who was at all interested in matters of faith and also those who were not.
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on 3 January 2014
If you want to be somebody, you should read this little book. It holds the secret to peace and joy
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on 6 December 2013
Pope Francis' first encyclical makes good Advent reading. Take a section each day, and reflect on the meaning of faith in our contemporary world.
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on 11 January 2014
`The Light of Faith' is a bipartisan attempt to bridge the gap between Benedict and Francis. It focuses on common ground - love and compassion - and avoids the differences between these men. To put it bluntly, it ignores the issues of the day. Consider homosexuality.

Benedict defines homosexuality as an intrinsic disorder; a position roundly supported by the Old Testament where the penalty is death. Leviticus 20: "If a man lie with mankind, as with womankind, both have committed an abomination, they shall surely be put to death."

But, we don't live in the Old Testament; do we. We live in the New Testament.

In the New Testament (Corinthians 6 and again in Romans 1) the penalty is worse than death - permanent exclusion from heaven: "Be not deceived, neither the immoral, not adulterers, nor effeminates, nor homosexual offenders...will inherit the kingdom of heaven."

Benedict's definition is also consistent with Canon Law: `homosexuality is a sinful disorder.' Like any head of state a pope takes an oath to preserve and protect the constitution - in the case of the Roman Catholic Church - the constitution is Canon Law.

Francis comes along: "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has goodwill who am I to judge?" One would wonder how a pope can set aside Canon Law he is sworn to defend and protect?

Francis is responding to a higher order. Christ's instruction: `Love thy Neighbor as Thyself.' Reminiscent of John Paul I who as a cardinal once brought his struggle for homosexuals into the Sistine Chapel: "The day is not far off when we will have to answer to these people who through the years have been humiliated, whose rights have been ignored, whose human dignity has been offended, their identity denied and their liberty oppressed. What is more, we will have to answer to the God who created them." See John Paul I biography The Vatican Murders: The Life and Death of John Paul I .

There is not a whisper of this kind of thing in this book. It is as if Benedict and Francis have no real responsibilities in this world. No mention of women ordination, celibacy, contraception, abortion, pedophilia, or any of a host of other issues that face the Church today. There is no meat here. Just a repetition of mindless verses and pointless generalities carefully engineered to steer the mind away from the real world we live in into a world of ecclesiastical bliss. Just another prayer book.

Why would a book which only wealth is excerpts from the Bible reap five stars?

Vatican censorship? Reviews of those who prefer to ignore the issues of the day? More likely, courage. In grading `pope' books one risks one's salvation.

A five star book? How about a debate between these two men who have reached the pinnacle of Catholic faith on homosexuality or any of the issues of the real world we live in.
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on 7 June 2014
I read lots of religious stuff and history. It's almost amusing that a bulti-BILLION pound business like the rcc seeks to make even more cash in the sale of marketing literature.
If you want to do some good, Poppa Frankie, close down, sell up, distribute the assets and stop spouting ridiculous messages that spread AIDS and hatred and ignorance while protecting paedophiles and undermining education that empowers future generatioms.
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