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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 22 December 2013
I cannot praise this document too highly. At last a Papal document that reads as if it has been written by a human being and one with a sense of humour at that. But do not buy this; go to the Vatican website, choose your preferred language and download the pdf. All you then need to do to read it on a Kindle is email it to your Kindle's email address with the word "convert" in the title line. It will make a pretty decent, but not perfect, job of fitting it to you Kindle.
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on 8 January 2014
Indeed a very good book written at "the appropriate time" for believers. The language used is simple. Therefore it makes very easy reading & comprehension of Pope Francis' message. Don't just read it once, do at least a second and a third reading.

This book also makes an easy-to-use Reference book for the people in the pews.

If you are thinking of getting a personal copy, get one more for a Best Friend or a Neighbour.
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on 13 March 2014
To a Christian brought up on the Hell Fire and Damnation approach, this is a breath of fresh air. It feeds my hope for renewal within the Roman Catholic world. There are plenty of words directed at the clergy, but it is also a call for every member to become fully active and responsible and to experience the joy and let go unnecessary burdens. It is sympathetic to difference. I am reading it quite slowly, because there is a lot to think about, even if the language is relatively simple, but sometimes though I understand the words I am not completely clear about the intended meaning. I bought the kindle version; in hindsight I would have preferred the paper back
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on 31 January 2014
I have NEVER read an encyclical written by a Pope previously because they are not typically written for the person in the pew. This one is very readable and easy to understand. More importantly it addresses issues that I believe most Christians are very interested in.Even my 25 year old goddaughter is reading it without any prodding.This is a Pope who truly knows how to engage a mass audience of non theologians. Bravo Papa Francesco.
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on 21 March 2014
Brilliant and inspiring. We have waited a long time for a work such as this. Written in an easy and approachable manner. It is also very non-denominational so that it can appeal across the board to seekers of the truth whatever their denomination or even if they have none at all.
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on 23 April 2014
This is the American edition of this Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis. It says nothing new but the style is a revolution. It is personal to Pope Francis and filled with joyous optimism expressed in an accessible style and language; for that reason it will be read by many inside the Church and outside it.
Some sections of the Catholic press have hailed it as a 'return' to the spirit of Vatican II which may be overstating it somewhat. The Church is always in need of reform but that does not mean that its past is done away with, the Gospel is as always interpreted for the present time. Evangelii Gaudium is filled with faith, optimism and encouragement.
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on 25 April 2014
Plenty of tough medicine that will shake many clerics - and 'practising' christians and lay folk. This is truly inspirational, and pretty shaming too.The messages hit so many nails on the head and cast rays of light onto the sorry state of mankind and the global culture. To anyone who considers the vatican to be self centred and self serving, this uncompromising foray will give great hope that there's going to be one huge shake-up. I hope Pope Francis lives to see significant progress towards his inspirational vision.
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on 9 January 2014
This is a thought provoking piece of work, worth reading slowly. In fact I just read a couple of paragraphs each day. The section on how to give a sermon isn't relevant to me but it's interesting to know what Pope Francis wants me to hear when I attend church on Sundays. The document is demanding - indeed, it's an exhortation, not an encyclical - but very positive and optimistic. I will need to reread it to be able to take it all in.
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on 8 January 2014
My rating does not refer to the content of this apostolic letter, but to the impossibly small type of this particular edition. The buyer should be forewarned that the print in this ediiton is as user-unfriendly as it is possible to be.
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on 11 January 2014
`The Joy of the Gospel' is a work of love and compassion for those who prefer to live in a vacuum - for that I give it high marks. Yet, how about the joy of the real world we live in? Francis ignores the issues of the day as if they didn't exist. For example, 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 Francis has 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 real meat here. Just a repetition of verses and generalities carefully engineered to steer the mind away from the real world we live in into a world of ecclesiastical bliss.

Why would a book which only wealth is excerpts from the gospels 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 others issues of the real world we live in.
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