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|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2013
First Jesuit. First Latin American. And a new pope who chose as his first act a simple request: please pray for me.
The recent resignation of Pope Benedict XVI took the world by surprise and for good reason. More than 600 years had passed since a pope last left his post.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, is a man of prayer, a man of action, and a humble man who has always promoted others over himself. In fact, it was Bergoglio who bowed out of the running in the papal election of 2005 to facilitate the rise of Benedict XVI.
However, the new pope faces a Catholic Church in crisisa church that has lost the media pull of John Paul II and is still hounded by pedophile scandals and the filtration of documents from former papal administrations. His first year may not be an easy one, but neither this man nor the church itself has ever shied away from the challenges thrust upon them.
Pope Francis is austere and simple but has vast theological training. He is a man of his time but one who also travels by subway and bus just like any other citizen. Tirelessly fighting poverty and marginalization, he is a beacon of hope for the poor, persecuted sectors of the church. Has a Catholic spring finally arrived after a very long winter?
Francis is the complete biography of a humble man who has suddenly become one of the most powerful and influential men on the planet.
mojoTexasAge: 35-44Gender: male3 Stars Out Of 5Not what I was expectingJune 26, 2013mojoTexasAge: 35-44Gender: maleQuality: 3Value: 3Meets Expectations: 2Mario Escobar Golderos has written numerous books and articles about the Inquisition, the Protestant Reformation, and religious sects. A passionate history author, Escobar has delved into the depths of church history, the different sectarian groups that have struggled therein, and the discovery and colonization of the Americas. His books typically specialize in the lives of unorthodox Spaniards and Americans.
I know as a Christian who was raised in Protestant churches, I have little to no information about who the Popes are. I mean, aside from seeing them on TV, or hearing a joke begin with, "So the Pope walks into a bar_" I don't know much about the papacy. I was kind of hoping that this book would be a good introduction to the newest Pope; Jorge Mario Bergoglio.
And the good news is Mario (the author) spends the first portion of the book on Pope Francis' upbringing and childhood. It paints an even fairly straightforward picture of his early years. The book then takes a sleight shift and spends a good portion talking about the process of voting for the next Pope. You know, the whole secret meeting, Cardinals and white smoke thing? Yea, it's called a "Papal Conclave" And to be fair to this section, as an outsider looking in, it is neat information behind the (literal) closed doors of Catholicism, but I was hoping for maybe a bit more about Pope Francis himself.
But now the book really shifts gears and Mario leaves behind Pope Francis to discuss his own personal take on where the Papacy is headed (or should be headed). If I had started to loose interest in the Conclave, by now I was done and I didn't really finish the book if I were to be honest with you. In the end, the book was disappointing, I was hoping more for a biography, but it felt like Mario wanted to write a book about Pope Francis, but didn't have enough information.
The book felt "padded" for content. In fact, it felt more like a "book report" about the Pope and his job - then it did an actual biography. But again, if someone was wanting a short overview (nothing to heavy) on this new Pope and his role, then perhaps Mario's book is for you.
Thank you to Thomas Nelson for this free review copy
bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: Female5 Stars Out Of 5a concise introduction to the current PopeMay 17, 2013bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: FemaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Many people were surprised when Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a Latin American man virtually unknown among the majority of Catholics, became Pope Francis. To help us know what this might mean for the Catholic Church, Escobar explores the life and thoughts of one of the most powerful men in the world.
Bergoglio was born in 1936 into a family that had immigrated to Buenos Aires from Piedmont, Italy in 1929. As a teen, his heart was torn between a girlfriend and the priesthood. But when he was sixteen, he experienced a spiritual calling during confession. He broke up with his girlfriend and four years later entered seminary, choosing the Order of Jesuits. Escobar reviews his academic life and his experiences in Argentina during dictatorship.
He became a bishop at age 55 and archbishop in 1997 (he declined to live in the luxurious archbishop's palace and still took public transportation). He was ordained as cardinal in 2001. He quickly became well known and respected in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church.
Escobar reviews the founding of the Society of Jesus in the sixteenth century, its history and theology. I didn't realize that, according to the rules of the Society of Jesus, any member who is named bishop ceases to be under the order's jurisdiction, or as Arregi said, ceases to be a Jesuit.
Other insights Escobar offers include how the papal electoral system evolved and currently works, a review of recent conclaves, Pope Benedict XVI's resignation, the choice of Francis for his name, the issues confronting the Pope, the possible impact of being the first Pope from the Americas and of being the first from the Jesuits, and more.
He ends his book with a number of quotes from Pope Francis and a chronology.
For a Protestant like me, this is a great introduction to Pope Francis and what his time at leading the Catholic Church may bring. I appreciated the historical information in the book too. The book is concise and would be of benefit to anyone wanting to know more about the current Pope and the future of the Catholic Church.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
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