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A Feature Review of
Church of Mercy: A Vision for the Church
Paperback: Loyola Press, 2014
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Reviewed by Tom Tatterfield
*** This book was chosen as one of our Best Books of the first half of 2014!
It has become rather commonplace to acknowledge the election of Pope Francis as a breathe of fresh air for the Roman Catholic Church, both in the western world and globally. Throughout the first year of his papacy, Christians and non-Christians alike have, with intrigue, fixed their gaze on Francis, having a curiosity stirred in them by his acts of compassion and humility. The Church of Mercy has finally arrived in print as a welcome work compiling various teaching moments of Francis throughout this initial year as Pope. The book is a collection of excerpts derived from homilies, addresses, his first encyclical (Lumen Fidei) and his apostolic exhortation (Evangelii Gaudium). The editorial work deserves special mention, gathering several texts and arranging them thoughtfully in order to properly portray the breadth of Pope Francis’s spiritual wisdom. The excerpts, each no longer than a couple pages in length, have been organized categorically around certain topics/themes (i.e. the gospel, evangelization, the Holy Spirit, pastoral ministry, idolatry, etc…), resulting in a very readable book replete with profound insight for the life of the Church. It is a window through which one might see the heart of Pope Francis and his vision for the Church.