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Read online or Download The Francis Effect: A Radical Pope's Challenge to the American Catholic Church (Full PDF ebook with essay, research paper)
by John Gehring

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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
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6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)



The Francis Effect explores how a church once known as a towering force for social justice became known for a narrow agenda most closely aligned with one political party, and then looks at the opportunities for change in the “age of Francis.” Pope Francis has become an unlikely global star whose image has graced the covers of Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, Time, and even the nation’s oldest magazine for gays and lesbians. The first Latin American pope, the first Jesuit, and the first to take the name of a beloved saint of the poor, Francis is shaking up a church that has been mired in scandal and demoralized by devastating headlines. His bracing critique of an out-of-touch hierarchy, pastoral style when it comes to divisive issues, and humble gestures rejecting the trappings of papal power have changed the conversation about the world’s most powerful religious institution.

But in the United States, Pope Francis finds a church that has been transformed over the past three decades by a vocal minority of culture warrior bishops, conservative intellectuals, and Christian evangelicals. The first half of the book analyzes the key trends that shaped the Catholic Church over the past century, while the second half looks at the words and actions of Pope Francis, and what they mean for real change.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Gehring, Catholic director at the advocacy group Faith in Public Life, presents a well-researched work that features dozens of Catholic voices driving the conversation about Pope Francis and his universal call for a radical embrace of the Gospel. Gehring is a veteran journalist who digs for the nuances at the heart of a story; in a media climate often filled with suspicion and polarization, it is refreshing to read something with true journalistic integrity. While not afraid of offering criticism, Gehring is most interested in finding common ground. The book focuses on the consistent, challenging message that Pope Francis proclaims regarding care for the poor and the resonance of faith in all aspects of life. This message has transformed many faithful who felt disenfranchised by the Church's sex scandal, and injected new and vital energy into Catholicism—a progression the author describes in a punchy style. Gehring is able to cover numerous topics that are accentuating Francis's effect on the worldwide church, including LGBTQ rights, Catholic identity of institutions, religion and politics, and the necessity of stemming the tide of millennials exiting the Church in droves. Anyone curious about where the Catholic Church is headed in the 21st century will be fascinated by Gehring's take. (Sept.)

Related Subjects

  • ">Catholics->United States
  • ">Papacy & Papal History

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