Sunday, June 23, 2013

currently reading: Francis: Man of Prayer

When I was given the chance to review Francis: Man of Prayer by Mario Escobar, I jumped at the chance!  I was anxious to know more about this man as I had been following the news reports after he replaced Pope Benedict XVI and heard that he may bring significant changes in Catholicism.  I was interested in learning about his background as he is the first Jesuit pope and the first pope from the Americas (Argentina).

This book is divided into three parts.  The first focuses on his early life (birth through seminary and teaching positions).  The second part talks about his time as a Cardinal and the 2013 Conclave.  The third looks to the future at the challenges he must overcome and factors that make him unique.  Quotes from Pope Francis were scattered throughout, which I liked.  In addition to learning about his background, I learned more about the hierarchy of the Catholic church and especially the Vatican.  I am looking forward to seeing how Pope Francis leads the Catholic church in the coming years.

While my respect for Pope Francis grew after reading this book, I cannot recommend this book as a biography.  I assume that it was written in haste (in order to be published as soon as possible after Pope Francis was chosen).  There are several parts that seem like filler information, including a long portion about the dictatorship in Argentina and the background of the Jesuits.  Yes, these do have something to do with Pope Francis' life, but it really veered off the track of a biography in my mind.  At times it felt like reading a very long news article.  I do hope that people read more about Pope Francis, however, I think that they should find a better, clearer biography.

**I received a free copy of this book from BookSneeze in exchange for an honest review.

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