The Church in a Change of Era

How the Franciscan Reforms Are Changing the Catholic Church

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Pope Francis has been both praised and vilified for his reforms, his calls for environmental protection, his support of immigrants and refugees, and his emphasis on mercy, among other things. How should Catholics respond? 

In this collection of essays, Villanova theology professor and La Croix International columnist Massimo Faggioli traces the extraordinary circumstances and challenges of Francis’ papacy, beginning with his unprecedented coexistence with retired predecessor Pope Benedict XVI. Faggioli explores Pope Francis’ global leadership, his response to the abuse crisis, his post-Vatican II approach to decentralized church governance, and what the opposition to his reforms reveals about today’s church. He also offers insights on issues such as the growing politicization of sides in church debate, and how the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few is seriously impacting the Church, especially in the United States.

This wide-ranging work can help us see Pope Francis’ papacy within the larger context of Church history, theology, and tradition. It can also give us an honest assessment of our own time in history, which Pope Francis has characterized as not simply an era of change, but a change of eras.

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Massimo Faggioli is professor of theology and religious studies at Villanova University. He is a contributing writer for Commonweal and a columnist for La Croix International. His books and essays have been published in more than ten languages.


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