Monday, July 31, 2017

Benedict and Francis (Sophia Institute Press)

I have not been Catholic all of my life, so unlike other people my age John Paul II was not the pope I grew up with or only one I knew for most of my life. Instead, my first pope was Benedict XVI and then Francis. Sophia Institute Press recently published a book by Cardinal Gerhard Müller called Benedict and Francis, which talks about their papacies, since the two papal reigns are so closely tied to each other.

The book begins by talking about the Church and the Petrine Ministry. We then learn about the important characteristic of Pope Benedict XVI's papacy, which was his theological talent. He used his great wisdom to teach the Church, and demonstrate the hearing and understanding aspects of faith. he also talks about the six decades of scholarly works Pope Benedict XVI has contributed to the Christology, highlighting his trilogy on Jesus of Nazareth. The next chapter focuses on Vatican II and the laity. The last two chapters tie more closely to Francis' papacy talking about the poor, poverty and the forgotten of society in one chapter and ecclesial and curial reform in the other.

Benedict and Francis is a quick read at 120 pages. It does a nice job of not only explaining the role of the pope, but also tying together the papacies of two very different men. If you are looking for a short summation, then this is a great place to start. I would then recommend going deeper and reading some of their actual writings, homilies, and addresses to finish filling in the picture of what these two great men believe and bring to the office of pope.

This book was provided to me by Sophia Institute Press in exchange for an honest review.