Pope Francis's visit to the U.S. has generated plenty of attention, and the publishing world was well prepared. Here are a few new volumes.
Pope Francis: The Struggle for the Soul of Catholicism
By Paul Vallely
"After two papacies of philosophically precise rigidity, Pope Francis, in just two years, has legitimized an alternative. No one can say that the only way to be Catholic is to be dour and rules-based. He has shown that another kind of Catholicism is possible. Those who have lived through his papacy will never forget it."
The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope
By Austen Ivereigh
"The people of Buenos Aires recall how at Christmas, Cardinal Bergoglio used to take the baby Jesus from the crib to show to the congregation, saying, 'This is God. God is tenderness.' Francis is giving the Church and the world that lesson. The word for merciful in Latin, misericors, contains cor, meaning heart, and miseri, meaning the poor ... To experience God as misericordia is to enter into the life of God, and to grasp the revelation of Jesus."
Paperback Aug. 25; hardcover published in 2014
Francis, Pope of Good Promise
By Jimmy Burns
"Nothing I have come across in the course of my researches has dissuaded me from the belief that the key to fully understanding Bergoglio and Francis lies in the fact that he is a Jesuit. For St. Ignatius Loyola, the founding father of the Jesuits, one of the great spiritual tenets was that true spirituality lies in 'finding God in all things.' For Ignatius, God cannot be confined within the walls of a Catholic church, but can be found in every moment of the day, in other people."
The Promise of Francis: The Man, the Pope, and the Challenge of Change
By David Willey
"He learned that scores of homeless people were sleeping rough literally on his doorstep, sheltering in the embrace of Bernini's colonnades facing St. Peter's Basilica, or in doorways around the Vatican. So he asked his almoner, the Polish priest whose job it is to help the most needy in the Vatican neighborhood, to distribute hundreds of new sleeping bags, to install showers in the public toilets discreetly hidden behind the colonnades, and to arrange for a barber to give free haircuts once a week."
The Francis Effect: A Radical Pope's Challenge to the American Catholic Church
By John Gehring
"Even with the horrific clergy abuse scandals, the crass politicization of Communion in past U.S. elections, the Vatican's crackdown on American nuns, the heavy-handed policing of theologians, and the un-Christian way some Catholic schools have treated gay and lesbian teachers, many Catholic progressives who, like me, love our church refused to jump ship ... The election of Pope Francis signaled a refreshing new season for the church, full of hope and renewal."
The Tweetable Pope: A Spiritual Revolution in 140 Characters
By Michael J. O'Loughlin
"Using his @Pontifex account, Pope Francis communicates ancient truths, spiritual insights, and bursts of wisdom instantly to his millions of followers. And with the highest re-Tweet rate ... among global leaders, Pope Francis has a platform to spread his spiritual revolution further than any pope before. The pope is able to reach out directly to his people. It's the perfect platform for Francis as he tries to revitalize the Church, one believer at a time."