From the moment Pope Francis stepped on to the balcony of St
Peter's Basilica for the first time, a global audience sensed that
not only the Catholic Church but the world at large could be
entering a new spiritual, political and social age. In the days
following Pope Francis' election, there would be further early
signs of the simplicity worthy of the first apostles and the leader
that inspired them. Not since John XIII appeared on the scene half
a century earlier had a new Pope opened the windows of the Church
in such a way as to let in some much needed fresh air.
Nevertheless, for the excitement generated by the first Latin
American Pope and a man who claimed to want to put the poor back at
the centre of the Church's social teaching, people could still only
guess where it might be all be leading. Francis: Pope of Good
Promise is neither an instant media job, nor a hagiography based on
authorised interviews, but the product of diligent investigation
across a wide range of official and independent sources - a
measured, objective portrait of a man who, in circumstances that he
neither sought nor foresaw, found himself handed the highest office
at a time of crisis not just for the Church but for long
established institutions worldwide from banks to political parties.
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