Review: The Liminal Papacy of Pope Francis: Moving toward Global Catholicity

The Liminal Papacy of Pope Francis: Moving toward Global Catholicity (Catholicity in an Evolving Universe)The Liminal Papacy of Pope Francis: Moving toward Global Catholicity by Massimo Faggioli
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A masterful foray into the unique and challenging nature of the pontificate of Pope Francis, this book by historian and theologian Massimo Faggioli helps to explain – or more accurately, helps to provide insight into – the significance of that pontificate for the global Catholic Church. No longer intimately tied to the future of Western Civilization as it was in the past, when ‘the West’ was seen as the natural ally of the Church, the future of the Catholic Church under the leadership of Pope Francis lies at the peripheries.

And it is at the peripheries, at the limits and borders encountered there, that the Church is called into dialogue with the world, with those who are not part of the Church, with the reality of the world. No longer can the Church be simply just ‘for those on the inside’. The very existence, the very mission of the Church calls it to encounter and dialogue, a step which might be uneasy and difficult for some to accept, but which is inherent in the very identity of the Church as the People of God.

Faggioli brings his expertise and experience to bear in this volume, both as historian and theologian, and helps the reader to understand the true significance of what is happening in the life of the Catholic Church under the pontificate of Pope Francis. Delving into spoken words and actions across the life of the pontificate – as well as the circumstances which saw Francis elected – Faggioli provides an insight that will serve all those who care about the life and future of the Catholic Church.

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