Country Focus: Vatican City
The Church of Mercy: A Vision for the Church
By Pope Francis (Jorge Mario Bergoglio)
Foreword by Vincent Cardinal Nichols
Preface by Guiliano Vigini
First published in English by Danton, Longman and Todd, Ltd, 2014.
My edition: Loyola Press, 2014
About the author: Pope Francis’s given name is Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Upon becoming Pope, he selected Saint Francis of Assisi as his namesake. A native of Argentina, he is the first Pope to come out of the Americas. Two years into his papacy, Pope Francis is best known for his compassion for the poor.
Pulled from 39 of the newly elected Pope’s homilies and addresses, these selections present an encapsulated look at Pope Francis’s “vision” for the Catholic Church. Like the Dalai Lama, Pope Francis radiates an appeal that stretches beyond his religious followers. One need not be Catholic to be inspired by his plea for unity among all peoples and his insistence that every human being deserves to be treated with dignity. Pope Francis repeatedly condemns the “throwaway culture” of globalization, which values profit over people. Amen to that.
Dear friends, it is certainly necessary to give bread to the hungry—this is an act of justice. But there is also a deeper hunger, the hunger for a happiness that only God can satisfy, the hunger for dignity. There is neither real promotion of the common good nor real human development when there is ignorance of the fundamental pillars that govern a nation, its nonmaterial goods: life, which is a gift from God, a value always to be protected and promoted; the family, the foundation of coexistence and a remedy against social fragmentation; integral education, which cannot be reduced to the mere transmission of information for purposes of generating profit; health, which must seek the integral well-being of the person, including the spiritual dimension, essential for human balance and healthy coexistence; security, in the conviction that violence can be overcome only by the changing of human hearts.