Liguori, Mo., March 13, 2014 – Pope Francis has fascinated Catholics and non-Catholics alike with his humility, his compassion, and his vision for the Church. In Against the Tide: The Radical Leadership of Pope Francis, John L. Allen, Jr., Vatican expert and associate editor at The Boston Globe, reflects on the pope’s first year and helps readers understand his mission going forward.
“Reaching out to broken and forgotten people seems to be far more important to Francis than many of the usual items on the papal itinerary,” writes Allen. The pope has welcomed the homeless into the Vatican, embraced people with diseases, and shaken a complacent hierarchy. In short, as he has urged young people to do, Francis swims against the tide.
In the book, Allen examines the pope’s skyrocketing popularity (Francis was named Time magazine’s 2013 Person of the Year), his focus on healing and mercy, his call for missionary discipleship, and his commitment to the poor. The Church, according to Pope Francis, must be like a “field hospital,” in which the wounds of humanity are treated.
Pope Francis has fixed his sight on reform, accountability, and the Church’s social gospel. Allen shows how the pope’s missionary vision drives his outreach to those who are disinterested, disenfranchised, and lost—and how his leadership, while beginning a new era, has roots that stretch back more than 2000 years.
John L. Allen, Jr., established the Rome office of the National Catholic Reporter in 2000 and continues to break the leading stories of the Vatican. He is associate editor at The Boston Globe, covering Catholic news. Allen is also the senior Vatican analyst for CNN and author of several best-selling books, including 10 Things Pope Francis Wants You to Know and 10 Things Pope Benedict Wants You to Know from Liguori Publications. Against the Tide is available in English and Spanish.
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