A Feature Review of
Reclaiming Francis: How the Saint and the Pope are Renewing the Church
Reviewed by Jess O. Hale
A wind is blowing through many lands in our world and many are finding this wind to be renewing or at least refreshing. It may not be the first time this wind has blown through a few of these locales. Could it be that we may just find the breath of God’s Spirit in this wind? To many Catholics and Protestants and even a few of those outside of the traditional faithful, the arrival of Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Latin America as bishop of Rome counts at least as a breath of fresh air and quite possibly as the renewing wind of the Spirit of God on the church of Jesus. After all, Pope Francis has forgone many of the more ornate trappings of his new office to live more simply and communicate more directly with the faithful and the world. He focuses more directly on grace and love and justice than on the more controversial topics of sexuality. To this end he has upset Rush Limbaugh with his economics and startled the mainstream press as he becomes Time’s Person of the Year. He has stirred up the faithful outside of his Catholic flock as well—-even Sojourners magazine has given him an iconic cover as the joyous Pope Francis waves with a bird perhaps representing the Spirit hovering close by. However, as the continuing presence of the saint of Assisi witnesses, it is not the first time that a wind of the Spirit has come through troubled lands.