Pope Francis releases book, urges compassion

Pope Francis

Pope Francis, head of the Catholic Church

Pope Francis, head of the Catholic Church
Pope Francis, head of the Catholic Church

Pope Francis has explained the need for leaders to be compassionate shepherds to a “wounded humanity”, rather than be lofty scholars quick to condemn and exclude people who don’t obey Church teachings.

This is contained in his 150-page new book for Roman Catholic leaders, presented on Sunday in Vatican City.

Veteran Italian journalist, Andrea Tornielli, noted that the book, “The Name of God is Mercy,” broke no new ground, rather it is a compelling restatement of the themes of Francis’ papacy told in simple, breezy language.

He said Francis also repeated his often-quoted “Who am I to judge?, in the book.

He also made statement about homosexuals, saying that “people should not be defined only by their sexual identities.

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Tornielli said the question-and-answer book coincides with the Jubilee Year of Mercy, during which the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics are called upon to seek forgiveness and forgive.

In his first book aimed at a general readership, Francis appears to chastise conservatives in the Church, saying they are undermining mercy in the name of doctrine.

Francis stressed that the Church does not exist to condemn people, but to bring about an encounter with the visceral love of God’s mercy.

He added that “humanity was wounded, deeply wounded”.

Francis criticises those in the Church “who are only used to having things fit into their pre-conceived notions and ritual purity instead of letting themselves be surprised by reality, by a greater love or a higher standard.