In “What Pope Francis Really Said”, Benedictine College professor and nationally recognized journalist Tom Hoopes explores the ways Pope Francis is bringing the Catholic Church to bear on a dramatically changing world, not by altering its teachings but by applying enduring truths to new realities in fresh ways. With his spontaneous, likeable, and pastoral demeanor, Pope Francis is drawing both faithful and estranged Catholics as well as skeptics to take a closer look at the claims of Christ and the Catholic Church.
In this book readers will be introduced to the central themes of Pope Francis’s teachings and spirituality, which provide important context for his remarks. As readers explore his devotion to the Blessed Mother, the cross, and the Gospels, they’ll come to see how the Pope’s Christ-centered vision informs all of his actions, and how his approach shows that the Gospel teaching is loving and effective. Pope Francis’s faith is confident, not defensive. He took the bulletproof bubble off the popemobile, and has called us to let our guard down, too.
He doesn’t want us to walk timidly through the world shivering at its darkness; he wants us to stride confidently into it, holding our lanterns high. He doesn’t want to define sinners by their faults and exclude them; he wants to define them by grace and welcome them in to renew themselves.
Tom Hoopes is Writer in Residence and Vice President of College Relations at Benedictine College, where he teaches in the Journalism and Mass Communication Department. He writes weekly for the National Catholic Register and Aleteia, reaching a national and international audience. His work has also appeared in Catholic Digest, Columbia magazine, Crisis magazine and First Things online.
1. You write about the different ways you and your daughter experienced Pope Francis. What was the difference? What accounts for the two generations’ experiences?
2. What major misunderstandings have you found about Pope Francis? What does “everyone know” that turns out to be wrong?
3. What was the biggest surprise you found researching this book?
4. What will be the biggest legacy of Pope Francis’s pontificate?
5. What does Pope Francis want from the ordinary Catholic?
6. What’s next for Pope Francis?