Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pope Francis and his Choice of Name

I do ask our readers to forgive what seems like a self-promotion on something non-liturgical.  But there is much discussion in the secular and religious press about what what the new pope meant by his choice of his name Francis, especially as this reflects on his views on liturgy. Indeed, today I have gotten many e-messages and phone calls about our new pope's name. I have now spoken to, among others, The Times of London, Irish National Radio, etc., and, finally, I refused to appear on Pier Morgan Live this evening to talk about this topic. This notoriety is mostly because I published, some nine months ago a new biography of St. Francis, that was named one of the eleven "Favorite Books of 2012" of Newsweek, was subject to a (silly) review in The New Yorker, and given the "honorable mention" by the America Association of Publishers in the category "Biography and Autobiography for 2012." So now I am an expert on what the pope's choice of name means! Welcome to the world of the secular media! My own answer to what St. Francis's real teachings mean for liturgy, especially for his devotion to the Eucharist, and what our new Holy Father might learn from them, cam be found in the life of  St. Francis that I wrote for a popular audience while using the best historical principles in Francis of Assisi: A New Biography; Do not trust what you hear in the secular mass media. You may well hear abbreviated, "summarized," and "he said," versions of my understanding of the historical Francis in the press, radio, etc. Do not trust them, just read the book. And God bless our new pope!

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