‘Wounded Shepherd’ - a new book about Pope Francis

At the latest Good Books event at the London Jesuit Centre, journalist Austen Ivereigh gave a scintillating talk about his new book Wounded Shepherd: Pope Francis and His Struggle to Convert the Catholic Church.

In the book, Austen argues that Francis (the first Jesuit pope) is leading the Church in a new direction via a process of discernment. Facing rebellions over his allowing sacraments for the divorced and his attempt to create a more ‘ecological’ Catholicism, Austen notes how peaceful Francis has been during these often-turbulent years of reform.

As the pope’s biographer, Austen met with the Holy Father in Rome shortly after the publication of his first book The Great Reformer. During this meeting Francis told him “I have one problem with your book. You are too kind to me.”

After the talk there were questions from the floor. One audience member asked whether Francis’ reforms had been felt at the parish level. In reply, Austen took a poll of the audience which showed that only a small minority of parishes had felt the impact of the reforms. Austen’s conclusion about this was that the Church has shied away from implementing its own reforms, which is a challenge for Francis but also his successors.

Austen’s book has been published in the US by Henry Holt and Co and is available to buy online. It is already a bestseller on Amazon.co.uk.

Good Books at the London Jesuit Centre is proving very popular. Bestselling authors Tom Holland and Lady Antonia Fraser have given talks as part of this series and there are more talks planned. Details of these will be published here