A Church of the Poor: Pope Francis and the Transformation of Orthodoxy (Orbis 2016)
by Clemens Sedmak
2017 CATHOLIC PRESS ASSOCIATION BOOK AWARD WINNER! – Category: POPE FRANCIS
Does a “social justice” approach to the gospel inevitably have to be at odds with a traditionalist emphasis on orthodoxy? Must we see Pope Francis as the “progressive pope” and his predecessors as the “orthodox popes,” and thus define everything in terms of American political categories?
In this unique treatment of the theology of Pope Francis and his notion of a “church of the poor” and the implications for theological orthodoxy, Sedmak argues that Pope Francis can allow us to understand "orthodoxy in a new key.” Using resources ranging from scripture to Catholic Social Teaching to the early Church Fathers, Sedmak argues that an authentic and faithful church is not one obsessed with dogma or ceremony, but one that is poor as Christ was poor, in the multifaceted sense of that phrase: compassionate, unattached to material wealth, focused on flourishing and right relationship with God.