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Rome Reports

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Austen Ivereigh's book “Wounded Shepherd,” complete analysis of Pope Francis’ pontificate

British journalist Austen Ivereigh is one of the greatest experts on Pope Francis.

His book “The Great Reformer” was one of the first and most complete writings on the papal election. Now he returns with a poignant analysis of Francis' pontificate: “Wounded Shepherd.”

Author, “Wounded Shepherd”

“My publishers said to me, ‘Well, what happened? You called him the great reformer, where is the great reform?’ So this is an attempt, this book, to explain what has happened over the six years of the pontificate and above all what Pope Francis is asking of the Church, and how he has sought to change the Church.”

The book is an account of Pope Francis’ strategy to change the Church and the world. He presents him as a spiritual director, guiding the world without giving orders.

Author, “Wounded Shepherd
“What he's doing is creating the opportunity for us to convert, for the Church to convert. Because conversion is what we're all called to, and so a bit like a spiritual director, he's created the space. He points out the temptations; he gives us guidance.”

Throughout the book, he reveals little-known episodes of daily life in the Vatican, full of drama, tension and humor. For example, he shows the obstacles the pope has faced along the way.


Author, “Wounded Shepherd”
“There's always resistance. It comes, it goes. Sometimes it can look very ferocious, but it fades pretty quickly. What's left there is what he's building very patiently, very humbly. That's what's going to last.”

The book is also a look into the future of the Church. Austen Ivereigh sees Pope Francis' as the first in a long series of pontificates.

He describes him as a “wounded shepherd” of a humble Church that is not afraid to look at its wounds; that asks for forgiveness; and that brings mercy to the world. That is only one of Pope Francis’ reforms.