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J. Budziszewski
University of Texas

Review of Pope Francis: The Legacy of Vatican II

This greatly needed book frankly admits that at times the man Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who is now Pope Francis, shoots from the hip, expressing himself in ways which discourage faithful Catholics even while attempting to encourage them. I hope the Pope is listening, because he does not seem to recognize that he has this problem. Yet he could not have had a more careful, honest, or sympathetic expositor than Eduardo Echeverria, whose appreciative discussion deepens, strengthens, and enlarges our understanding not only of Pope Francis, but of the papal magisterium as a whole and the manner in which it develops.

The author demonstrates beyond a shadow of a doubt that contrary to the fears of some critics and the hopes of some admirers, the Pope is not trying to “change Catholic doctrine,” but to find new ways to explain it to the world. Profoundly committed to the deposit of faith that he is charged to uphold, he is in continuity with his recent predecessors and the Second Vatican Council, zealous to promote the New Evangelism, and alive to the reality of spiritual warfare.

A special strength of the book is the respect with which it treats Protestants, even while clear about the difficulties and delicacies of bridge-building.

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