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Letters to Pope Francis: Rebuilding a Church with Justice and Compassion Paperback – June 24, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (June 24, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1490372970
  • ISBN-13: 978-1490372976
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #886,656 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Matthew Fox holds a Ph.D. in spirituality, summa cum laude, from the Institut Catholique de Paris. His long career of teaching ministry includes founding the Institute of Culture and Creation Spirituality, which was shut down after 19 years under pressure from then-Cardinal Ratzinger whose pursuit of him and other theologians led to Fox's "silencing" in 1989 and ultimate expulsion from the Dominican Order in 1993. He started the University of Creation Spirituality and is author of 31 books on spirituality and culture including Original Blessing, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, A Spirituality Named Compassion and Hildegard of Bingen: A Saint for Our Times.

He has been active as a priest in the Anglican community since being expelled from the Dominicans, teaching and working with youth to create a more just and compassionate world—one in keeping with the spirit of St. Francis. Fox is visiting scholar with the Academy for the Love of Learning in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Learn more at www.matthewfox.org.


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 18 customer reviews
I'd recommend this book to disgruntled Catholics -- it's so hopeful!
Elisabeth F. Mills
How interesting it would be if Pope Francis would write back in a similar vein and respond to Matthew Fox, as brothers in Christ.
Barbara Dumke
Let's hope Pope Francis snuggles up tonight with this book and gives it a prayerful read!
Taylorman1

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mary M on June 29, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was excited to see these letters by Matthew Fox to Pope Francis.
Back in the 80s, Fox's book, Original Blessing, was a lifeline to me. I was troubled by my perception that non-Christian religions were affirming the Earth and the Universe and Christianity was not - but why should that be? Shouldn't Christianity affirm the earth and the universe? Shouldn't we be able to find God there? Should we have to go to another religion for that? It was a nun and campus minister who handed me a copy of Original Blessing - and what a relief and a joy that was.
Fox introduced me to an ancient Judeo-Christian tradition which is earth affirming, which honors and enjoys all that God has created. He showed me how to find this in the Bible and he introduced me to an extensive array of other writers.
After Original Blessing I proceeded to devour a number of other books by Matthew Fox.
As some years passed I began to wonder if Matthew Fox had wandered too far afield. I don't know the answer to that. Does my uneasy feeling about some of the things he says come about because Matthew Fox is farther ahead and knows more than me, or is it because he has just gone too far?
Anyway, I was very excited to see these letters to Pope Francis, and was determined to read them straight through. Sometimes I am taken aback and sometimes I say Amen, and sometimes I write several question marks, because I just don't know about all the things he says. But one thing I do know - the questions Matthew Fox raises in these letters are questions we all need to hear discussed. I almost said these are questions we all need answers to, but it strikes me that now in 2013 the world is beyond the stage of just having someone give answers to us on a platter.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By kwdayboise (Kim Day) on July 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I tend to judge books by the amount of highlighting I do, and I kept the highlighter busy during the early chapters of this book.

I like and appreciate Fox, and own several of his books. He has a dedication to the mystical legacy of the Catholic church, which frequently seems forgotten or ignored. Fox is also an energetic rabble-rouser for change. So much so that he was given his walking papers by Joseph Ratzinger, who later became Benedict XVI. I like people who won't back down, and he has continued his energetic call for change from his new place in the Anglican church.

That said, I stopped marking up my copy a little over halfway through for a couple of reasons. Part of it is that Fox tends to adopt the hippie language of the 60's and 70's in groping for words to modernize mystical thought and theology. Isn't "universal Christ" as meaningful and less frought with counter-culture baggage than "Cosmic Christ"? Do we really need to speak of priests as "midwiving grace"? While Fox has traveled the world, his attempts to create a modernized language for these concepts seems tied to his northern California home and largely uncreative.

He also seems to draw from a fairly small bag of icons to quote from, mainly Aquinas, Hildegard von Bingen, and Meister Eckhart. There have been a wealth of reformers and mystical saints in the church. It seems claustrophobic to stick with the few Fox uses.

There is also a tedious chapter of fairly repetitive comments from a survey that could have been condensed and edited without any loss of impact.

Some of the suggestions for change in The Church are wonderful, some worth considering, and some are total eye-rollers, but it's a worthwhile excursion into alternatives to the George Weigel approach to "make more rules and kick out the discontented". It's also an excellent condensation of the problems that truly are driving many out of Catholicism.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Paul Chaffee on July 16, 2013
Format: Paperback
Pope Francis, with a warm heart and iconoclastic attitudes, has caught the attention of the world. Each day new stories emerge, and everyone (talking) seems to approve. A biography is out, along with plenty of pundit opinions. Now comes a set of heartfelt letters to Fr. Fox's "brother in Christ about the great challenges facing the church today, drawing from the deep spiritual and theological sources that have been suppressed since Vatican." The book urges Francis "to restore the sense of the faithful and reshape a church with justice and compassion." Matthew Fox has long been persona non grata at the Vatican. Could that change? This book makes you think it could. As an interfaith Protestant, what makes this book particularly satisfying is how, like Pope Francis himself, it is bringing hope and happiness to so many Catholic brothers and sisters who have been in despair about their Church for years.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Taylorman1 on July 11, 2013
Format: Paperback
As always, Matthew Fox can be counted on to ask the uncomfortable questions that we may think, but not be able to articulate. His work has been about trying to redirect the church he loves toward a future that is less about a good marketing pitch and much more of the genuine article. Let's hope Pope Francis snuggles up tonight with this book and gives it a prayerful read!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Dumke on July 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a former Roman Catholic I was intrigued with the selection of the new Pope Francis. I wondered how different he might be and what issues he would be facing both in the Church and in the world. When I purchased Matthew Fox's latest book, "Letters to Pope Francis," I was encouraged deeply. I appreciated the personal touch of writing letters to Pope Francis, rather than simply setting out views and explaining positions. The book felt like an ongoing conversation between Pope Francis and Matthew Fox, especially because Fox continually lifted up ways in which they both shared common ideas but also where there is room for more change. How interesting it would be if Pope Francis would write back in a similar vein and respond to Matthew Fox, as brothers in Christ. I learned in a deeper way the kinds of issues facing the new Pope: issues of sexuality and celibacy, challenges to the planet, the decline in church and the pressing need to reform and rebuild it, the needs of the poor in our modern economic world, jobs, the role of women, youth, and so on. Each letter not only raised up the heart of a particular issue but also made connections to many other respected persons like Thomas Aquinas, Bede Griffiths, Hildegard of Bingen, Oscar Romero. The book is a short 152 pages and very readable. If you want to understand the pressing issues of today and how the papacy can respond to them read this book! If you want to wrestle with or send your own "letter" to Pope Francis, read this book!
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