Pope Francis and Mercy

  • A Dynamic Theological Hermeneutic

  • by Gill K. Goulding, CJ

  • 276 pages, 6.00 x 9.00

  • Hardcover | 9780268206444 | September 2023

  • eBook (Web PDF) | 9780268206468 | September 2023

  • eBook (EPUB) | 9780268206437 | September 2023


This theological study examines how Pope Francis lives out mercy in his own Petrine ministry and calls for it to be lived out by the people of God.

The centerpiece of Pope Francis’s pontificate from the very first days has been his proclamation of the importance of the mercy of God. While facing global problems of climate change, terror, political destabilization, refugees, and dire poverty, the Holy Father has articulated the mission of the Church through mercy, love, and forgiveness to reveal the compassion of God for all and particularly for those most vulnerable existing on the margins of society. In this compelling study, Gill Goulding, CJ, examines for the first time the critical and determinative role of mercy in Francis’s papacy using his homilies, allocutions, encyclicals, and addresses as primary sources. Goulding traces the theme of mercy in Francis’s thought, attending to its Ignatian foundations and its Christological, Trinitarian, and ecclesiological significance for the Church today, particularly the impact of his reappropriation and elevation of the discourse of mercy on the work of the Curia in Rome.

Goulding enters into dialogue with other theologians, including Romano Guardini, Walter Kasper, and Hans Urs von Balthasar, to demonstrate a continuity between Francis and his predecessors, especially Benedict XVI, in this area of mercy. In addition, Goulding argues that the influence of St. Ignatius Loyola, in particular his Spiritual Exercises, needs to be taken into account, paying special attention to Francis’s call for the practice of discernment. Throughout Pope Francis and Mercy, Goulding lays the groundwork for future research and suggests a wider appreciation of the necessary tools to enable an engagement with mercy in our contemporary world.