Indian Jesuits release book to mark pope's five years

Authors' observations show how religion and politics are intertwined on the subcontinent
Indian Jesuits release book to mark pope's five years

The recently released book Francis Effect, which carries the views of 51 authors, examines the great influence Pope Francis has had on India. (Photo supplied)

Marking Pope Francis' five years in office, two Indian Jesuits have compiled a book collecting reflections of more than 50 church leaders on how they have applied the Jesuit pope's insights in their own lives.

Jesuit Fathers Kuruvilla Pandikattu and Father Vadappur Jose, both professors at the Jesuit-run Papal Seminary in Pune city in western India, edited the book, Francis Effect.

The book carries reflections of 51 authors, 49 of them Indians, explaining the influence Pope Francis has had on the Indian Church and society as well as wider matters such as the relationship between religion and science.

Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, editor-in-chief of the journal La Civilta Cattolica, writes in the foreword that the primary aim of the book remains to disseminate the thoughts of Pope Francis among Indians.

He said the effort will enhance spirituality among practitioners of all faiths in a cradle of civilization that Pope Paul VI described as a nation that had "sought God in constant desire, in deep meditation, in silence and in hymns of fervent prayer."

Cardinal Oswald Gracias, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India, describes it as inspiring, while Cardinal Baselios Cleemis, head of the Eastern Syro-Malankara rite, suggests there is "spiritual profit" in store for readers.

The book was released on March 13 at the seminary to mark five years since Pope Francis assumed office.

Papal seminary rector Father Bhausaheb Sansare said Pope Francis draws people to experience God's unconditional love, laying the foundation for inter-faith ministries.

This book, an Indian contribution to the whole church, is an invitation to encounter God, to dialogue with other traditions, to embrace the poor and to promote life, Father Pandikattu said.

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