Words of Mercy and Joy, Pope Francis (Veritas, €4.99/£4.25)

This little booklet assembles some the Popeís orbiter dicta since his election, with comments on the Church, on the sacraments, on Our Lady, on the role of women in the Church, and insightful comments on himself and his earlier experiences as a leader, and how he, as an admitted sinner, has learnt from those experiences. 

In the few pages a strong personality emerges, a man who speaks frankly as he finds things, with no resort to the tedious circumlocutions that have so bedeviled the Church attempts to communicate in the age of the modern media and internet. Indeed the highlighted phrases are labeled ‘tweets’, a sign of the times indeed – though even Pope Francis might find it hard to fully express his views in 140 words or less.