26 November 2013

Francis quotes Benedict at least 20 times

I have just printed Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), the Apostolic Exhortation of His Holiness Pope Francis and am looking forward to reading it.

When I studied history in college, we were frequently encouraged to judge the quality of an historical work both by the references cited and by the index provided.  There is no index to Evangelii Gaudium - which is not surprises - but the footnotes are impressive.  Including the table of contents and the notes, the exhortation prints out at 82 pages (using the European A4 paper), more than I expected, and contains 217 references.  It's an impressive number, to be sure.

Looking through the notes, one sees quickly that Pope Francis quotes extensively from his predecessors, most notably Blessed John Paul II and Benedict XVI, whom he quotes or references not fewer than 20 times.  When you remove that pages taken up by the table of contents and the references, that averages out, roughly, to one quote or reference from Benedict XVI every 3.45 pages.

I wonder how the media will spin that.

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