THE LETTERS OF POPE CELESTINE VI by Giovanni Papini
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THE LETTERS OF POPE CELESTINE VI

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is a sort of devout hoax by the Italian poet, author, and theologian, who shocked the orthodox and satisfied as many others a generation ago with his Life of Christ. It purports to be the letters of one Celestine VI -- letters found in the usual abandoned convent, letters originally written in Latin from which an ""almost completely literal"" translation has been made by the discoverer, Papini. Of course, ""Pope Celestine VI"" is a non-existent prelate and the letters are Papini's. The reading of this ""mss"" is of absorbing interest, for it is the Christian imperative, together with an apologetic for all those of the human family who have failed to bring to reality their divine commission to save the world. Papini spares no group among us -- priests, monks, the rich, the poor, politicians, unbelievers and Protestants, even women and just plain people. Yet the strangely moving beauty of his words, his poet's imagination have the added fire of great Christian humility and devotional zeal. The book is too frank in its condemnation of sin within the church to bear the ""nihil obstat"", but he has succeeded in stretching the reader's mind beyond the small limits of personal beliefs and prejudices, and issued a clarion call for Christian action in a desperate world situation.

Pub Date: Jan. 23rd, 1947
Publisher: Dutton