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Interest in Pope Leo XIII is high in this fiftieth anniversary year of the Pontiff's death. The publication of Pope John XXIII's history-making encyclical, Mater et Magistra, has heightened that interest in that the papal document updates the principles enunciated in the Rerum Novarum written by the successor to St. Peter who is the subject of this book. It is unfortunate that the effort comes off so poorly. At best it rates as a rewritten thesis filled with improbable dialogue, extraneous detail, over-used phrases and a ""Lee XIII was never wrong"" approach. Sentimentality reminiscent of early lives of the saints is here to an embarrassing degree. Brother Kiefer's admiration for the Pope is evident, but does not result in a happy portrayal of the real man. Instead the result is an uncritical recital of incidents from a variety of sources which fail to do justice to a great Pope. The excellence of author book, Leo XIII and the Modern World edited by Edward T. Gargan and published earlier this year, points up the inadequacies of this well meant but disappointing life of the first modern Pope.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1961
Publisher: Bruce