Vatican City

Pope's first encyclical is summer bestseller in Italy

200,000 copies so far sold by Vatican publisher

Pope's first encyclical is summer bestseller in Italy

Vatican City, August 22 - Pope Francis's first encyclical, "Lumen Fidei", is proving to be a summer bestseller in Italy, with 200,000 copies flying off the shelves despite a publication date - July 5 - that coincided with the start of holidays for many Italians, according to publishing data released Thursday. The Vatican publisher, Libreria Editrice Vaticana (LEV), noted that the 200,000 figure does not even include sales of the same treatise by other authorized publishers. While this is Francis's first encyclical, he has made it clear that much of the work in "Lumen Fidei" or "The Light of Faith" was produced by his predecessor, Benedict XVI. "It's an encyclical written by four hands, so to speak, because Pope Benedict began writing it and he gave it to me (to complete)," Francis told bishops this summer in Rome. Francis, the first pope from Latin America, was elected less than four months before publishing, making this encyclical something of a modern record. It urges believers to avoid arrogance, advising that "faith is not a truth that is imposed by violence, it is not a truth that crushes the individual," but rather it "reawakens critical senses" and "broadens the horizons of reason".

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