By Tonya Andris
Inside The Pew
The world learned on March 13 who was elected as the 266th pope of the Roman Catholic Church. For those who desire to learn more about Pope Francis, the moment is just around the corner. Matthew Bunson, Senior Fellow of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology at St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology in Steubenville, Ohio, has written the first English-language biography on Pope Francis.
The book’s publisher, Our Sunday Visitor, announced March 22 the book, titled “Pope Francis” ($16.95 USD), will arrive in bookstores on April 10. The book is available for pre-order through Our Sunday Visitor.
Considering a leading authority in the United States on the papacy and the church, Bunson also wrote the first English-language of Pope Francis’
predecessor, Benedict XVI.
The 224-page book is split into three parts to allow readers to get an idea of how and why Pope Francis of Buenos Aires, Argentina, selected and what his selection means for the Catholic Church. First, Bunson puts forth a comprehensive analysis of the unprecedented final days of the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI. Second, Bunson provides an enlightening perspective on the interregnum and the biggest issues facing the Cardinals as they headed into the conclave. Third, Bunson dedicates more than 150 pages to Pope Francis including:
- His family history as son of an immigrant railway worker;
- His active, social youth where he experienced firsthand the challenges of a society ravaged by war, economic despair and cultural unrest;
- A Jesuit priest, trained as a chemist, who even as a cardinal was referred to as Father Jorge;
- His work as a priest, bishop and Cardinal in the very unique setting of Buenos Aires where he navigated politics, extreme poverty and high culture;
- His reputation as a man of the people who lived simply, cooked his own meals, and rode the bus.
With its research conducted in five different languages into the lives and ministries of the world’s leading Cardinals, their backgrounds, writings and homilies, “Pope Francis” shows why Cardinal Bergoglio was ultimately elected as the Catholic Church’s pope.
Bunson is the author of more than 45 books, including “The Pope Encyclopedia,” “The Encyclopedia of Catholic History,” and the soon-to-be-released “Encyclopedia of U.S. Catholic History.”