‘The Pope of Good Promise’ by Jimmy Burns
A new biography of Pope Francis is having its launch at Farm St parish hall in September. It presents Pope Francis as a far more complex man than early biographies have suggested. He is no picture-book saint but a very human priest, one familiar with doubt and the struggle to be a true witness of his faith. In circumstances he neither sought nor foresaw, Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio was handed the highest office in the Church at a time of institutional crisis.
Award-winning writer Jimmy Burns examines Bergoglio’s childhood and formation as a priest and the extent to which both his religious orthodoxy and social conscience were forged against the dramatic backdrop of Argentina’s turbulent politics. Burns also assesses the extent to which Bergoglio’s social conscience was influenced by the legacy of the country’s controversial populist President General Peron and his wife Evita, and debates his moral standing during the Argentine military junta’s ‘ Dirty War’ when thousands disappeared before being tortured and killed, and when he stood accused by some of not having done enough on behalf of the victims, including his fellow Jesuit priests.
Burns describes the secret deals that he believes Bergoglio struck with the military junta and his clashes with those fellow-Jesuits and human rights activists who accused him of being a collaborator despite evidence that he saved lives. Moreover, he appraises the transformation that took place when Bergoglio was made a bishop: his crisis of confidence on account of his past moral failings, his increasingly outspoken attacks on political corruption and commitment to social justice.
The book also sheds light on the highs and lows of Pope Francis’s first years of facing down Vatican intrigue and corruption in re-establishing the Vatican as a force for positive diplomacy and peace.
The Pope of Good Promise interweaves with the main narrative Jimmy Burns’ moving personal journey – part spiritual, part investigative – in search of the true subject behind the public image.
About the author
The author Jimmy Burns was born in Madrid and educated by the Jesuits. His career as a prize-winning journalist and bestselling author spans over thirty years.
He has worked as a foreign correspondent specialising in Latin America and as a political and public affairs commentator and investigative reporter.
He contributes to major media on both sides of the Atlantic including the BBC, CBS, CNN, SKY News, Financial Times, Guardian, Independent, Newsweek and the international Roman Catholic weeklies, The Tablet and Vida Nueva.