Paul Vallely is just about to publish Pope Francis: the Struggle for the Soul of Catholicism, a much expanded revision of his international best-selling and critically-acclaimed biography Pope Francis: Untying the Knots.
For the past two years Pope Francis has enchanted and bewildered the world in equal measure with his compassion and his contradictions. Paul Vallely will talk about the nine new chapters he has written which reveal the behind-the-scenes stories which explain this pope of paradoxes. He will give a taster of a book which lays bare the intrigue and in-fighting surrounding Francis’s attempt to cleanse the scandal-ridden Vatican Bank. It exposes and the ambition and arrogance top bureaucrats resisting the Pope’s reform of the Roman Curia. It unveils the hidden opposition at the highest levels which is preventing the Church from tackling the sex abuse crisis. It explains the ambivalence of Pope Francis towards the role of women in the Church.
Paul Vallely will chart the battle-lines which are being drawn between Francis and the conservatives and traditionalists talking of schism in this struggle for the soul of the Catholic Church. Pope Francis: the Struggle for the Soul of Catholicism book is published by Bloomsbury.
Paul Vallely has an international reputation as a commentator on religion, society and ethical issues. As a journalist he has produced award-winning reporting from 30 countries over three decades for which he was nominated for the UN Media Peace Prize. As an activist on international development he has worked with Bob Geldof and Bono and was co-author of Our Common Interest, the report of The Prime Minister’s Commission for Africa.
As a writer his books include The New Politics: Catholic Social Teaching for the 21st century and Bad Samaritans: First World Ethics and Third World Debt. He co-wrote Geldof’s best-selling autobiography Is That It?
He writes on political, cultural and ethical matters in The Independent on Sunday, the New York Times, the Sunday Times, Newsweek, The Guardian, the Church Times, Third Way and The Tablet. A former associate editor of the Independent and editor of the Sunday Times News Review he is a regular broadcaster on television and radio. He is now Visiting Professor in Public Ethics and Media at the University of Chester. He is also a Senior Honorary Fellow at the Brooks World Poverty Institute at the University of Manchester.
He has chaired the development agencies Traidcraft and the Catholic Institute for International Relations and has been an adviser to the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales.
He was awarded a CMG “for services to journalism and to the developing world” in the Queen’s 2006 Birthday Honours. He lives in Manchester with his wife and son.