First English-language biography of Pope Francis by renowned Church historian

HUNTINGTON, Indiana, March 18, 2013 – With the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires as successor to Benedict XVI, Our Sunday Visitor Publishing is releasing the first English-language biography of the newest leader of the global Catholic Church.

Written by the author of the first English-language biography of Benedict XVI, Dr. Matthew Bunson – senior correspondent for Our Sunday Visitor, acclaimed church historian, and author of over 45 books – Pope Francis (Our Sunday Visitor, 2013) is based on years of Bunson’s research and observation of Cardinal Bergoglio among the College of Cardinals, as well as of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

The book puts forth a comprehensive analysis of the incredible final days of the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI, the interregnum; the crises, challenges, and opportunities facing Pope Francis; and a look at the future of Catholicism.

popeAmong the unique features of the book are:

  • Analysis of the events surrounding Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation;
  • Analysis of why the College of Cardinals chose Cardinal Bergoglio;
  • Complete biography of Pope Francis, including family history, work as a priest and bishop, and time as Cardinal;
  • Texts and speeches given by Pope Francis from the moment of his election to Installation as Pope;
  • Discussion of Pope Francis’ coat of arms;
  • Comprehensive look at what lies ahead for Pope Francis as he leads the Church

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 Church’s 266th pope.

Bunson is also a professor of Church History and a consultant to news organizations all over the world, including USA Today and ABC News, and has appeared on countless radio and television programs, including CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, EWTN, Relevant Radio, the BBC, NPR and France 24.

Bunson, a professor of Church History, has also written The Pope Encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Catholic History, and the soon-to-be-released Encyclopedia of U.S. Catholic History.




The world’s largest English-language Catholic publisher, Our Sunday Visitor serves millions of Catholics globally through its publishing, offertory, and communication services. Established in 1912, Our Sunday Visitor publishes a wide range of books including Bibles, biographies of the saints, books by Pope Benedict XVI, children’s books, devotionals, bible studies, inspirational works, and curriculum. Our Sunday Visitor is a not-for-profit organization, returning a portion of net earnings back to the Catholic community through the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.  For more information, visit


Dr. Matthew E. Bunson

For the last 20  years, Dr. Matthew E. Bunson has been active in Catholic Social Communications, including writing, editing, and lecturing on a variety of topics related to Church history, the papacy, and Catholic culture.

Senior Correspondent for Our Sunday Visitor and a senior fellow of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, he is the author or co-author of over  45 books including: The Pope Encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Catholic History, The Encyclopedia of Saints, John Paul II’s Book of Saints, Papal Wisdom and The Angelic Doctor:The Life and World of St. Thomas Aquinas.

In 2005, Dr. Bunson  authored the first biography of Pope Benedict XVI in English . He is also the co-author of the upcoming Encyclopedia of the U.S. Catholic History. Since 1997, he has served as general editor of Our Sunday Visitor’s Catholic Almanac. In addition, he has been editor of The Catholic Answer Magazine since 2010 and is a professor of History and Church History for the Catholic Distance University in Virginia.

During both the 2005 papal interregnum and conclave,  as well as the 2013 papal transition, Bunson served as a special consultant to USA Today and has appeared as a guest on many television and radio programs. Aside from his Doctor of Ministry degree from the Graduate Theological Foundation, Bunson holds a Bachelor’s degree in History, and two Master’s degrees in Theology. He is currently engaged in doctoral studies for a Ph.D. in Church History.