Forthcoming book by Vatican journalist is an inside account of the conclave that changed history
Prompted by the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI which took effect February 28th, 2013—itself a once-in-a-millennium occurrence–the papal conclave of 2013 proved historic in many ways. The selection of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Buenos Aires gave the Catholic Church its first Latin American pope, its first Jesuit pope, and the first pope ever to choose the name Francis. But it became increasingly clear that these “firsts” would only be the beginning of a consequential papacy of historic proportions. So how did Francis’ election come about?
In The Election of Pope Francis (April, Orbis Books) veteran Vatican correspondent Gerard O’Connell offers a day-by-day account of the process that began with Pope Benedict XVI’s surprising retirement, up to Pope Francis’s election and installation. O’Connell and his wife, Elisabetta Piqué—herself a Vatican correspondent from Argentina—had befriended Cardinal Bergoglio and were among the very few journalists who predicted that he would become Pope. Now, relying on extensive inside sources, O’Connell is able to reveal the basis for that confidence, and to relate what actually happened inside the secret conclave. The result is a fascinating behind-the-scenes account of history in the making.