From the moment Pope Francis stepped on to the balcony of St Peter's, people around the globe sensed that not only the Catholic Church, but the world at large, could be entering a new spiritual, political and social age. The pomp and circumstance that had characterised the Vatican for as long as most people could remember evaporated as Francis asked the throng gathered in the square to "pray over" him before he gave his first blessing. Not since John XXIII, had a new Pope opened the windows of the Church so widely to let in some much needed fresh air.
This biography of Pope Francis charts Jorge Mario Bergoglio's formation as a priest and bishop against the dramatic backdrop of Argentina's turbulent politics and the challenging principles he adopted as a member of the Jesuit order. It examines critically the extent to which his social conscience was influenced by the legacy of the country's controversial president General Peron and his wife Evita, and questions his moral standing during the Argentina military junta's ‘Dirty War' when he was accused of not having done enough on behalf of the victims, including fellow Jesuit priests. Few Vatican elections have generated as much interest as that of Cardinal Jose Bergoglio. Francis, Pope of Good Promise, the first detailed biography to include an analysis of Pope Francis's first year at the Vatican, will appear just as he makes his first visit to the US.