As soon as the world learned that Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio had been elected pope on March 13, publishers scrambled to produce new books on his life. However, Dr. Matthew Bunson, senior correspondent for Our Sunday Visitor, was already ahead of the game. During the interregnum period between popes, he was busy writing about Pope Benedict’s abdication and the forthcoming conclave. After Bergoglio was elected, Matthew quickly turned to his past research on Bergoglio, much of it coming during the 2005 conclave when Bergoglio was widely believed to be the papal runner-up.
On April 5, after three weeks of intense work, Matthew successfully released the first original English-language biography of the new pope. Simply titled Pope Francis, the new book offers background on the Pope’s upbringing, snippets from his homilies and writings, and clues to what we can expect from his pontificate.
Matthew recently sat down with me to discuss many of these topics and to introduce the simple and humble head of the Church.
Watch or download our interview below:
1:14 – What should we know about Cardinal Bergoglio’s early life?
3:27 – What was Cardinal Bergoglio like as a priest and a bishop?
4:49 – What will the Pope’s Jesuit identity mean for his papacy?
6:54 – What direction do you see Pope Francis taking the Church?
9:40 – Who is your favorite saint and why?
Q: What direction will Pope Francis take the Church?
Well, I’ve said since his election that we know where we’re going with him. All we need to do is just hear the name he chose on the night of his election….We know he chose the name in honor of St. Francis of Assisi. That tells us where we’re going.
There are two things about St. Francis of Assisi that people really need to focus on. First, of course, is his love of the poor, which is really a reflection of his love for Christ….The other thing is [St. Francis'] role in bringing about a profound spiritual reform in the Church. And I think that’s something that Pope Francis is going to be pushing very aggressively.
Be sure to follow Matthew at the OSV Daily Take Blog and pick up your copy of Pope Francis.
What has been your favorite Pope Francis moment so far?