One of the leading interpreters of the Francis papacy, Austen is a British Catholic writer, journalist and commentator best known for his bestselling authoritative biography, The Great Reformer: Francis and the making of a radical pope (Henry Holt/Picador, 2014/2015).
He is in the United States in November 2019 to speak about his new book, Wounded Shepherd: Pope Francis and his struggle to convert the Catholic Church (Henry Holt, out November 5), an account and analysis of the often turbulent reform led by history’s first Jesuit & Latin-American successor of Saint Peter. The book draws on three years of research in Rome, Latin America and the United States, interviews with key players in the Francis pontificate as well as meetings with the pope himself.
The booksellers’ trade magazine Publisher’s Weekly calls Wounded Shepherd a “definitive study” of the six-year papacy, the fruit of Ivereigh’s “unprecedented access” and “detailed, frank analysis informed by his own deep Catholic faith”.
Dr Ivereigh, 53, is Fellow in Contemporary Church History at the Jesuit-run Campion Hall, University of Oxford. From another Oxford college, St Antony’s, he earned his doctorate in 1992 for a thesis on the Church in Argentina. For many years deputy editor of the weekly The Tablet, and later public affairs director for the former Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, he founded the media project Catholic Voices, which led to his book How To Defend the Faith Without Raising Your Voice.
These days he writes regularly for Commonweal, America magazine and The Tablet, and is a well-known commentator on the BBC. His articles have appeared in The Guardian, the New York Times, The Times, the Washington Post, The Spectator, and many other outlets.
He recently moved with his wife Linda to a small farm near Hereford, close to the Welsh border, where he can be found when not traveling. He tweets often as @austeni