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Ann Curry: Pope Francis, 'A Man of Action'

20. dec. 2014

Ann Curry skriver bl.a.:

In helping broker an historic breakthrough that is opening relations between the United States and Cuba for the first time in more than 50 years, Pope Francis has boldly moved into the spotlight as a key player in foreign policy, surprising the world, but not the author of a book newly translated into English about his life.

Journalist Elisabetta Piqué, who developed a close personal relationship with Pope Francis after first interviewing him in 2001 when he was named Cardinal of Argentina, has authored an intimate portrait based on 80 interviews with people who knew him long before he became Pope, including his friends and family, as well as laypeople and cardinals in the church today. This week, it was announced a film based on her book will begin production next month.

Piqué tells us news that Pope Francis helped engineer the breakthrough on Cuba is consistent with the man she has come to know. "He has always been a man of action," Piqué says. "He believes in finding solutions to problems and to not ignore them. He has courage to take risks and initiatives in the cause of peace."

Piqué's book is about his life story, beginning with rich details about his evolution as a child of immigrants in Argentina, to a young man who loved music and dance, especially tango, and almost left the priesthood because of his feelings for a woman, to a grown man who struggled, once nearly dying of pneumonia, and for a time falling out of favor with his church superiors, and exiled, his phone calls and correspondence censored, according to her reporting.

In one story Piqué recounts how his mother wanted him to be a doctor not a priest and that, "One day his mother discovered books on theology in his room. His mother asked, 'My son what are you doing? You were not studying medicine.' And he said he told her, 'I will study medicine of the soul.'"

On the other hand, one of the revelations in Piqué's book, "Life and Revolution, Francis, a Biography of Jorge Bergoglio," is that he desperately didn't want to be Pope.

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