The surprising appearance of Jorge Bergoglio on the world stage aptly reflects the tectonic shift toward the Global South and away from Western centralization now underway in the Catholic Church, a change that can be unpacked and illuminated in terms of the culture, spirituality, people, and events that profoundly influenced the life of the first Argentine pope.
To say that Jorge Mario Bergoglio is the first Latin American and Jesuit to occupy the chair of Peter is to assert the most important facts about him. Francis, Bishop of Rome focuses on the most revelatory features of his life and times, highlighting key facets of Pope Francis' rich background using primary Spanish-language sources that include interviews with key players from his formative years in religious life and pastoral ministry.
The picture emerging is one of a complex human being, a work in progress, and an intrepid reformer focused on moving the Church into the third millennium in ways that few would have ever imagined. While making history, moreover, he seems to be actually having fun doing it.
Allan Figueroa Deck
Rev. Allan Figueroa Deck, SJ, currently holds the Charles S. Casassa Chair of Catholic Social Values at Loyola Marymount University. A nationally recognized U.S. Latino theologian and writer, Father Deck brings a track record of academic and pastoral experiences, along with an extensive background in Latin American Catholicism and Jesuit spirituality, to an analysis and interpretation of Pope Francis deepest roots.