The author of the Dictator Pope has been revealed as historian Henry Sire.
Sire, whose book was self-published last year under the pen name Marcantonio Colonna, was born in 1949 in Barcelona.
He was educated at Stonyhurst College before reading Modern History at Exeter College, Oxford.
The Dictator Pope caused considerable stir when it appeared in December. It tells the story of Francis’s pontificate, as well as his life before becoming Pope, drawing on a wide range of material including confidential sources within the Vatican.
It identified Pope Francis as a particularly Argentine figure, associating his style of governance with that of Juan Perón.
Journalist Tess Livingstone wrote in The Australian that the book’s publication “sparked a frantic witch-hunt” in Rome.
The first writer to reveal Sire’s identity was blogger Fr Z, who pointed to a publicity page on Google Play.
Speaking to the Catholic Herald via email in December, the then unknown author said his book had “hit a vein of disillusionment with Francis’s papacy which the mainstream media have missed”.
Explaining his decision to write the book, he added: “My purpose was simply to show the gulf that exists between the image of the liberal, democratic Pope Francis and the true character of this pontificate. That is something that ought to give all Catholics cause for concern.”
The book has been revised and update, and will be published in hard copy by Regnery Publishing in April.