The Order of Malta has suspended ‘Dictator Pope’ author Henry Sire for allegedly breaching its constitution.
The Catholic Herald understands that the Order notified Sire yesterday of his suspension, days after he was revealed to be the mysterious author.
Sire’s identity was confirmed on Monday when Regnery Publishing posted his name in an online description of the book. He had originally self-published the book under the penname Marcantonio Colonna, a commander at the Battle of Lepanto.
He tweeted on Monday: “As the French say, l’heure est arrivée. Sometimes a surprise coming-out party is best.”
“I tip my hat to the great Admiral Colonna, whose name I’ve tried to honour,” he added.
The Dictator Pope caused a 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.
In a statement, the Order of Malta disassociated itself from the book, describing it as a “vile attack” on Pope Francis.
“Following the press articles reporting the name of the author of the book “The Dictator Pope” the Grand Magistry of the Order of Malta has taken the decision to suspend Henry Sire, author of the book and member of the Order of Malta. The provisional suspension from membership has immediate effect and an investigation is being launched.”