Marcantonio Colonna is the pen name of Henry Sire (H. J. A. Sire), an author and historian. Sire was born in 1949 in Barcelona to a family of French ancestry. He was educated in England at the Jesuits' centuries-old Stonyhurst College and at Exeter College, Oxford, where he gained an honors degree in Modern History. He is the author of six books on Catholic history and biography, including one on the famous English Jesuit, writer, and philosopher Father Martin D'Arcy, SJ. The Dictator Pope is the fruit of Henry Sire's four-year residence in Rome from 2013 to 2017. During that time he became personally acquainted with many figures in the Vatican, including Cardinals and Curial officials, together with journalists specializing in Vatican affairs.
"A remarkable new book on the pope which is making waves in Rome
and around the world....This volume is far more probing and
detailed than anything that has previously appeared....When the
head of the Church himself does not much feel bound by the
tradition or impartial laws he has inherited, what then?...Any
answer will have to reckon with the eye-opening material in this
--Robert Royal, The Catholic Thing
"The Dictator Pope draws on a wide range of material
including confidential sources within the Vatican....Much of the
book consists of close analysis of the various controversies which
have characterized Francis's time in office, including the family
synod, the reform of Vatican finances, and the dispute over the
Knights of Malta. [The author] claims that the pope has become
unaccountable, and that the atmosphere within the Vatican is
primarily one of fear."
--The Catholic Herald
"The most valuable service provided by the author of The
Dictator Pope is the psychological portrait of Pope Francis:
manipulative, hypersensitive, and often downright
vindictive--certainly not the cheerful populist that his supporters
make him out to be....For all the talk about a 'reformer pope, '
the rhetoric about decentralization, and the promises of reform,
the net results of this pontificate to date have been a climate of
fear within the Vatican, a tightening of control, and a resurgence
of the 'old guard' in Rome."
--Philip Lawler, author of Lost Shepherd: How Pope Francis Is Misleading His Flock