Paul Collins, Catholic writer

Paul Collins: writer, historian, environmentalist, broadcaster ... and Catholic

Paul Collins's latest book is:

Absolute Power: How the Pope became the most influential man in the world

There is no other religious, entertainment or political leader alive today who could garner anywhere near the kind of response inspired by the pope ... As the head of the Roman Catholic Church, the pope occupies a position that no other religious leader can match … The pope is the head of a cohesive, transnational organization that has been in existence for close to two thousand years ... The influence of the Catholic Church is augmented by the status of the Vatican as an independent city-state that maintains diplomatic relations with countries around the world ... Aside from political and diplomatic power, the soft inspirational power of the pope is even more impressive. For a large section of humanity, the Catholic Church has for millennia been their conduit to the Divine, and has provided answers to the questions of how to live a moral and meaningful life (Huffington Post, 28 August 2015).


In his nine months in office Pope Francis has placed himself at the very center of the central conversations of our time: about wealth and poverty, fairness and justice, transparency, modernity, globalization, the role of women, the nature of marriage, the temptations of power. At a time when the limits of leadership are being tested in so many places, along comes a man with no army or weapons … but with the immense wealth and weight of history behind him, to throw down a challenge … His pulpit is visible to the ends of the earth. When he kisses the face of a disfigured man or washes the feet of a Muslim woman, the image resonates far beyond the boundaries of the Catholic Church (Time Magazine declaring Pope Francis Person of the Year, 11 December 2013).

What is the book about? See blog post.

Paul Collins, Catholic writerPaul Collins is an historian, broadcaster and writer. A Catholic priest for thirty-three years, he resigned from the active priestly ministry in 2001 due to a dispute with the Vatican over his book Papal Power (1997).

Collins has authored fourteen books and is known as a commentator on Catholicism and the papacy. He also has a strong interest in ethics, environmental and population issues.

Collins has a Master's degree in theology from Harvard University and a Doctorate of Philosophy in history from the Australian National University. He lives in Canberra, Australia.

My books

I began book-writing seriously in 1985 in preparation for Pope John Paul II's first visit to Australia in 1986...

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The Royal Commission on Institutional Sexual Abuse—a mixed blessing

I’m not looking forward to the report of the Royal Commission. As a still-practising Catholic ...

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Why I had to resign

Paul Collins's explanation for his resignation from the priesthood

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