New Book Follows “Pilgrimage” of Pope Francis

Author reveals why Pope Francis turned down an interview with him for the book

Ever since Pope Francis was chosen to lead the Catholic Church, he has offered surprises as he emphasizes the poor and those disenfranchised.

Just as Francis celebrated his 80th birthday, a new book looks at his journey.

"He's always gone out into, and encouraged other priests to go out and work with and for, poor people," said Mark Shriver, author of the book, "Pilgrimage," which aims to explain more about who Pope Francis is and how his worldview has been formed.                            

“His grandmother lived right around the corner in Florence, a town in Buenos Aires," Shriver said, "also an immigrant in Italy who stood up on a chair in a public square and denounced Mussolini."

Shriver spent more than two years researching Pope Francis travelling to both Argentina and Italy to meet with those who have known him well over the years.

"He’s getting the Church back to its roots,” he said. 
Pope Francis has said yes to creating a commission to look into making women deacons but no to women priests. On the priest sex abuse crisis, there are still questions if the church has reformed.

"We want change immediately, we want to put him in a box," Shriver said.
"Is he a progressive, or conservative, does he lean like the Democrats or the Republicans, or is he an independent. This guy transcends all that."   

Shriver, part of the Kennedy family, tried every angle to interview Pope Francis for the book but was turned down.

“It would have been fun to have had an interview with the pope," he said, "but the bottom line is, when he turned me down, he told me he didn't really care about this book because it's about him." 

In the end, Shriver concluded the pope is a man of the people -- more interested in the message than personal attention.

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