WASHINGTON (July 21, 2015)—Since his ascent to the papacy in 2013, Pope Francis has electrified the world and infused the Vatican with unprecedented energy. National Geographic photographer Dave Yoder was given over six months of special access to the pope to document his daily life inside the Vatican. POPE FRANCIS AND THE NEW VATICAN (National Geographic Books, ISBN: 978-1-4262-1582-7; Aug. 4, 2015; $40) beautifully captures the spirit of the new Vatican and the transformation sweeping through the Catholic Church.
Through breathtaking photography and exclusive reporting, POPE FRANCIS AND THE NEW VATICAN showcases the pope’s public life and personal convictions as never before. Yoder’s photos and the stories behind them, written by acclaimed author and journalist Robert Draper, highlight the deep love and mercy that lies at the heart of Francis’ ministry. Draper spent a month in Rome interviewing Vatican officials and three weeks in Argentina interviewing dozens of Pope Francis’ lifelong friends, many of whom had never spoken with the media before. Draper’s essays reveal the themes that have been woven through the pope’s entire life.
The Vatican finds the pope to be a paradox. Known as the “available pope,” a contradiction in terms, he is hailed by the press as a reformer, a radical and a revolutionary. Those close to him in Rome say he is all of these things, and yet none of them. The answer to the question reverberating around the world remains a mystery: Will Pope Francis change the Vatican, or will the Vatican change him?
“He won’t change doctrine. What he will do is return the Church to its true doctrine — the one it has forgotten, the one that puts man back in the center,” says the pope’s longtime friend, Franciscan priest Ramiro de la Serna.
Timely and poignant, POPE FRANCIS AND THE NEW VATICAN reveals this spiritual revolutionary through a new lens. Yoder and Draper take readers on a stunning journey through the complexities of the new Vatican under Pope Francis, his early life and journey to the papacy, and the Church’s relationship with our rapidly changing world.
Publishing just ahead of Pope Francis’ first trip to the United States in September 2015, the book is being released in conjunction with the August issue of National Geographic magazine, which features Yoder and Draper’s work on the pope and the Vatican as the cover story. The magazine is on digital newsstands now and will be on print newsstands July 28.
For National Geographic’s youngest fans, National Geographic Kids is simultaneously releasing a Level 1 reader, POPE FRANCIS (978-1-4263-2253-2; Aug. 4, 2015; $3.99), available in English and Spanish.
About the Author and Photographer
Robert Draper is a contributing writer to National Geographic and The New York Times Magazine and is a correspondent for GQ magazine. He lives in Washington, D.C.
Dave Yoder is a National Geographic magazine photographer and a National Geographic Society Explorer based in Milan and Rome. His work has appeared in prestigious publications around the world.
About National Geographic Books
National Geographic Books & Home Entertainment creates and distributes books, videos and other print and digital media that inform, engage and entertain diverse audiences about our world. Annually, the group publishes more than 125 new books for adults, families and kids and releases 250+ new DVDs and digital downloads of the Society’s films and TV shows, and these National Geographic titles are available in more than 35 local-language editions. While special photographic and film collections, travel books, nature shows, birding guides and atlases are a core focus of the Society’s products, books and videos dealing with subjects as diverse as animals, the human mind, history, world cultures and the cosmos are also produced. For more information, visit facebook.com/NatGeoBooks and nationalgeographic.com/books.