John L. Allen Jr.
John L. Allen Jr.
Senior Correspondent, National Catholic Reporter
Senior Vatican Analyst, CNN
John L. Allen Jr. is the prize-winning Senior Correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter and the Senior Vatican Analyst for CNN. He’s the author of six best-selling books on the Vatican and Catholic affairs, and writes frequently on the Church for major national and international publications. He’s also a popular speaker on Catholic affairs, both in the United States and abroad.
The London Tablet has called Allen “the most authoritative writer on Vatican affairs in the English language,” and renowned papal biographer papal biographer George Weigel has called him “the best Anglophone Vatican reporter ever.” When the Vatican spokesperson called upon Allen to put the first question to Pope Benedict XVI during a press conference aboard the papal plane en route to the United States in April 2008, the spokesperson said to the pope: “Holy Father, this man needs no introduction.” That’s not just a Vatican judgment. Veteran religion writer Kenneth Woodward of Newsweek described Allen as “the journalist other reporters—and not a few cardinals—look to for the inside story on how all the pope’s men direct the world’s largest church.”
Allen’s work is admired across ideological divides. Liberal commentator Fr. Andrew Greeley calls his writing “indispensable,” while the late Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, a conservative, called Allen’s reporting “possibly the best source of information on the Vatican published in the United States.” His weekly Internet column, “All Things Catholic,” is widely read as a source of insight on the global Church.
Allen’s most recent book is The Future Church: How Ten Trends are Revolutionizing the Catholic Church, a survey of the most important currents shaping the future of Catholicism. His current project is a book-length interview with Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York. John divides his time between Rome and his home in Denver, Colorado. Allen grew up in Western Kansas and holds a master’s degree in Religious Studies from the University of Kansas.
Cardinal Ratzinger: The Vatican’s Enforcer of the Faith (Continuum, 2000)
Conclave: The Politics, Personalities and Process of the Next Papal Election (Doubleday, 2002)
All The Pope’s Men: The Inside Story of How the Vatican Really Thinks (Doubleday, 2004)
The Rise of Benedict XVI: The Inside Story of How the Pope was Elected and What it Means for the Catholic Church (Doubleday, 2005)
Opus Dei: An Objective Look behind the Myth and Reality of the Most Controversial Force in the Catholic Church (Doubleday, 2005)
The Future Church: How Ten Trends are Revolutionizing the Catholic Church (Doubleday, 2009)
Allen has been profiled in various national and international publications. Here’s a piece from Newsweek: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3704902/
His weekly column, “All Things Catholic,” can be found at http://ncronline.org/blogs/all-things-catholic.