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MASSACHUSETTS, December 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A leading American Catholic newsman and commentator has praised The Dictator Pope, the explosive new book that claims to reveal the “true nature of Francis’s pontificate,” for providing “a valuable service” to Catholics globally. 

Phil Lawler, the editor of Catholic World News and director of Catholic Culture, praised the book for its “valuable insights” into Pope Francis character.

“The most valuable service provided by the author of The Dictator Pope is the psychological portrait of the Pope,” Lawler wrote in Catholic World Report. The book reveals “a man who follows in the footsteps of Juan Peron, the demagogic Argentine political leader of young Bergoglio’s formative years.” 

“Manipulative, hypersensitive, and often downright vindictive, Pope Francis is certainly not the cheerful populist that his supporters make him out to be,” he wrote. 

Lawler said that the work was “important.” He called it the “product of a great deal of solid reporting” and noted that when the author wrote about events with which the newsman himself was familiar, Lawler “found his treatment accurate.” 

These included such “sad tales” as the “manipulation of the Synod of Bishops, the destruction of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, the takeover of the Knights of Malta, [and] the intimidation of members of the Vatican staff.” 

“Pope Francis has encouraged young Catholics to ’make a mess’; the book shows that he has followed his own advice,” Lawler observed. 

However, he noted two great drawbacks to the book. First, because the English edition is solely electronic and therefore has no publisher, no publicity campaign, and no presence in bookstores, The Dictator Pope is unlikely to come to the attention of the general public. Thus, the book is unlikely to influence public opinion. 

Second, the book runs the risk of being disbelieved because its author has chosen to remain anonymous. Lawler is sorry that the author chose to use a pseudonym, “Marcantonio Colonna.” Lawler also said that the author presented some of his most startling revelations — that of Francis having foreknowledge of Pope Benedict’s abdication and that of Francis donating to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign — without solid evidence. “By putting them forward as facts,” wrote Lawler,  “without supporting them, the author encourages readers to wonder about the book’s other claims.”

Lawler said that this was “unfortunate” because, in his opinion, “The Dictator Pope contains an enormous amount of solid information.”    

In an interview with LifeSiteNews, Colonna said that he had used a pseudonym because of Pope Francis’ “tendency towards vindictiveness.”

“Sadly, what emerges in the book is Pope Francis’ tendency to vindictiveness,” he told LifeSiteNews. “The present-day Curia lives in a state of fear that any criticism of the Pope will lead to dismissal, as it did in the case of three officials of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith who were summarily dismissed by Francis without explanation. Those who wish to tell the truth are therefore compelled to anonymity, to protect not only themselves but those around them.”

Colonna told LifeSiteNews the story about Francis donating to the Clinton campaign was made to him by a contact in the Vatican and that “the allegation is quite well known to journalists.”