Marcantonio Colonna, the pseudonymous author of The Dictator Pope, has said that the Vatican is trying to discover his identity.

The book, published as an ebook earlier this month, has caused consternation with its claims about Pope Francis’s reign.

Speaking to the Catholic Herald via email, Colonna claimed that the Pope had been given a list of possible names.

“A person in England was misidentified as the author at one point and immediately received threatening telephone calls from Rome,” Colonna said. “I now hear that Vatican officials have laid before the Pope a shortlist of six people who they think may be the possible author. I suspect that it’s not for the purpose of awarding a literary prize.”

Asked whether he thought his anonymity would last, Colonna said: “Under the present Pope, the Vatican machine has taken espionage to a new level, and I have little doubt that they will unmask me eventually, perhaps after a few more false casts. But they will need to ask themselves whether it is at the cost of giving me more publicity.”

Colonna believes his book has “hit a vein of disillusionment with Francis’s papacy which the mainstream media have missed”.

​How to continue reading…

This article appears in the Catholic Herald magazine - to read it in full subscribe to our digital edition from just 30p a week

The Catholic Herald is your essential weekly guide to the Catholic world; latest news, incisive opinion, expert analysis and spiritual reflection