Dr Austen Ivereigh, one of the most accomplished and prolific Catholic writers and speakers in the English-speaking world, has taken on a new role for Crux as contributing editor effective Oct. 1.
In that capacity, Ivereigh will assist with editorial management and direction of the Crux site. In addition, he will continue contributing original pieces to Crux, as he’s been doing since the site was launched in 2014.
Originally a project of the Boston Globe, since April 2016 Crux is an independent Catholic news site operated in partnership with the Knights of Columbus and with the support of a number of other Catholic entities, including the DeSales Media Group in the Diocese of Brooklyn and the Archdioceses of Los Angeles, Washington and New York.
Ivereigh, 50, is the author of what is widely considered the most authoritative English-language biography of Pope Francis, titled The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope, originally published by Henry Holt and now available in paperback from Picador. Translation rights have been licensed for nine languages in addition to English.
His collaborator on that book was Inés San Martín, who today serves as a director of Crux and the site’s Rome-based Vatican correspondent.
Ivereigh is a native of the United Kingdom, fluent in Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. He is married and lives near Oxford. He was briefly a Jesuit novice after earning his Ph.D. in 1992 from Oxford with a dissertation on Catholicism and politics in Argentina — a subject which at the time may have seemed obtuse, but since March 2013 has looked like a very prudent choice.
He worked 2000-2004 as deputy editor of The Tablet in the U.K. and has been a contributor over many years to a variety of Catholic publications on both sides of the Atlantic. He also served from 2004-2006 as press secretary and spokesman for Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the Archbishop of Westminster in the U.K.
Ivereigh went on to organize a London-based immigration campaign based on Catholic social teaching, which led to a book on the Church’s social doctrine and community organizing called Faithful Citizens.
In 2010 he co-founded Catholic Voices, a media project created to provide well-informed commentators on Pope Benedict XVI’s September 2010 trip to the U.K., and which has gone on to be regarded as one of the most effective media initiatives in the Church. There are currently Catholic Voices groups in 24 countries, and Ivereigh and his colleagues have trained bishops, clergy and lay people from Bogotá to Rome.
His How to Defend the Faith Without Raising Your Voice — a revised U.S. edition, published in 2015 by Our Sunday Visitor, was updated with fellow Crux contributor Kathryn Jean Lopez — has been translated into nine languages.
Beyond his new commitments to Crux, Ivereigh will continue to write, speak and comment independently in a wide variety of venues, retaining his own vigorous voice on affairs in the Catholic Church and the world. He’s currently working on a follow-up volume to his papal biography, which is taking him regularly to Latin America for interviews and lectures.
“John and Inés are at the heart of a top team in Catholic news reporting and analysis, which I’m delighted to be even more a part of,” Ivereigh said.
“The Church under Francis has become a source of fascination for the world, and Crux offers a matchless vantage point for understanding it.”
John L. Allen Jr., the editor of Crux, said he’s “beyond thrilled that Austen has agreed to join us in a deeper way.”
“He’s been part of our recipe from the beginning, but now he’s truly what the Italians would call della famiglia – part of the family,” he said.
“I’m certain the Crux family is much stronger for having Austen as part of it,” Allen said. “Whenever he’s run the site in the past the results have been spectacular, and I know that will continue to be true going forward.”
Among Ivereigh’s first assignments in his new role for Crux will be to travel aboard the papal plane to cover Pope Francis’s Oct. 31-Nov. 1 trip to Lund, Sweden, to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.