Paul Collins is an historian, broadcaster, and writer. A Catholic priest for thirty-three years, he resigned from the active ministry in 2001 due to a dispute with the Vatican over his book Papal Power (1997). He is the author of fifteen books, the most recent of which are The Birth of the West and Absolute Power (both New York: Public Affairs, 2013 and 2018). He often comments in the media on Catholicism and the papacy and has an interest in environmental and population issues. He has a Master’s degree in theology from Harvard University and a PhD. in history from the ANU.