John L. Allen Jr. is associate editor of The Boston Globe after 16 years as the prize-winning Senior Correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter. In addition, he is the editor of Crux, specializing in coverage of the Vatican and the Catholic Church and he serves as the Senior Vatican Analyst for CNN. He's the author of seven 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 George Weigel has called him "the best Anglophone Vatican reporter ever." When Allen was called upon to put the first question to Pope Benedict XVI aboard the papal plane en route to the United States in April 2008, the Vatican 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 Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution. John divides his time between Rome and his home in Denver, Colorado. He grew up in Western Kansas, and holds a Master's degree in Religious Studies from the University of Kansas.
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