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George Pell, Defender of the Faith Down Under by Tess Livingstone

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This is the first book about today's best-known and most controversial leader of Australia's Catholics.

In recent decades a war has been waged within the Catholic Church between traditionalists and those who want to drain its teachings and institutions of much of their meaning.

This is the story of that struggle, told through the life of a leading combatant, Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney, Australia, and the leading Churchman "down under", who has spent much of his adult life battling attempts to, in his words, "trivialize Jesus Christ".

George Pell, a brilliant student in Rome and Oxford, was chosen by Pope John Paul II to be Archbishop of Melbourne and then Sydney. Pell's unprecedented double appointment reflects the fact that the Pope saw him as a vital front-line figure in the fight to reform the Church.

Author Tess Livingstone is an experienced journalist and writer on Church issues in Australia. She visited Rome and Oxford and interviewed over fifty people, including many of Pell's critics, in researching her book. It contains a wealth of information about Pell that will surprise both his enemies and his supporters.

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Paperback, 499 pages