March 9, 2018 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

A six-part television original series premiers on Sunday March 11, 2018 on CNN examining “the true power held by popes throughout the ages,” as billed by Glass Entertainment Group. Pope: The most powerful man in history by Glass Entertainment Group, and narrated by Liam Neeson, also has a King’s connection.  Dr. Robert Ventresca, Associate Professor of History, was consulted by the series producers for his knowledge of papal history.

“They brought me down to Philadelphia last fall to sit for an interview based largely on my book about Pope Pius XII and his responses to Nazism-Fascism, the Holocaust and more generally to the role of the papacy in global affairs in the past 200 years or so,” says Dr. Ventresca. He is not certain how his contributions will impact the series. However, he is interested to see the series unfold on the small screen.

“You will appreciate that this series is intended very much for a general audience, and so it is very much geared for a popular versus an academic audience.  That said, the producers relied on expert contributions from scholars, and apparently came to know of me from my book on Pius and related publications,” adds Dr. Ventresca.

For an advance look, there is a promotional video at

Dr. Ventresca studies modern Italian and Roman Catholic church history as well as Canadian immigration history. He was named a Member of the prestigious Royal Society of Canada, College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists in 2014. Watch a video on his award here.  He was also awarded The Harry C. Koenig Prize by the American Catholic Historical Association for his publication Soldier of Christ: The Life of Pope Pius XII (Harvard University Press, 2013).