Paul Collins, Catholic writer

Paul Collins: writer, historian, environmentalist, broadcaster ... and Catholic

Paul Collins's latest book is:

A Very Contrary Irishman: The Life and Journeys of Jeremiah O'Flynn

Jeremiah O’Flynn , born in 1786 in Tralee, Ireland, was a wandering priest par excellence. His travels spanned the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and the Americas before landing him in Sydney under Governor Macquarie in 1818. Macquarie deported him back to London in 1825, completing for O'Flynn his circumnavigation of the world.

O'Flynn is credited as being one of the founders of the Catholic Church in Australia – an almost mythical figure who generously travelled to the ends of the earth to minister to the equally-romanticised poor and regularly flogged (“for refusing to attend the Protestant services”) Irish convicts, who were really all “innocent political prisoners”.

Read about a life intersecting with the French Revolution, slavery, the establishment of the British Empire, convict transportation, Catholic emancipation and the massive missionary expansion of Catholicism in the nineteenth century.

This is the first time O’Flynn’s story has been fully told. More…


Paul Collins, Catholic writerPaul Collins is an historian, broadcaster and writer. A Catholic priest for thirty-three years, he resigned from the active priestly ministry in 2001 due to a dispute with the Vatican over his book Papal Power (1997).

Collins has authored fourteen books and is known as a commentator on Catholicism and the papacy. He also has a strong interest in ethics, environmental and population issues.

Collins has a Master's degree in theology from Harvard University and a Doctorate of Philosophy in history from the Australian National University. He lives in Canberra, Australia.

My books

I began book-writing seriously in 1985 in preparation for Pope John Paul II's first visit to Australia in 1986...

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Max Charlesworth (1925 – 2014)

Without a doubt Max Charlesworth was probably the most influential and important Catholic layman ...

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Why I had to resign

Paul Collins's explanation for his resignation from the priesthood

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