In a recent segment on the TODAY show with NBC’s Anne Thompson, Fordham University’s David Gibson, director of the Center on Religion and Culture, shared his thoughts on Pope Francis’ new memoir, Life: My Story Through History.

Drawing from his experience as a former journalist who extensively covered Pope Francis, Gibson provided valuable commentary on the pope’s motivations and intentions behind the memoir.

According to Gibson, Pope Francis aims to humanize himself, emphasizing his relatability and shared experiences with everyday people. “He’s as surprised to find himself pope as anybody else, and he wants people to know that he’s had the ordinary experiences of everyone else,” said Gibson.

Thompson posed the question of whether this memoir is Pope Francis’ attempt to shape his legacy, to which Gibson responded affirmatively, “Yes, this really is Pope Francis trying to write his own legacy, set the record straight, and say, ‘This is what I meant. This is what I tried to do as pope. This is how I saw the church and the world at this time. That’s the record. That’s it.’”

Watch Pope Francis attempts to demystify Catholic Church in new memoir.