Understanding Pope Francis

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Columns Growing in Faith Understanding Pope Francis

Egypt’s complex and storied Christian history

In what is an unusually expedited timeline, the Vatican announced this week that Pope Francis will travel over the extended Easter season to visit Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi during the

Columns Understanding Pope Francis

Classic text foreshadows the pontificate of Pope Francis

My graduate classes this week are beginning to explore a classic and relevant ecclesiological text: Father Ladislas Orsy’s influential 1987 book “The Church: Learning and Teaching.” One would be hard-pressed

Columns Understanding Pope Francis

A theological influence on Pope Francis

This week I have been offered an amazing opportunity to sit down with Jesuit Father Juan Carlos Scannone at Boston College, where he will be attending an event titled the

Columns Understanding Pope Francis

The pope’s mandate to reform the curia

Those who follow politics in this tumultuous election season often hear pundits refer to this or that candidate or staff member as “wonky,” that is to say immersing themselves in

Columns Growing in Faith Understanding Pope Francis

The importance of local devotions and piety

Romulus and Remus were the mythological figures to whom the foundation of Rome is attributed. Centuries later, Christians came to view Rome as re-founded by another pair, new patrons executed

Columns Understanding Pope Francis

Pope Francis through the eyes of a ‘buen amigo’

On the day Amoris Laetitia was released, I attended a private lunch hosted by former Ambassador to the Holy See Miguel Diaz here in Chicago with Father Carlos Maria Galli,

Columns Understanding Pope Francis

The most important encyclical in the history of the church?

On Laetare Sunday, my experience of Lenten joy included attending an event at Fordham Prep in the Bronx exploring Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si’ and its relevance for environmental stewardship

Columns Understanding Pope Francis

The consistory, and naming members of the conclave

There had been some speculation that Pope Francis would hold a consistory in February. This is the ceremony in which a pope names new cardinals, those who help him govern

Columns Understanding Pope Francis

‘The Spirit of Catholic Renewal: Signs, Sources and Calling’

In 1840, American Whig politician William Henry Harrison was battling Martin Van Buren for the American presidency, Charles Darwin had just published “The Voyage of the Beagle,” and Pope Gregory

Columns Understanding Pope Francis

Pope Francis and British theologian Lesslie Newbigin

Pope Francis has repeatedly called on Christians to become missionary disciples. Evangelii Gaudium is one such place where he has expressed this clearly: “Every Christian is a missionary to the