Pope Francis Biographer Ivereigh to Speak at Holy Cross Conference on ‘Francis the Pilgrim’

Wednesday, April 04, 2018
GoLocalWorcester News Team

Pope Francis
Pope Francis biographer Austen Ivereigh and Reverand Thomas J. Reese, S.J., senior analyst at Religion News Service will be keynote speakers at the  “Francis the Pilgrim: From Personal Devotion to Papal Diplomacy,” conference at Holy Cross.

“The conference will invite journalists and theologians to share their perspectives on Francis and to analyze the images and symbols he surrounds himself with to consider their meaning to his faith and to his agenda as a world leader. It also will use his example to explore popular piety in the places he visits,” said Assistant Chaplain and McFarland Center Fellow Rev. Michael Rogers, S.J.

The conference will take place from April 11 through April 12 in the Rehm Library and Smith Hall. The sessions are free and open to the public.

The Conference

Ivereigh, author of the biography "The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope" will open the conference with a keynote address titled “God Made the First Move: Mercy in the Life and Papacy of Jorge Mario Bergoglio" at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 11.

Ivereigh is a London-based Roman Catholic journalist and former deputy editor of The Tablet who regularly contributes to America magazine, Our Sunday Visitor, The Tablet, The Spectator, Crux, and others.

He is co-founder of Catholic Voices, a communications project now in 20 countries. He holds a Ph.D. from Oxford University.


At 7:30 p.m., April 11, Fr. Reese will speak on "Francis, the Pilgrim Diplomat." Fr. Reese is a Jesuit priest and former editor-in-chief of the Jesuit magazine America.

As a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center, he wrote the trilogy on the organization and politics of the church: "Archbishop: Inside the Power Structure of the American Catholic Church" (1989), "A Flock of Shepherds: The National Conference of Catholic Bishops" (1992), and "Inside the Vatican: The Politics and Organization of the Catholic Church" (1996). In 2014, President Obama appointed him to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

He holds a doctorate in political science from the University of California Berkeley.

Thursday’s discussions will center on Pope Francis’ recent travels, including his pilgrimage to Fatima and controversial visit to Myanmar and Bangladesh, while a panel will consider his missed opportunities.

Elise Harris, senior correspondent covering the Vatican for Catholic News Service/ EWTN News, will give a talk at 9 a.m. titled "Francis in Fatima: Church Governance as Rooted in Pastoral Concern." Inés San Martín, who covers the Vatican for Crux, will present "Francis and Persecuted Minorities: The Journey to Myanmar and Bangladesh" at 10:30.

Holy Cross professors will offer responses to each of the talks and will join Harris and San Martín for a panel discussion at 11:45 a.m. to wrap up the conference.


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