Veteran Vatican reporter to speak about Pope Francis, effect on Catholicism


    John Allen Jr. will expand on thoughts from his book about the pope and his radical reformation of the world’s largest church.

    The Faith Acts Footsteps Lecture series will bring speakers to TCU in a joint effort between the Catholic Community and TCU Religious and Spiritual Life.

    In January, students and faculty came together on campus to discuss the impact of Pope Francis and the effect he has had on community service. The series began as an idea between members of the Catholic Community and members of TCU Religious and Spiritual Life staff.

    The group determined a need for efforts in addition to community service events.

    Drew Curd, a senior mathematics major, is the student board co-president of TCU’s Catholic Community and helped spark the idea.

    “We felt that if we brought in a speaker with this call to serve we could help energize the greater TCU community,” said Curd.

    The title of the opening speech is “Pope Francis, the Poor, and the Call to Serve.”

    “This speech goes way beyond religion,” said Curd. “This speech addresses what it means to be human and how we all are called to serve the least of our brothers and sisters around the world and in our own neighborhoods.”

    John Allen Jr. serves as the senior Vatican analyst for CNN and spent 16 years writing for the National Catholic Reporter. He currently works as an assistant editor at The Boston Globe where he specializes in coverage of the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church.

    His most recent book “Against the Tide: The Radical Leadership of Pope Francis” discusses the pope’s vision for reform and more accountability for the Catholic Church’s Social Gospel. The book will be central to Allen’s speech and will also be available for purchase at the event.

    Allison Lanza, an associate chaplain of Religious and Spiritual Life, helped organize the event.

    “I hope that the TCU community comes out of this speech contemplating on each person’s own life and reflecting on what emotions and feelings the pope’s call to serve comes from,” said Lanza.

    “TCU is the right place to hold this event due to its focused mission statement which aligns with the pope’s message.”

    The lecture will begin Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Brown-Lupton University Union Ballroom.