Faith Acts Footsteps lecture emphasizes a community rally behind Pope Francis


    John Allen Jr. discussed his three pillars of Pope Francis before a mixed crowd of students and adults Tuesday night in the BLUU ballroom.

    In January, TCU Catholic Community came together to discuss the importance of community service. They wanted to emphasize Pope Francis’s call to serve in addition to their regular events, so the Faith Acts Footsteps Lecture series was created.

    Every year, a joint committee of Office of Religious and Spiritual Life staff and members of the TCU Catholic Community will bring a speaker to campus to talk about issues in the Roman Catholic Church.

    For its first event, the committee brought in Allen, who is the senior Vatican analyst for CNN and is an associate editor at The Boston Globe. He wrote for the National Catholic Reporter for 16 years and has covered the papacies of Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis.

    His speech focused on points from his most recent publication, “Against the Tide: The Radical Leadership of Pope Francis.”

    In his book, Allen identifies three pillars of who Pope Francis is and how he has become such a popular individual.

    The three pillars are leadership as service, a missionary church position and mercy, instead of judgment.

    Austin Sandford, a senior sociology and writing double major, attended the event. He said he found Allen’s pillars to be supportive of the community service mission of both Pope Francis and the TCU Catholic Community.

    “There’s a lot to be said about leading from the ground,” said Sandford. “That’s where God is present.”

    Allen also spoke about the media presence of Pope Francis and how the “crafty rebranding” of expectations in church leadership has allowed him to fulfill his mission.

    “It is empirically undeniable that in our life we are going to get a better call for action,” said Allen. “[Pope Francis] has made being Catholic cool again.”

    The Faith Acts Footsteps Lecture series will be back next year. Dates and times have not yet been determined.