Author, Vatican correspondent to discuss Pope Francis’ papacy

St. Scholastica will host an internationally respected journalist and author at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 27 in the Mitchell Auditorium for a presentation on the major themes of Pope Francis' papacy. The event is free and open to the public.

John L. Allen, Jr. is editor of the independent Catholic news site Crux. In a talk titled "The Mercy Miracle: The Spiritual Roots of Francis' Papacy," Allen will discuss how Pope Francis' self-understanding as the "Pope of Mercy" underlies the entire scope of his activity as pontiff since his election in March 2013.

Pope Francis is an extraordinarily complex figure, with a wide-ranging pastoral and political agenda. The heart of it all, however, is mercy, expressed in both his jubilee Holy Year of Mercy and his papal motto, "choosing through mercy."

On April 8, Pope Francis released a document called "Amoris Laetitia" (The Joy of Love) that offers pastoral guidance on issues of marriage and family.

Allen is a senior Vatican analyst for CNN and was a correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter for 16 years. He is also the author of 10 books on the Vatican and the Catholic Church, including "The Francis Miracle: Inside the Transformation of the Pope and the Church."

A book signing in the Mitchell Foyer will immediately follow Allen's talk, and copies will be available for purchase. Light refreshments will be provided.

The event is part of the Braegelman Program in Catholic Studies Lecture Series.