Since his election earlier this year, Pope Francis has been in the media on an almost constant basis, and for good reason, according to Dr. Peter Feldmeier, UT Thomas and Margaret Murray and James J. Bacik Professor of Catholic Studies.Pope Francis, or Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was born in Argentina and became pope after the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI — something that hadn’t happened for almost 600 years. Francis also is the first Jesuit pope, the first pope from the Americas, and the first from the Southern Hemisphere.
But more than being a few firsts as far as popes go, Pope Francis has a style of leadership that is different from many of his predecessors, Feldmeier said.
“The big news that’s not just going around the Catholic church but around society right now is this new pope and the kind of energy that he’s inspiring and the direction of the church that he thinks needs to happen,” Feldmeier said.
Feldmeier will discuss the pope and his style in detail when he delivers the Murray/Bacik Lecture in Catholic Studies titled “Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism.”
The free, public event, which is part of the UT Center for Religious Understanding’s fall lecture series, will be Wednesday, Nov. 13, 7 p.m. in Student Union Room 2592.
“I think people really want to know about him,” Feldmeier said. “He’s a culturally important person with a message that would feel relevant to anybody — Christians, non-Christians, Catholics and non-Catholics.”
A half-hour is set aside for questions after the hourlong lecture.
For more information on the Center for Religious Understanding, visit utoledo.edu/llss/philosophy/cfru.