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Constitutional Crisis: Opportunities and Limits of Church Reform

Seton Hall University’s Department of Catholic Studies presents the Eighth Annual Monsignor James Cafone STD Memorial Lecture, “Constitutional Crisis: The Opportunities and Limits of Church Reform”, a lecture by Christopher R. Altieri, PhD. This event will take place on Tuesday 5 April 2022, at 5 p.m. in the Beck Rooms of the Walsh Library. It will also be accessible via Zoom.

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Meeting ID: 825 927 8115
Access code: MKsW2x

About the event:
What does it mean to say that the Church is in “constitutional crisis”?
In his presentation, Dr. Altieri will describe an appropriate treatment of the Church as a political society – a societas perfecta in the technical sense of the word – therefore as a structure of power, or at least ineluctably and intrinsically endowed with a structure of power.

Taking a historically informed approach, Dr. Altieri will demonstrate that we must undertake the project of church reform with our eyes open to the hierarchical constitution of the Church, so as not to contradict it. It will also show that the current concentration of power in bishops – individually and collectively they hold more power than ever before, and the other states of life less – is neither the only way the power of the Church has been concentrated historically, nor tenable in the current climate.

About the speaker:
Christopher R. Altieri is a journalist, editor, and author of three books, including Reading the News Without Losing Your Faith (Catholic Truth Society, 2021). He worked for more than a dozen years in the English-language news desk of Vatican Radio, then as Rome bureau chief and international editor (later editor-in-chief) of the Catholic Herald, where he is now editor-in-chief. He is editor of the Catholic World Report and has written for America’s leading Catholic publications at The Catholic Thing. He holds a doctorate from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

About the Bishop James Cafone STD Annual Lecture Series:
Monsignor James Cafone ’61 / MA ’67 STD was a mainstay of the Seton Hall University community for over 50 years, having attended Seton Hall for his undergraduate and graduate studies and served on campus at various titles over 47 years. While at Seton Hall, he served as an assistant professor of religious studies, teaching for many years more students than any other professor at the university. Member of the board of directors and vice-president of the board of directors, Monsignor Cafone was also minister of the community of priests for 15 years. Underlying all of Bishop Cafone’s work in ministry and education was his deep sense of hospitality, compassion, service and dedication to the mission of Seton Hall and the Catholic faith community. The Monsignor James Cafone STD Annual Lecture Series was created in memory of Monsignor Cafone after his passing in 2015.

About Catholic Studies:
The Department of Catholic Studies at Seton Hall University offers an innovative interdisciplinary study program for students of any faith who wish to deepen their knowledge of the rich intellectual tradition and living heritage of Catholicism. Combining the study of history, philosophy, theology, literature, art, sociology and other disciplines, Catholic studies focus on the Church’s dialogue with culture and meeting the world. Students interested in Catholic studies have the option of pursuing a major, minor, or certificate that complements and enhances other academic programs and areas of study at the university. For more than 20 years, the academic program and its varied activities have remained true to the Catholic mission and vision of the University. For more information, please contact Ines Murzaku, PhD, chair of the Department of Catholic Studies, at [email protected], or Gloria Aroneo at [email protected]

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