John L. Allen Jr., who covers the Vatican for CNN and The Boston Globe, will speak on the topic "Pope Francis and the World's Religions" at 7 p.m. April 2 in the Jessing Center at the Pontifical College Josephinum, 7625 N. High St. His presentation is the 10th annual Lecture on World Religions and Interreligious Dialogue, sponsored by MTSO and three other seminaries who form the Theological Consortium of Greater Columbus. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Allen is associate editor of The Boston Globe and senior Vatican analyst for CNN. Before joining the Globe, he spent 16 years as the prize-winning senior correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter. His seven books on the Vatican and Catholic affairs include The Rise of Benedict XVI: The Inside Story of How the Pope was Elected and What it Means for the Catholic Church and Opus Dei: An Objective Look Behind the Myth and Reality of the Most Controversial Force in the Catholic Church.
Veteran religion writer Kenneth Woodward of Newsweek described Allen as "the journalist other reporters – and not a few cardinals – look to for the inside story on how all the pope's men direct the world's largest church."
Allen's work is respected across ideological divides. Liberal commentator Father Andrew Greeley calls his writing "indispensable," while the late Father Richard John Neuhaus, a conservative, called Allen's reporting "possibly the best source of information on the Vatican published in the United States." Allen's weekly online column, "All Things Catholic," is widely read as a source of insight on the global Church.
Allen is a native of Western Kansas and holds a master's degree in Religious Studies from the University of Kansas. He divides his time between Rome and his home in Denver.
Methodist Theological School in Ohio prepares leaders of many faith traditions for lives of significance in service to the church and the world. The school offers master's degrees in divinity, counseling ministries, theological studies and practical theology, as well as a Doctor of Ministry degree. For more information, visit www.mtso.edu.
The Theological Consortium of Greater Columbus includes MTSO, Trinity Lutheran Seminary, the Pontifical College Josephinum and Bexley Hall Seabury Western Theological Seminary Federation.
Paul Numrich, professor in the Snowden Chair for the Study of Religion and Interreligious Relations
Danny Russell, director of communications