In his first public appearance in North America
since his interview with Pope Francis made headlines around the world,
the Rev. Antonio Spadaro, S.J. will speak at Seton Hall University on
Thursday, March 20, at 5 p.m. in the Chancellor's Suite of the Bishop
Dougherty University Center on the university’s main South Orange
campus. Fr. Spadaro, the editor-in-chief of the influential Jesuit
journal La Civiltà Cattolica, will provide an in-depth,
behind-the-scenes perspective on his private encounter with the pontiff
in a lecture entitled, “My Door Is Always Open: Pope Francis’ Vision of
the Church.” Sponsored by the Department of Catholic Studies, this
event is free and open to the public.
In August 2013, Fr. Spadaro conducted an unprecedented and exclusive
series of three interviews with Pope Francis in Rome. During their six
hours together, Pope Francis painted a candid portrait of himself and
talked about the role of the Church today and his priorities as the
Church's leader. The interview appeared in publications around the
world, including America, the U.S. Jesuit magazine.
"I am very happy to have Fr. Spadaro as our special guest to give
this lecture, which coincides with the first anniversary of the election
of Pope Francis," said Ines Angeli Murzaku, chair of the Department of
Catholic Studies. "The vision and spirituality of Pope Francis is made
up of a mosaic of human faces. Individuals, Catholics, non-Catholics,
atheists and agnostics can easily find their way to encounter Francis."
Fr. Spadaro's visit to Seton Hall further strengthens the
university's connection to the Vatican. In December 2013, Pope Francis
imparted the Apostolic Blessing to the university on the occasion of the
establishment of the Department of Catholic Studies. This makes Seton
Hall the first and only university in the United States to claim such a
"Fr. Spadaro helped to reach a large part of the world with Pope Francis' message in a way that reached a large number of people, both within the Church and outside it," said Professor of Catholic Studies
Nancy Enright. "It is a particular honor for us to receive his words.
We are thrilled to have him here at Seton Hall."
My Door Is Always Open: Pope Francis' Vision of the Church, Fr.
Spadaro’s most recent book, published by Rizzoli (2013), includes the
full interview and expands upon it. He also teaches “cybertheology” at
the Theology Department of the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.
He edits the blog “Cyberteologia” and is the author of books on digital
culture including Connessioni. Nuove forme della cultura al tempo di
Internet (2006), Web 2.0. Reti di relazione (2010) and Cyberteologia.
Pensare il cristianesimo al tempo della rete (2012), which will be
available to the U.S. market next June by Fordham University Press.
Dermot Quinn, associate director of the Chesterton Institute for Faith and Culture, knows Father Spadaro personally.
"Fr. Spadaro is one of the most important voices in the contemporary
Church, a man of immense and subtle scholarship who is also well attuned
to the pastoral needs of today's world," said Quinn. "Pope Francis knew
what he was doing when he invited him to conduct that famous interview.
Both men are unafraid to preach the gospel in ways that reach deep into
the modern mind and heart."
"How fortunate that Seton Hall University is able to welcome the
famous Jesuit scholar and editor, Fr. Antonio Spadaro. We shall benefit
greatly from his expertise and scholarship," said Monsignor Robert
Coleman, J.C.D., associate vice provost. "It will be thrilling to listen
to his insights from his recent and privileged interview with our Holy
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