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Constitutional Crisis: The Opportunities and Limits of Church Reform  

Monsignor CafoneSeton Hall University's Department of Catholic Studies presents the Eighth Annual Monsignor James Cafone S.T.D. 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, April 5, 2022, at 5 p.m. in the Beck Rooms of Walsh Library. It will also be accessible via Zoom.

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Meeting ID: 825 927 8115
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About the event:
What does it mean to say that the Church is in a "constitutional crisis"?
In his presentation, Dr. Altieri will outline a proper treatment of the Church as a political society – a societas perfecta in the technical sense of the term – hence as a power structure, or at least inescapably and intrinsically possessed of a power structure.

Taking a historically informed approach, Dr. Altieri will demonstrate that we need to undertake the project of Church reform with eyes open to the hierarchical constitution of the Church, so as not to run afoul of it. He also will show that the current concentration of power in the bishops – singly and corporately, they hold more power than ever before, and the other states of life less – is neither the only way the Church's power 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 on Vatican Radio's English news desk, and afterward as Rome bureau chief and international editor (later executive editor) of the Catholic Herald, where he is now editor-at-large. He is contributing editor to Catholic World Report and has written for leading Catholic publications from America to The Catholic Thing. He holds a PhD from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

About the Monsignor James Cafone S.T.D. Annual Lecture Series:
Monsignor James Cafone '61/M.A. '67 S.T.D. was a mainstay of the Seton Hall University community for more than 50 years, having attended Seton Hall for his undergraduate and graduate education and served on campus in various capacities over the course of 47 years. During his time at Seton Hall, he served as Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, for many years teaching more students than any other professor at the University. A member of the Board of Regents and Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees, Monsignor Cafone also served as Minister to the Priest Community for 15 years. Underlying all of Monsignor Cafone's work in ministry and education were his deep senses of hospitality, compassion, service and dedication to the mission of Seton Hall and the Catholic faith community. The Monsignor James Cafone S.T.D. Annual Lecture Series was established 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 curriculum for students of any creed who are interested in deepening their knowledge of Catholicism's rich intellectual tradition and living heritage. Combining the study of history, philosophy, theology, literature, art, sociology, and other disciplines, Catholic Studies focuses on the Church's dialogue with culture and encounter with the world. Students interested in Catholic Studies have the option to pursue a major, minor, or certificate that complements and enhances the university's other degree programs and fields of study. Over 20 years the academic program and its variegated activities have stayed true to and fulfilled the Catholic mission and vision of the University. For more information, please contact Ines Murzaku, PhD, Director of the Department of Catholic Studies, at, or Gloria Aroneo at

Categories: Faith and Service

For more information, please contact:

  • Gloria Aroneo
  • (973) 275-2808