Pope Francis, Vatican II, and the Way Forward

Pope Francis, Vatican II, and the Way Forward

Along with our friends at Boston College's Boisi Center and Fordham University's Center on Religion and Culture, the Hank Center was pleased to host “Pope Francis, Vatican II, and the Way Forward.” Over two days, a diverse group of conference attendees were provided a forum where bishops, academics, journalists, and others could speak frankly to each other about important issues affecting the Church today-- all of us working and praying together to carry forward the synodal vision of the Second Vatican Council in the pontificate of Pope Francis, and beyond. We were grateful for our time and conversations together, and grateful to our speakers for providing compelling insights and setting the stage for needed dialogue.  The meeting was characterized at once as a living expression of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, a practicum in Catholic Social Teaching, and an example of the kind synodality to which the Holy Spirit calls us today.  With the strong support of our respective Jesuit institutions, it was a privilege to organize this meeting, the fruits of which might be described in this shorthand: "unity in essentials, diversity in non-essentials, charity in all things." 

A full program of the meeting can be found here: Chicago Bishop's Conference .

We were honored to have an excellent array of speakers present and take part in our thought-provoking panels. Here you will find biographies of each conference presenter along with the title of the talk they gave or the panel of which they were a part. The texts of each keynote-- along with a few others-- are linked below as well. 

Reverend Louis John Cameli, Ph.D.

Panel: "Pastoral-Theological Ideas for Affective Collegiality with Pope Francis and Receiving Vatican II"

Fr. Louis John Cameli is a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Fr. Cameli is the author of more than a dozen books, including The Devil You Don’t Know: Recognizing and Resisting Evil in Everyday Life and Catholic Teaching on Homosexuality: New Paths to Understanding. Fr. Cameli has been active in the formation of priests, including as professor and dean at Mundelein Seminary, and has served in parishes and as a retreat leader. Since 2009, Fr. Cameli has served as a delegate for Christian Formation and Mission with residence at Holy Name Cathedral.


Meghan Clark, Ph.D.

Panel: "Distorted Receptions of Vatican II"

Panel Remarks: Clark Panel Remarks

Meghan J. Clark, Ph.D., is an associate professor of moral theology at St John’s University (NY). She is author of The Vision of Catholic Social Thought: The Virtue of Solidarity and the Praxis of Human Rights(Fortress Press, 2014), co-editor of Public Theology and the Global Common Good: The Contribution of David Hollenbach (Orbis, 2106), has published in Theological Studies, the Journal of Moral Theology, among others, and is a columnist for U.S. Catholic magazine. She is a senior fellow of the Vincentian Center for Church and Society and a faculty expert for the Holy See’s Mission to the United Nations. From 2010-2013, she served as a Consultant to the USCCB's Committee on Domestic Justice.


Kathleen Sprows Cummings, Ph.D.

Panel: "Pastoral-Theological Ideas for Affective Collegiality with Pope Francis and Receiving Vatican II"

Kathleen Sprows Cummings is professor of American studies and history at the University of Notre Dame and the director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism. She holds a concurrent appointment in the department of theology. Cummings’ publications include, A Saint of Our Own: How the Quest for a Holy Hero Helped Catholics Become American (University of North Carolina Press, 2019), New Women of the Old Faith: Gender and American Catholicism in the Progressive Era (North Carolina, 2009) as well as numerous scholarly articles and book chapters. Cummings is presently co-directing (with Robert Orsi) “Gender, Sex, and Power: Toward a History of Clergy Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church.” She also oversees the Conference on the History of Women Religious and frequently serves as a media commentator on contemporary eventsin the Church.


Kim Daniels, J.D.

Panel: "The Money, Media, and Networks that Oppose Pope Francis"

Kim Daniels is the co-director of Georgetown University’sInitiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life. She was appointed by Pope Francis as a member of the Vatican Dicastery for Communication in 2016, and has advised the U.S. bishops and major Catholic institutions on issues where Church teachings intersect with public life, including immigration, human life and dignity,religiousliberty, and care for creation.


Massimo Faggioli, Ph.D.

Keynote: "Opposition to Francis Rooted in Abandonment of Vatican II as Source of Renewal"

Keynote Remarks: Faggioli Keynote

Dr. Massimo Faggioli, a married lay Roman Catholic, is full professor in the department of theology and religious studies at Villanova University. He worked in the “John XXIII Foundation for Religious Studies” in Bologna between 1996 and 2008. He has a column in La Croix International, and is contributing writer for Commonweal magazine and for the Italian magazine Il Regno. His books and articles have been published in more than ten languages. Among his latest books is The Liminal Papacy of Pope Francis. Moving Toward Global Catholicity (Orbis Books, 2020). He is co-editing with Catherine Clifford The Oxford Handbook of Vatican II (Oxford University Press, 2022) and he is under contract with Oxford University Press for a book on the history of the Roman Curia.


Bishop Daniel Flores, S.T.D.

Panel: "How Opposition to Francis Connects with Other Socio-Political Currents in American Life"

Bishop Daniel Flores has served as the Bishop of the Diocese of Brownsville since 2009. He studied at the University of Dallas, and Holy Trinity Seminary, completing a BA in Philosophy and a Masters of Divinity. In 1988 he was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Corpus Christi. He completed work on doctoral dissertation in Sacred Theology at the Angelicum in 2000. In 2006, he was appointed and ordained as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit. Presently, Bishop Flores serves as committee member on several USCCB Committees as well as chair of the Doctrine Committee.


David Gibson

Panel: "The Money, Media, and Networks that Oppose Pope Francis"

David Gibson, director of the Center on Religion and Culture, arrived at Fordham University in 2017 after a long career as a religion reporter, author, and filmmaker. He began his journalism career at Vatican Radio in 1986 and after returning to the New York area in 1990 wrote for a variety of newspapers and magazines. He is the author of two books on Catholicism: The Coming Catholic Church: How the Faithful are Shaping a New American Catholicism and The Rule of Benedict: Pope Benedict XVI and His Battle with the Modern World. He has written and produced several documentaries and co-authored a book on biblical archeology, Finding Jesus: Faith. Fact. Forgery, the basis of a popular CNN series.


Melinda Henneberger

Panel: "Distorted Receptions of Vatican II"

Melinda Henneberger is vice president and editorial page editor for The Kansas City Star, and a three-time Pulitzer finalist, for commentary in 2021 and 2019 and for editorial writing in 2020. She has covered crime, Congress, the Vatican, prisons, hospitals, and politics.


Christine Firer Hinze, Ph.D.

Panel: "How Opposition to Francis Connects with Other Socio-Political Currents in American Life"

Christine Firer Hinze is professor and chair of the department of theology, and emeritus (2010-2020) Director of the Francis and Ann Curran Center for American Catholic Studies at Fordham University. She is the author of Comprehending Power in Christian Social Ethics (Oxford, 1995), Glass Ceilings, Dirt Floors: Women, Work, and the Global Economy (Madeleva Lecture Series, Paulist Press, 2015), co-editor (with J. Patrick Hornbeck) of More Than A Monologue: Sexual Diversity and the Catholic Church, vol 1: Voices of Our Times (Fordham University Press, 2014), and has published scores of scholarly essays in books and in journals. She taught at St. Norbert College and Marquette University priorto her 2006 appointment at Fordham.


M. Therese Lysaught, Ph.D.

Keynote: "War or Peace? Toward a Better Kind of (Bio)Politics"

Lysaught Keynote Here: Lysaught Keynote

M. Therese Lysaught, PhD, is professor of moral theology and healthcare at the Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics and Health Care Leadership at the Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago. Her books include Biopolitics after Neuroscience: Morality and the Economy of Virtue (Bloomsbury Academic, 2022, coauthored with Jeffrey P. Bishop and Andrew Michel) and Catholic Bioethics and Social Justice: The Praxis of US Healthcare in a Globalized World (Liturgical Press, 2019, co-edited with Michael McCarthy). She has served as a visiting scholar with the Catholic Health Association; on the Board of Directors of the Society of Christian Ethics; on the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee (RAC) at the U.S. National Institutes of Health; and as a member of the U.S. Catholic-Episcopal Theological Consultation under the aegis of the USCCB. She is a founding member and editor of the Journal of Moral Theology and a corresponding member of the Pontifical Academy for Life.


Mark Massa, S.J., Th.D.

Panel: "Distorted Receptions of Vatican II" 

Mark Massa, S.J. is director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life. He is a church historian who studies Catholicism in the U.S. in the twentieth century. He is the author of seven books, the most recent of which is The Structure of Theological Revolutions: How Humanae Vitae Shaped Debates About Natural Law (Oxford, 2018).


Michael P. Murphy, Ph.D.

Panel: "Distorted Receptions of Vatican II"

Michael P. Murphy is director of Loyola’s Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage. His research interests are in theology and literature, sacramental theology, and Catholic educational leadership—but he also thinks, writes, and engages public media about issues in eco-theology, social ethics, and the literary/political cultures of Catholicism. Murphy is a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow and was also the second director of Loyola University Chicago’s Catholic Studies Interdisciplinary Minor Program (2012-2021). His first book, A Theology of Criticism: Balthasar, Postmodernism, and the Catholic Imagination (Oxford), was named a "Distinguished Publication" in 2008 by the American Academy of Religion. His most recent scholarly work is an edited volume, this need to dance/this need to kneel: Denise Levertov and the Poetics of Faith (Wipf and Stock, 2019).


Michael J. O'Loughlin

Panel: "The Money, Media, and Networks that Oppose Pope Francis"

Michael J. O’Loughlin isthe author of Hidden Mercy: Catholics, AIDS, and Untold Stories of Compassion in the Face of Fear, based on the America podcast series, “Plague: Untold Stories of AIDS and the Catholic Church.” Mike is also the national correspondent and an associate editor at America. O’Loughlin writes and speaks regularly about religion and politics, Catholic young adults, and the role of religion in the public square. He is also the author of The Tweetable Pope: A Spiritual Revolution in 140 Characters. A former staff writer for The Boston Globe and its Catholic site Crux, his work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy and the Advocate. He has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NPR, The BBC, ABC, CBS, Fox News, and MSNBC.


Hosffman Ospino, Ph.D.

Panel: "Pastoral-Theological Ideas for Affective Collegiality with Pope Francis and Receiving Vatican II"

Panel Remarks: Ospino Panel Remarks

Hosffman Ospino, Ph.D. is an associate professor of theology and religious education at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry where he is also chair of the department of religious education and pastoral ministry. He is director of the university's Graduate Programs in Hispanic Ministry. Ospino is the principal investigator for several national studies on Hispanic Catholics. He has authored/edited 15 books and more than 150 essays, academic and general. Ospino serves on the boards of several national organizations, including the Nationa Catholic Educational Association (NCEA). He is president of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States (ACHTUS) and an officer of the Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA).


Vincent D. Rougeau, J.D.

Panel: "Pastoral-Theological Ideas for Affective Collegiality with Pope Francis and Receiving Vatican II"

Vincent D. Rougeau, a nationally respected expert in legal education and Catholic social thought, became the 33rd president of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts in July 2021. He is the College’s first lay and first Black president. Rougeau previously served as dean of the Boston College Law School and the inaugural director of the Forum on Racial Justice in America. He has written extensively on law and religions, and is the author of Christians in the American Empire: Faith and Citizenship in the New World Order(2008).


Heidi Schlumpf

Panel: "The Money, Media, and Networks that Oppose Pope Francis"

Heidi Schlumpf is the executive editor and vice president of the National Catholic Reporter, where she previously served as its national correspondent. She has three decades of experience covering religion, spirituality, social justice and women’s issues, and is the author/editor of three books, including a biography of feminist theologian Elizabeth Johnson. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and has a master's degree in theologicalstudiesfrom Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary at Northwestern University.


Damon Silvers, J.D.

Panel: "How Opposition to Francis Connects with Other Socio-Political Currents in American Life"

Damon A. Silvers is the director of policy and special counsel for the AFL-CIO. He joined the AFL-CIO as associate general counsel in 1997. Silvers is a senior fellow at the Roosevelt Institute and a visiting professor at the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose at University College, London. Silvers is also a member of The Century Foundation’s Board of Trustees and is a member of the Board of Directors of Americans for Financial Reform. From 2008 to 2011, Silvers served as the deputy chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel for TARP, the U.S. government program for stabilizing the U.S. banking system. Silvers has also served in various capacities with the S.E.C., the Treasury Department, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, and as a member of the United States Treasury Department Investor’s Practice Committee of the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets.


Matthew Sitman

Panel: "How Opposition to Francis Connects with Other Socio-Political Currents in American Life"

Matthew Sitman is the associate editor of Commonweal. Before joining the magazine, he taught in the Politics Department at the University of Virginia and, more recently, was the literary editor of the news and culture website, the Dish. He writes regularly for Dissent, where he also serves on the editorial board, and his work has been published at the New Republic and The Bias, among other publications. He also is the co-host of the podcast "Know Your Enemy."


Archbishop Héctor Miguel Cabrejos Vidarte, O.F.M.

Keynote: "The Latino Experience of Synodality"

Keynote Remarks: Archbishop Cabrejos Keynote - English

Keynote Remarks: Archbishop Cabrejos Keynote - Spanish

Héctor Miguel Cabrejos Vidarte, O.F.M. is a Peruvian prelate of the Catholic Church who has been the Archbishop of Trujillo since 1999. He has been a bishop since 1988 and currently heads the Latin American Bishops Council (CELAM).




While the "Pope Francis, Vatican II, and the Way Forward" Conference has ended, the conversations around these important issues are ongoing. Here you can find some ongoing coverage of this event as long as photos from the conference.

Cardinals, theologians gather to plan how US church can support Pope Francis

Joshua J. McElwee

March 29, 2022

National Catholic Reporter

Bishops have frank conversations with lay theologians about Pope Francis, U.S. Church and Vatican II in semi-off-the-record meeting

Michael J. O'Loughlin

March 29, 2022

America: The Jesuit Review

Finding a way forward for the post-conciliar Church

Michael Sean Winters

March 31, 2022

The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly

Bishops and Theologians Meet in Chicago to Discuss Pope Francis and Vatican II

Thomas Pauloz

March 25, 2022

The Torch: Boston College's Catholic Newspaper