On Monday 2 March, in an event co-hosted by Gardiner Street Parish and Manresa Jesuit Centre of Spirituality, Austen Ivereigh delivered a lecture entitled ‘Pope Francis: behind the mission’.
Author of The Great Reformer, an authoritative biography of Pope Francis, Ivereigh offered an enlivening consideration of the background and inspirations of Jorge Bergoglio. He showed the consistency and development of thought and spirituality through the life and ministry of the Pope, indicating how his understanding of reform is at once challenging and radically in tune with the spirit of the Gospel.
Ivereigh, founder and coordinator of Catholic Voices, demonstrated his astute perception as a media commentator in showing why Pope Francis is such an attractive personality. He proposed that it is important for Catholics to seek the meaning in what Pope Francis says and not to settle for what is presented by news editors. Symbolic gestures and off-the-cuff comments come easily to Pope Francis as a natural communicator, but they are easily misrepresented.
A good crowd attended the evening and many people expressed their appreciation of the considered, energetic and engaging talk. Austen Ivereigh had earlier participated in a panel discussion ‘What impact has the Francis effect had on the Church?’ which can be seen on iCatholic.