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Pope Francis’ Catholic Church

Three Mondays, January 14, 21, and 28, 6:30–8:00 P.M. Covenant Church, 4949 Caroline, 77004, in the museum district. Parking available behind the church and on adjacent side streets.

As an institution that has survived persecution, the Crusades, the Inquisition, and democratization around the globe, the Catholic Church views change with great trepidation and proceeds only with extreme caution. Since Jorge Bergoglio’s election to become Pope Francis in March 2013, the Church has nevertheless undergone some radical transformations while maintaining its fidelity to almost 2000 years of history. In these three sessions, Professor Sean Theriault will examine how Pope Francis has navigated a rigid institutional structure in a world experiencing great tumult, while being loyal to his own belief system and maintaining allegiance to Petrine succession.

January 14: Pope Francis inside the Vatican

January 21: Pope Francis on the World Stage

January 28: Pope Francis, the American Bishops, and the Pedophilia Scandal inside the Church

Sean Theriault, a professor of government at the University of Texas in Austin, specializes in research on U.S congressional decision-making, and also teaches a course on the Catholic Church and regularly takes student groups to Rome. He was named UT Professor of the Year in 2011 and inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers in 2012. His books include Congress: The First Branch (with Congressman Mickey Edwards), Oxford University Press; The Great Broadening: How the Vast Expansion of the Policymaking Agenda Transformed American Politics (with Bryan D. Jones and Michelle Whyman), University of Chicago Press; and The Gingrich Senators, Oxford University Press.


January 14 @ 6:30 pm
January 28 @ 8:00 pm
$35 – $90
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Covenant Church classroom
4949 Caroline
Houston, TX 77004 United States
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