John Carr, known internationally for his work in the area of social justice, will deliver the inaugural lecture for the newly created Institute for Catholicism and Citizenship at the University of St. Thomas.
Carr will discuss “Pope Francis on Politics: Faithful Citizenship in a Time of Polarization” at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 23, in the auditorium of O’Shaughnessy Educational Center on the university’s St. Paul campus. The lecture is free and open to the public and will be followed by a reception.
Carr directs Georgetown University’s Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life, which was created in fall 2013. He also is the Washington correspondent for America Magazine. From 2012 to 2013 he was a fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, and prior to that served more than 20 years as director of the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
He was the original convener of the Circle of Protection, an ecumenical coalition defending the poor and vulnerable in debates over U.S. budget priorities, and represented the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops at the Vatican and in the Middle East, Central America, Southern Africa, Southeast Asia and Russia.
In addition to his work on behalf of the bishops, Carr has served as executive director of the White House Conference on Families and director of the National Committee for Full Employment. He also has served on the boards of Bread for the World, the National Religious Partnership for the Environment, the Catholic Health Association and the University of St. Thomas School of Law.
He is a 1972 graduate of St. Thomas and during his years as an undergraduate there attended the St. John Vianney College Seminary.
The Institute for Catholicism and Citizenship, part of the university’s Theology Department and directed by theologian and church historian Dr. Massimo Faggioli, was announced at St. Thomas on March 13 at a national conference on the Second Vatican Council. According to its website, the institute “will promote civil discourse, faithful citizenship and the common good by fostering theological insight and interdisciplinary inquiry into economic, political and social issues.”
Other events planned for the institute’s first year include:
- A lecture on “Religious Liberty at 50 years From Vatican II” with David Hollenbach of Boston College and John McGreevy of the University of Notre Dame on Nov. 5.
- A lecture on “From Mutual Excommunications to Growing Communion: Orthodox-Catholic Dialogue 50 Years After Vatican II” with Greek Orthodox theologian Father Paul Chryssavgis, Monsignor Paul McPartlan of the Catholic University of America and Dr. Paul Gavrilyk of St. Thomas, on Nov. 9.
- A conference on “The Common Good Isn’t Common: Catholic Citizenship in an Individualistic Age” with Bishop Robert McElroy, newly appointed bishop of San Diego, Dr. Nicholas Cafardi, dean emeritus and law professor at Duquesne University, and Dr. Kristin Heyer of Santa Clara University on April 8-9, 2016.