Church historian: Pope, radical reformer, has enemies in, out of church

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March 3, 2015

Theologian delivers annual Anthony Jordan Lecture Series at Newman Theological College in Edmonton, Alberta

Massimo Faggioli, a theologian at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., delivers the annual Anthony Jordan Lecture Series at Newman Theological College Feb. 28 in Edmonton, Alberta. (CNS photo/Glen Argan, Western Catholic Reporter)

EDMONTON, Alberta (CNS) — Pope Francis is a radical reformer who is facing enemies — inside and outside of the church — opposed to at least some parts of his agenda, said a prominent church historian.

Massimo Faggioli, an expert on the Second Vatican Council and the author of several books, said the pope is not a liberal who exalts the individual as the center of the world and who sees a minimal role for the church in public life.

Rather, he sees the church as having a role in society and indeed, “in everything humans go through,” Faggioli said at the annual Anthony Jordan Lectures Series Feb. 28 at St. Joseph Seminary. “That is not a liberal thought; it’s a radical Christian thought.”

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