Tuesday, 17 September 2013

John Allen Jr. in Sydney

The amazing John Allen, Jr. was in Sydney on Monday, and I had the very great pleasure of hearing him speak at the Australian Catholic University in Strathfield.

Wiki sums him up thusly:
John L. Allen, Jr. (born 1965) is an American journalist based in Rome who specializes in news about the Catholic Church. He is senior correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter and vaticanologist of CNN and NPR. Allen is also the author of several books about the Catholic Church. He has written two biographies of Pope Benedict XVI, the first one published in 2000 when the Pope was still a cardinal and the first biography of him in English.
He's the guy on the left.
He spoke on what the first six months of Francis' papacy seem to mean for the Church. In short, he was excellent. Engaging, erudite, articulate, witty, intelligent, charitable, fascinating... what more could you want? Some of the articles in his online column "All Things Catholic" for the National Catholic Register touch on some of the things he referred to, like the one word that summarises what Francis is all about. Go check out his stuff! This column is definitely about to become part of my regular reading, and his books added to my reading list.

Bishop Commensoli gave thanks at the close of the evening, with a rather nice tribute. He referred to what the Catechism has to say about journalists, their role, and their responsibilities.

2497 By the very nature of their profession, journalists have an obligation to serve the truth and not offend against charity in disseminating information. They should strive to respect, with equal care, the nature of the facts and the limits of critical judgment concerning individuals. They should not stoop to defamation.
He went on to say that Mr Allen is a stirling example of this kind of journalism lived out, and someone that aspiring journalists, bloggers, and media people should look to as a role model. Resounding concurrence on that score from me!


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