The presentation was the result of a joint effort between Regis and Loyola to provide an opportunity for alumni and friends of the two neighboring schools to engage in an event focused on Ignatian spirituality.
(Pictured: Fr. Matt Malone, S.J. responds to a question from the audience during his March 3 discussion on the ministry Pope Francis.)
Matt Malone, S.J., is the 14th editor-in-chief of America, a tenure that began in October, 2012. At the time of his appointment he was the youngest editor in chief in America's history.
"The thing about this Pope that is really incredible is that priests are usually either good pastors or good managers," quipped Fr. Malone. "Occasionally they can be both. This Pope actually is both."
Fr. Malone's talk focused on the five words that Pope Francis uttered during an impromptu news conference: Who am I to judge? Fr. Malone suggested that, despite appearing off-the-cuff, the Pope's words were carefully chosen and replete with meaning. They help us to recognize the kairos of mercy, which has become a focal point of Francis's Papacy.
"Focus on your relationship with Christ in this church," explained Fr. Malone. "Don't begin with the rules, begin with the relationship. It's the only way we are really going to understand what the rules are about and whether they should even change."
Pope Francis was reminding us, Fr. Malone continued, that our relationship with God and with one another should be characterized by mercy and forgiveness.
"He's asking you: what are you doing? If we go to mass every Sunday, but we spend the rest of the week in the conscience-less, unrelenting pursuit of profits in the bond market, then what is absolute in our lives? Is it Jesus Christ or is it something else? He's asking us: what are you doing? Who are you in relation to the one who revealed himself to be the son of God?"
After his presentation, Fr. Malone engaged in an extended question-and-answer session with the audience, followed by a reception for all in attendance.