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Politics and the Pope

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With support from: Lowell Institute
Date and time
Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Boston Globe writers **James Carroll** and **Neil Swidey**, author **Mary Gordon**, and **Sister Simone Campbell**, organizer of “Nuns on the Bus,” discuss Pope Francis and what the shifts initiated by his papacy might mean for both domestic and world politics. **Margery Eagan**, columnist for The Boston Globe's Catholicism-news website, [Crux](http://www.cruxnow.com "CRUX"), and host of WGBH's midday news show [Boston Public Radio](http://wgbhnews.org/programs/boston-public-radio "Boston Public Radio"), moderates.

**James Carroll** is the author of 10 novels and 5 previous works of non-fiction, including the National Book Award winning *An American Requiem*, *The New York Times* bestselling *Constantine's Sword*, now an acclaimed documentary, and *House of War*, which won the first PEN-Galbraith Award. Carroll has written for *The New Yorker*, *The Atlantic*, and other publications, and his column appears weekly in *the Boston Globe*. His writing, and his long work toward Jewish-Christian-Muslim reconciliation, make him a leading voice on the problem of religion and violence. James Carroll, Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at Suffolk University, received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from St. Paul’s College, the Paulist Fathers’ seminary in Washington, DC. After studying poetry at the University of Minnesota and working as a community organizer in Washington and New York, he was ordained into the priesthood. The Paulists and Cardinal Cushing assigned Carroll to Boston University, where he served as Catholic chaplain from 1969 to 1974. During those years he published numerous books on religious subjects and a weekly column in the *National Catholic Reporter*, which earned him awards from the Catholic Press Association and other organizations. Carroll remained active in the antiwar movement until the Vietnam War ended. He left the priesthood to become a writer and has since published nine novels, an award-winning memoir, and a weekly op-ed column for *the Boston Globe*. Carroll is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and serves on its Committee for International Security Studies. He is a member of the council of PEN/New England, and he served four years as its chair. He has been a Shorenstein Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a Fellow at the Center for the Study of Values in Public Life at the Harvard Divinity School. Carroll is also a trustee of the Boston Public Library and a member of the advisory board of the International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life at Brandeis University.
**Neil Swidey** is author of \_Trapped Under the Sea: One Engineering Marvel, Five Men, and a Disaster Ten Miles Into the Darkness.\_ He also wrote \_The Assist\_ and was a coauthor of \_Last Lion: The Fall and Rise of Ted Kennedy\_. A staff writer for The Boston Globe Magazine, Neil lives outside Boston with his wife and three daughters.
**Sister Simone Campbell** has served as Executive Director of NETWORK since 2004. She is a religious leader, attorney and poet with extensive experience in public policy and advocacy for systemic change. In Washington, she lobbies on issues of peace-building, immigration reform, healthcare and economic justice. Around the country, she is a noted speaker and educator on these public policy issues. She belongs to the [Sisters of Social Service.](http://www.sistersofsocialservice.com "Sisters of Social Service") She has received numerous awards, including a “Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Award” and the "Defender of Democracy Award" from the international Parliamentarians for Global Action. In addition, she has been the keynote or featured speaker at numerous large gatherings, including the 2012 Democratic National Convention. >> [Follow her on Twitter.](https://twitter.com/sr\_simone "Sister Simone on Twitter")
**Mary Gordon** is an American writer and is the McIntosh Professor of English at Barnard College. She is best known for her novels, memoirs and literary criticism. She is the recipient of a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the 1997 O. Henry Award for best story.