Richard R. Gaillardetz is the Joseph Professor of Catholic Systematic Theology at Boston College. He is the author of An Unfinished Council: Vatican II, Pope Francis, and the Renewal of Catholicism (Liturgical Press, 2016).

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Francis' new ministry of catechist may help shrink the clergy-laity gap

Commentary: Antiquum Ministerium appears to move beyond a rigid laity-clergy binary to pursue a vision of the church built up by ordered ministries — some established by ordination, others by formal installation.


Two men in white: Book saga shows need to rethink norms for retired popes

Commentary: As we approach the seventh anniversary of Benedict XVI's retirement from papal office, some ecclesiological difficulties have come to light. And there were hints of a problem right from the start.


Expect North American church to learn from pan-Amazonian synod

Commentary: The upcoming pan-Amazonian synod's focus on climate change, the rights of indigenous and migrant peoples, and regional innovation will be a hallmark of Pope Francis' humble missionary vision for reform.


Francis' draft of curial reform fundamentally reimagines Vatican's role

Commentary: The proposed Praedicate Evangelium is far more successful in offering an alternative framework than it is in providing a comprehensive program of specific reforms.