Photographs by L'Osservatore Romano

Canisius Professor of Theology James Keenan, S.J., director of the University's Jesuit Institute, led a contingent of Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church members on a trip to Rome, which culminated in a private audience with Pope Francis on St. Patrick’s Day.

According to National Catholic Reporter, the pontiff met for nearly an hour with the representatives of CTEWC, a global network of moral theologians, speaking with them on the role their work plays in helping people understand the deeper roots of Catholic teachings. 

"He really applauded us for our work focusing on [building] non-polarizing dialogue among over 1,000 members in our network," Fr. Keenan told NCR; read the full story here.

(For more on the papal audience, read an interview with attendee and former Jesuit Institute fellow Emilce Cuda of Buenos Aires's Pontifical Catholic University, in

The group—which included BC Professor of Theology Kristin Heyer, Jesuit Institute Associate Director Toni Ross, and colleagues from Dublin, Berlin, Slovenia and Buenos Aires—also met with leaders from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Alphonsianum Academy of the Lateran University, and Pontifical Urban University—where Fr. Keenan lectured on Moral Discernment in History at a conference. Also on the agenda were meetings with Cardinal Prefects of six Congregations, and Father Arturo Sosa S.J., 31st General of the Society of Jesus.

Their goal, according to CTEWC founder Fr. Keenan, was to build bridges with Roman and Vatican institutions in advance of its third international conference in 2018 in Sarajevo. “It was a blessed week,” he said.

—University Communications