COLUMBIA — Cardinal John Foley, the face of media coordination for the Vatican, will be coming to the St. Thomas More Newman Center on Friday to speak about the relationship between media and religion.
The former president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications will address the public in a forum titled “Is Religion Still Good News?” at 7 p.m.
Amy White, outreach coordinator for the Center on Religions and the Professions, said having a visitor from the Vatican speak in Columbia is a pretty big deal.
Foley is a winner of the St. Francis de Sales Award, the Catholic Press Association’s highest award, and a magna cum laude graduate of Columbia University in New York, where he received a master’s degree in journalism. He has been instrumental in establishing the Catholic Church’s Web site and advocating for the use of technology in spreading the church’s message, White said.
“I think he has a lot to say about cross-pollination between media and faith,” she said.
The speaker’s forum will venture away from the mostly academic topics of the past Newman Center speaker series and will focus more on the cardinal’s role inside the Vatican.
“The talk is going to be less theory and more about his experience presenting the good news to what can be a cynical world,” said Father Thomas Saucier, a Dominican priest at the St. Thomas More Newman Center. He said Foley’s visit marks the first time that a voting member of the college of cardinals has visited the Newman Center.
As another part of his visit, Foley will be leading a discussion of his experience in orchestrating large public events for the Vatican — most notably the funeral for Pope John Paul II — in a public affairs master’s class at the MU Journalism School on Thursday, White said.
The cardinal’s visit is the fourth installment of the St. Thomas More Newman Center speaker series.