Murnion Lecture

The Murnion Lecture, before 2007 known as The Annual Lecture of the Catholic Common Ground Initiative, is an annual lecture hosted by the Catholic Common Ground Initiative, which explores a relevant topic of interest and/or concern in the church.  Each lecture features a notable speaker on the topic. Participants of the lecture have opportunity to dialogue about the topic to gain further understanding on the subject and the various viewpoints in the church.

"Dialogue in a Humbled Church"

Brian Flanagan, PhD
Associate Professor of Theology at Marymount University

"The Consistent Ethic of Cardinal Bernardin and the Integral Ecology of Pope Francis: Calls for a 'Wider Moral Vision'"

Fr. Thomas Nairn, OFM
Minister Provincial of the Sacred Heart Province of Franciscans

"Dialogue in the Key of Pope Francis"

Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, STD
Archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago

"Faithful Citizenship in 2016: Is There Common Ground to Pursue the Common Good?"

John Carr
Founder and Director of the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University

"Is Common Ground Possible in the Pursuit of Racial Justice?"

Lecturer: Rev. Bryan N. Massingale, STD
Professor of Theological Ethics at Marquette University

Responder: Rev. Lawrence Duris
Pastor of St. Ailbe Catholic Church of Chicago

"Finding Common Ground in Catholic Theology"

Lecturer: Regina Wentzel Wolfe, PhD
Associate Professor of Catholic Theological Ethics at Catholic Theological Union

Responder: Rev. Michael D. Place, STD
Program Director for the Franciscan Leadership Enhancement Program at Franciscan Alliance

"Shaping Parish Life: Ongoing Influences of Vatican II and the Catholic Common Ground Initiative"

Lecturer: Sr. Katarina Schuth, OSF, STL, PhD
Endowed Chair for Social Scientific Study of Religion at The Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity at the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota

Responder: Kevin Ahern, PhD (cand.)
Doctoral Student in Theological Ethics at Boston College and Adjunct Professor of Theological Ethics at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry (STM)

"Vatican II - Celebrating 50 Years: The Significance of Gaudium Et Spes"

Lecturer: Rev. John W. O’Malley, SJ, PhD, University Professor in the Theology Department at Georgetown University

Responders: Sr. Doris Gottemoeller, RSM, PhD, Senior Vice President for Mission and Values Integration at Catholic Health Partners (CHP), and Rev. Michael D. Place, STD, Program Director for the Franciscan Leadership Enhancement Program at Franciscan Alliance

"Communion Across the Generations: The Promises and Challenges of Intergenerational Dialogue"

Sr. Patricia Wittberg, S.C., PhD
Professor of Sociology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

"Catholic Common Ground Initiative: 'A Journey to Communion in Christ'"

Lecturer: Most Rev. Michael W. Warfel, DD, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Great Falls-Billings, Montana

Responders: Lisa Sowle Cahill, PhD, J. Donald Monan, SJ, Professor, and Peter J. Casarella, PhD, Founding Director of the Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology (CWCIT) and Professor of Catholic Studies at DePaul University

"How Americans Think About the Church"

Lecturer: James D. Davidson, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Purdue University

Responders: Sr. Amy Hoey, RSM, PhD, Co-Founder and Co-Director of Companioning the Dying, Mike Hayes, Co-Founder of Busted Halo, and Melissa Cidade, Research Associate and Director of Pastoral Assistance Surveys adn Services (PASS) at the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA)

"Tim Russert, the Political Process, and the Common Ground for the Catholic Church"

Lecturer: Brian WilliamsAnchor of NBC Nightly News

Responder: Rev. J. Cletus Kiley, D.Min., President and CEO of The Faith & Politics Institute

"Where to Look for Common Ground"

Lecturer: Jill Ker Conway, PhD, Visiting Professor in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Program in Science, Technology, and Society

Responder: Rev. James J. Bacik, D.Phil., Pastor of Corpus Christi University Parish at the University of Toledo (read full text of response)

"The Role of Dialogue in the Pastoral Life of the Diocese" (*Special 10th Anniversary Lecture)

Most Rev. Ricardo Ramírez, CSB, DD, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Las Cruces, New Mexico

"'Put Your Finger Here...': Reconciliation and the Refusal to Cease Suffering"

Lecturer: Roberto S. Goizueta, PhD, Margaret O’Brien Flatley Professor of Catholic Theology at Boston College

Responder: Margaret R. Pfeil, PhD, Assistant Professor of Moral Theology/Christian Ethics at the University of Notre Dame (read full text of response)

"Building a Church of Communion"

Lecturer: Most Rev. V. James Weisgerber, PhL., STL, DD, Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Responder: James E. Post, PhD, President of Voice of the Fathful
(read full text of response)

"Common Ground in a Global Key: International Lessons in Catholic Dialogue"

Lecturer: John L. Allen, Jr., Rome Correspondent at the National Catholic Reporter

Responder: Mary Ann Glendon, JD, LLM., Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard Law School at Harvard University
(read full text of response)

"Dealing With Diversity and Disagreement: Vatican II and Beyond"

Lecturer: Rev. Joseph A. Komonchak, STL, PhD, John C. and Gertrude P. Hubbard Chair in Religious Studies at The Catholic University of America

Responder: Most Rev. Daniel E. Pilarczyk, STD, PhD, Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati
(read full text of response)


Cardinal Walter Kasper, Dr. theol., Dr. theol. habil., President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity


Lecturer: Cardinal Avery Dulles, SJ, STD, Laurence J. McGinley Professor of Religion and Society at Fordham University

Responder: Monika K. Hellwig, LLB, PhD, President and Executive Director of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities

"The Substance of Things Hoped For: Common Ground and the Source of Our Disputes" (2000)

Lecturer: R. Scott Appleby, PhD, Director of the Charles and Margaret Hall Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at the University of Notre Dame

Responders: Dolores R. Leckey, Senior Research Fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center, and Robert Royal, PhD, President of the Faith & Reason Institute

"One in Christ: Unity and Diversity in the Church Today" (1999)

Lecturer: Cardinal George Basil Hume, OSB, STL, DD, Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster, London, England

Responders: Mary Ann Glendon, JD, LLM, Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard Law School at Harvard University, and Rev. Brian E. Daley, S.J., D.Phil., Catherine F. Huisking Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame