Teaching and Leading Through Dialogue: Pope Francis and Catholic Higher Education

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The early pontificate of Francis has been marked by substantial changes in the style of papal governance and teaching. Francis’s engagement in dialogue with members of the media corresponds to a willingness to foster meaningful dialogue among the bishops and to use teaching documents to raise questions rather than answer them. At the Extraordinary Synod in October 2014, Francis exercised papal leadership primarily by fostering and leading dialogue among the synod fathers. The pope’s commitment to dialogue in both teaching and governance offers guidance for Catholic higher education as it works within the Catholic mission to address the challenges Catholic colleges and universities face today to engage divisive issues within the Church and society.

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