What will the Catholic Church be like in 100 years? Will there be a woman pope? Will dioceses throughout the United States and the rest of the world go bankrupt from years of scandal? In THE FUTURE CHURCH, John L. Allen puts forth the ten trends he believes will transform the Church into the twenty-second century. From the influence of Catholics in Africa, Asia, and Latin America on doctrine and practices to the impact of multinational organizations on local and ethical standards, Allen delves into the impact of globalization on the Roman Catholic Church and argues that it must rethink fundamental issues, policies, and ways of doing business. Allen shows that over the next century, the Church will have to respond to changes within the institution itself and in the world as a whole whether it is contending with biotechnical advances—including cloning and genetic enhancement—the aging Catholic population, or expanding the roles of the laity. Like Thomas Friedman’s The World Is Flat, THE FUTURE CHURCH establishes a new framework for meeting the challenges of a changing world.
BIO: Mr. John L. Allen Jr. is the prize-winning Senior Correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter and the Senior Vatican Analyst for CNN. He’s the author of six best-selling books on the Vatican and Catholic affairs, and writes frequently on the Church for major national and international publications. He’s also a popular speaker on Catholic affairs, both in the United States and abroad.
The London Tablet has called Allen “the most authoritative writer on Vatican affairs in the English language,” and renowned papal biographer George Weigel has called him “the best Anglophone Vatican reporter ever.” When Allen was called upon to put the first question to Pope Benedict XVI aboard the papal plane en route to the United States in April 2008, the Vatican spokesperson said to the pope: “Holy Father, this man needs no introduction.” That’s not just a Vatican judgment. Veteran religion writer Kenneth Woodward of Newsweek described Allen as “the journalist other reporters – and not a few cardinals – look to for the inside story on how all the pope’s men direct the world’s largest church.”
Allen’s work is admired across ideological divides. Liberal commentator Fr. Andrew Greeley calls his writing “indispensable,” while the late Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, a conservative, called Allen’s reporting “possibly the best source of information on the Vatican published in the United States.” His weekly internet column, “All Things Catholic,” is widely read as a source of insight on the global Church.
John divides his time between Rome and his home in Denver, Colorado. He grew up in Western Kansas, and holds a Master’s degree in Religious Studies from the University of Kansas.